tasting

I was among the fortunate few who were able to try Hideaway Bakery‘s very first wood oven tasting menu earlier this week.  They’re thinking about serving similar menus in the future.  I have to admit that the weekly kid-friendly pizza night is way too crowded and well, kid-friendly for me.  The one time I went I couldn’t handle it and left before ordering the pizza.

The tasting menu, however, was rather more for adult contemporary (from the food to the music) and I enjoyed it.  Hope they do it again soon, and often, and bravo to Chef Alex.

I started off with a plate of three nicely paired appetizers:

  • fig, honey, and prosciutto San Daniele, a cured ham from my favorite Italian region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia;
  • pork loin tonnato, another classic Italian dish that’s usually served with veal, but our mild pork tenderloin fits the bill nicely.  It had a slightly grainy albacore aioli, plus caperberries to provide contrast in color to the otherwise white dish (which suffers looking like cold cuts drowned in mayo, unfortunately); and
  • a bruschetta with beautiful late-summer charred tomatoes, pesto, and an unnecessary but still good swipe of chèvre.

Next, an excellent mixed mushroom ravioli swimming in butter.  For an entrée, I chose, among other options of skirt steak salad and vegetable terrine, the albacore tuna with caponata and buttered corn.  The corn was really the star of the show and there was a lot of it.  The albacore was a bit undersalted and tough, and as I was the last ticket the kitchen seemed to have lost it in the dark, so I waited some time.  But I’m willing to forgive them, as this was clearly a new experiment and there are kinks to be worked out in the service.

I like the idea of tasting menus VERY MUCH, and wish more restaurants would do them.

*~%~~~~Your wish is my command, Mistress~~~~%~*

Whoa, what was that!?  And what do I see before my very eyes?  Several local outfits offering tasting menus in the near future!

(1)  Chef Kevin Hyland of the new Cozmic Pizza (formerly of Koho Bistro) plans to wow us with his first of many Farmer Dinners on Friday, October 7 at 6 p.m.  It is by reservation only and very affordable, so give them a call at 541-338-9333 to make your reservation. Only $25 for four courses! The menu is subject to change, but here’s the plan:

  • Packets of Mountain Goodness – braised wild mushrooms, huckleberries, cream cheese in Swiss chard;
  • Caesar Salad with Aqua Nova alderwood smoked lox;
  • “Surf ‘n’ Turf” — Almost Cattail Creek Lamb Stew over salt-cod brandade mashed potatoes;
  • Sweet Pizzetta Pie —  River Bend Farm‘s Elberta peaches on flatbread with lightly sweetened ricotta and Meyers rum dark rum syrup; and
  • Local wines and homemade sodas.

(2) There’s also a very exciting event this week:  Osteria Sfizio’s molecular gastronomy dinner in two days.  Yes, that’s Monday, September 19 at 6 p.m.!

The talented Sfizio kitchen staff has comprised a menu that will explore new cooking techniques with traditional Italian flavors. Please join us for a fun and inventive tasting menu on the night of September 19th. $45 per person. Reservations can be made on our website http://www.sfizioeugene.com/ or by calling (541) 302-3000.

ANTIPASTI
Deconstructed capase [ed: caprese?]
Anchovy with bread & butter foam
Sea scallop with tomato & cured egg yolk

PRIMI
Olive oil filled ravioli

SECONDI
Beef short rib with malt puffs & beetroot

DOLCI
Wild blackberries with sweetcorn ice cream

WINE PAIRINGS $25

(3) Boondockers Farm is planning tasting dinners in October, too.  They reported on Food for Thought on KLCC’s Facebook page and elsewhere:

We are having an October dinners at our farm, part of Boondockers Farm Heritage Dinner Series this season… two of the four dinners are under $30 too! Keep you posted!

(4) And…I already reported that Rabbit Bistro is doing a local food philanthropic event with Willamette Farm & Food Coalition, Creative Growers, Boondockers Farm, and a number of Willamette Valley wineries, on Tuesday, September 20 at 6 p.m. (n.b., one seating only) for $80 (50% of which goes to WF&FC).  It should be fabulous.  Order your tickets ASAP: online at Brown Paper Tickets.