Planted garlic for next year, trying to keep my spirits up as the rain started to fall and fall started to reign. We must remember and celebrate the ways we put seeds in the dark earth so they’ll wake with time and water and love. Because if we forget that, there’s not much point.
I’m going for ‘Keith Red’ and ‘Silver Rose’ again because they were all I wanted. Keith continues to delight with his big delicious cloves, and Rose is a softneck that lasts longer and still tastes great. Maybe I’ll remember the onion sets this spring, too!
I’m thrilled Soubise is open on Mondays, when most other restaurants in town worth eating at are closed. It’s a good place for a quiet dinner, hopefully shared with someone who loves food, and it’s a romantic and sophisticated setting. Perhaps the only one in town. The combinations, as usual, were fascinating and subtle. It’s really unlike anything else around, and I mean that to extend far beyond Eugene. The fall menu is completely accessible and at a lower price point than earlier menus, too. Definitely a place you can take your parents or a visiting speaker. Standards like chicken with savory bread pudding and salmon with delicata squash. Or their handmade smoked pasta with a poached egg and pecorino with green onion purée, above. There are still wonderful surprises, like perfect micro bits of celery leaf and pear on the oysters, and Japanese tamago omelette that provides a perfect sweet little pillow for the strong taste of seared albacore and slight bitterness of lemon cucumber in another small plate. And ALWAYS order the farm vegetable composed salad, which features an everchanging melange of whatever produce is in season, served with simple buttermilk dressing.
Grit is housed in a little historic cottage and they’ll need to get better signage at some point, so you might miss it, but it’s right on the corner of W. 3rd and Van Buren. The kitchen is still experimenting and service is a little timid, but it’s fun to watch the chaotic dance as the staff gets to know the space and the flow and the clientele. It’s all about the local and the warm and comforting: braises, soups, buttery custardy creamy details. We opted for the prix-fixe four-course meal, with a stellar carrot and fresh turmeric salad, turnip soup with greens, duck over mash and chantrelles, and a fig tarte, above. Corn chowder with pork jowl was good too; more pork would have been even better. The charcuterie plate and gizzard confit app looked so good I almost regret I didn’t partake. Oh well. Another visit! I expect this place will just get better and better, and I’m happy to go along on the journey.