And we had another magical food experience on Saturday night that also involved Persephone Farm. To celebrate our six-year anniversary Trevor and I went to Clarklewis, one of the restaurants that helped establish Portland as a foodie Mecca.
We went with the intention of really splurging. Every course was amazing. Even the bread and butter. Fleur de sel or some sort of specialty salt was sprinkled on the butter and it made every bite sing in my mouth. We ordered the cheese plate to start. Usually Trevor and I don’t like the same cheese, but we agreed each cheese was outstanding. I think my favorite was the Tasmanian blue cheese. But the Taleggio and cow-sheep blend cheeses were excellent. And the fried almonds. And it was made even better with a glass of a slightly minerally, non-oaky Chardonnay.
Unfortunately they were out of the crab-stuffed endive salad, so I got a basic mixed greens with walnut salad. And Trevor tried the beet terrine salad that utilized Persephone beets. The thin layers of beet and cheese brought out the best of both ingredients.
Clarklewis sous chef Kai (hopefully I am spelling his name right) who is a regular customer at Persephone’s stand in the Farmers’ Market recognized Trevor and came out to greet us. Then he sent us a plate of gigantic gulf shrimp swimming in Meyer lemon sauce with pine nuts and a perfect dab of winter squash puree. I don’t even like shrimp and I scarfed it down. Trevor said, “This doesn’t even taste like shrimp, it tastes like lobster!”
Next up we had orecchiette with sausage-like meatballs and hedgehog mushrooms. The tender little ear-shaped pasta perfectly held the sauce. And the entreés did not disappoint. I had the double pork chop, which came with this wonderful corn cake that was a cross between cornbread and a soufflé. The savory center was like a custard. Trevor had the steak (topped with an outrageously good seasoned butter) and fingerling potatoes.
I protested when it came to dessert, but Trevor was determined. The kitchen was out of his first two choices, but the chocolate rum gelato was still a winner. I think we were in the restaurant for close to three hours! But it was perfect, the food, the ambience, the wine. Like I said. Magical.
Moosewood Restaurant and Cookbooks