Friday, March 11, 2011
By Allison Jones
Last night, a group of hungry diners gathered at Lincoln – Chef Jenn Louis’ gorgeous and highly acclaimed North Portland restaurant – for an evening of family-style food and exploration of Jenn’s honest and creative approach to Pacific Northwest cuisine. The fourth Portland Food Adventures Chef’s Choice dinner brought together food lovers of all stripes to enjoy one of the best menus in Portland as it transitions from winter’s hearty comfort food to spring’s greens and lighter dishes. I’d been to Lincoln a few times before, notably last fall after Jenn and I made Ribollita together at the Portland Farmers’ Market, but last night was extra-special. Jenn selected a long list of dishes that represented Lincoln’s hyper-seasonal menu and signature blend of high-end and accessible food – from classic cassoulet with rabbit, lamb, pancetta, and tarbais beans, to brandade (sold cod/olive oil mousse) fritters, fried fennel, and some absolutely perfect onion rings. We were treated to the story of how Jenn and her husband (Lincoln’s front-of-the-house and bar manager David Welch) met when she was working at Wildwood, chatted with Gabe Rosen of Biwa about his mission of bringing traditional, fun, and accessible Japanese food to a nondescript corner of Southeast Portland, and received a big envelope stuffed with gift certificates to some of Jenn’s favorite spots in town.
As always with PFA dinners, the party didn’t end after the last plate is cleared – we get to look forward to future visits to Podnah’s Pit’s newly-opened NE Killingsworth location, happy hour at Biwa, great coffee at Ristretto Roasters, fresh-baked treats from Little T Baker, and Jenn Louis’ highly-anticipated SE Division hang-out, Sunshine Tavern (set to open on April 19). Want to get in on the next Portland Food Adventure? We’re heading to Tabla Bistro for Chef Anthony Cafiero’s take on Spanish cuisine, inspired by his recent trip to Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian. It’s going to be amazing, so reserve your seats ASAP! As always, my camera was with me last night, so feel free to eat vicariously – but I want to see you at the table with me next time!
Brandade fritters and fried fennel with aioli and lemon.
Flatbread with fromage blanc, roasted apple, prosciutto, and fig salame.
Arugula salad with cara cara oragnes, pine nuts, and dates.
Milk-braised fennel and lacinato kale with lardo and chiles (not pictured).
Cassoulet with rabbit, lamb, pancetta, and tarbais beans.
Panna cotta with saba (a sweet syrup made from fresh grape must)
Check out photos and stories for the previous Portland Food Adventures: