By Katie Acheff
Portland Food Adventures kicked off its 2014 season at Irving Street Kitchen, featuring a special menu by Chef Sarah Schafer. We were started out with hors d’oeuvres including fried oysters and a unique beer and whiskey cocktail.
Irving Street Kitchen is located right in the heart of the Pearl, and features a beautifully decorated rustic private dining room that we were privileged to inhabit for the evening. This is the first Portland Food Adventure that has featured exclusively beer pairings, as Chef Schafer wanted to cater to a true Portland experience. As an avid beer enthusiast I was in full appreciation!
Our first main course was a squash and dungeness crab bisque (which I unfortunately lack a photo of), and was quickly followed by a truffle beet tartare served with kettle chips. This was a nice twist on the usual raw meat dish, paired with a Full Sail Amber Ale.
Chef Schafer came out to talk with us a bit and speak about her inspiration behind the menu, introduced by our host Chris Angelus.
Next up was Mahi Mahi with a wild mushroom barigoule and coriander orange vinaigrette. This might have been my favorite dish of the night, which if you knew me, gentle readers, is very surprising. I am not one for seafood, especially fish, but this was just cooked perfectly! Light and flaky, very delicately balanced with the mushrooms, just fantastic! Paired with Widmer Omission Pale Ale.
This fourth course was an interesting combination that Chef Schafer explained to us a bit. What you’re looking at is a duck liver “PB&J”, with house made almond butter, apple jelly and a calvados gastrique. Several of my table mates called this their favorite course of the night, and initially off putting mixture that gets continually more flavorful with every bite.
Our fifth course brought us to a true comfort food classic, Mary’s organic fried chicken with smashed potatoes, collard greens and country gravy.
And finally we had our dessert course, a rich flourless chocolate torte served with espresso ice cream and a cocoa nib tuile. Paired nicely with a Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout, one of my personal favorite breweries.
Chef Schafer left us with some fabulous gift certificates, including Langbaan, Ración,Pip’s Original (free donuts yeah!) and Szechuan Chef.
This week we’ll be going In the Kitchen with Sarah Schafer where she will be showing first hand how to make her fantastic fried chicken! In the Kitchen is a super add-on to our main Portland Food Adventures, I’d highly recommend checking it out!
Also coming up –
Thanks for reading, see you next time!