Levant: Sunshine in Portland



By Katie Acheff

This week’s Portland Food Adventures marked the 30th installment, at Scott Snyder’s Levant. Known for it’s French-Arabesque cuisine, Levant has become one of Portland’s new hot spots. We were started out with a great selection of canapés as well as the Phoenician cocktail.

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We were lucky enough to have some great weather in this tumultuous Oregon spring, and Levant’s great windows filled the dining room with sun. It is definitely a well designed space, with the back kitchen being exposed and allowing us a little opportunity to watch the chef’s in action, like Chef Scott keeping an eye on some of our future meals (below).
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We were soon brought our first wine pairing, and our host, Chris Angelus, introduced us to Chef Scott. Shortly thereafter came our first course, a spot pawn crudo with preserved lemon and arak sorbet.

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Our second course was really interesting for me, a Haloumi entrée which is a thick and salty cheese, served with a fennel and saffrom jam. Accompanied by a Harissa baked bread roll and a Willamette Valley Ribbon Ridge Trisaetum Dry Riseling. I don’t think I’ve ever had a type of cheese served as an entrée, but this palette was perfect with the saltiness evened out by the cool fennel and saffrom jam.

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Of course there is always much wine and conversation going in the dining room as we waited for our next course. I snuck in the kitchen to watch Chef Scott and crew preparing our next course.

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Third course was sardine with charmoula and grilled lemon, paired with a Sauvignon Blanc. Chef Scott talked a little bit about his love for sardines, and how he often chooses to use them as a main fish course.

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Moving to our Fourth Course, a Duck Breast a la Facille, Duck Sausage (I’m assuming the ones we saw cooking earlier that evening in the open flame) with pomegranate jus and dirty kamut. I really enjoyed this dish, rich textures and very hearty blend of flavors.

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As things started winding down a bit Chef Scott came out to talk to the Adventurers a bit, and we were served a 5th course, cucumber salad with feta, toasted coriander and a delicious cocktail, the cucumber refresher.

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As the night wrapped up Chris and Chef Scott told us a bit about the gift certificates we’d be receiving, this time including Little BirdRum Club and the Aybla Grill. We also were treated to a couple amazing desserts, including a strawberry and ricotta doughnut with rose jam and cardamom, and a really amazing pistachio milk custard with salted pistachio brittle and candy floss.

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We even got one more extra dessert, a Turkish Delight coffee cake wrapped up to go. All in all a very satisfying evening! Thanks to all the staff of Levant for providing us with such a great night.

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And of course there are some great Portland Food Adventures coming up, check them out!

6/5 – Grassa – Rick Gencarelli’s Pasta Portland Food Adventure in the Kitchen

6/11 – Omakase – PFA at Hokusei with Chef Kaoru Ishii

7/11 – Xico – Summer on the Patio with Kelly Meyers

Cheers!

 

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