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