(early february. number 27.)
We dreamed up this S.R. on a rainy January afternoon, downtown, when we were all feeling the deep grey cold of the winter winds. One dish as the serious center of the dinner was a first for us. The constraint of "soup, salad, bread" was also really rewarding. The idea was sort of the "dinner special" at an Italian Restaurant in old world San Francisco. I hand-set and letterpress printed this poster/menu to round out this idea.
Flowing red wine.
My own rustic country bread a la Tartine Bread, but with lots of fresh rosemary and extra sea salt in the score of the bread.
From Ken's Artisan Bakery (We served Ken's bread at the first Secret Restaurant, and it is now the only non-house bread we serve.)
Served with Kerry's Irish butter.
Romaine hearts, ribboned dino kale, spinach, and broiled belgian endive. House anchovy-lemon heavy ceasar dressing, red-skinned jerusalem artichoke chips instead of croutons.
All seafood from Newman's Fish Co. Lucas and I both have a long standing personal connection to this fishmarket. Started in 1890 (how many businesses have been around that long these days?) in Eugene, we've both been going there since we were boys. Their location at City Market in NW Portland is far and away the the best fish counter Portland has to offer. We used their freshly prepared fish broth. Two whole live crabs, and we used the crab broth as well. There were two pounds each of clams and mussels. Monkfish, which our fishmonger recommended as cooking up like lobster. He was right. It was exceptional. Old school Italian canned tomatoes. Loads of shallots, onions, fennel, garlic. We nearly filled a 5 galloon pot normally used for brewing beer.
An italian frozen custard dessert. Ours was simple, velvety, chocolate/espresso custard, folded with whipped cream, and processed in the gelato maker. We served it with shavings of belgian chocolate and entirely de-membraned tangerines.