Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chez Joly

It's big windows and NW Broadway & Davis corner location gives Chez Joly's small dining room plenty of light and life to look at while you dine. The design of the space is decidedly contemporary, with an almost vintage Parisian feel. A great brunch spot for those embarking on a weekend shopping excursion downtown, or a leisurely stroll around the North Park Blocks. The morning I visited, Executive Chef Kirk Bustamante plated up a couple specialties of the house. Mussels Joly; A heaping bowl of fresh Mussels served in their steaming broth of White Wine and Garlic, topped with Diced Tomatoes and White Mushrooms and served with a cone of crispy Pommes Frites on the side. And a house-made Garlic and Bleu Cheese Lamb Burger with Frisee, Roma Tomato, Red Onion, and Aoli, on a moist Egg Bun. Served with a pile of Pommes Frites and Dijon Mustard. Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 27, 2009

EaT Oyster Bar

Super-fresh Raw Oysters and Grower's Champagne... My new favorite Sunday Brunch! I never really considered myself a raw oyster fan, I'd eat one every now and again, mostly just to prove to someone that I could down one, but certainly not on a regular basis. Ethan and Tobias are oystermen, purists, and they've changed my perspective on the creatures. Fresh is key. Their stock comes straight from growers, often times shipped overnight from far away shores. EaT maintains a wonderful selection, including varieties such as Olympia, Chelsea Gems, Kumomoto, Shigoku, Yaquina Bay, and Hama Hama. While shooting images for a review of EaT in Willamette Week, as often happens, I was offered a sample. I accepted, just to be cool, and was blown away by the delicate flavor and tender, silky texture. Another big squeeze of lemon juice and a couple drops of hot sauce and I was on to my next. The guys started shucking out different varieties for me to sample and by the time I'd left I'd had a dozen or more, and loved them all. EaT is a Louisiana style oyster with a wide selection of house made creole dishes such as Gumbo, Jambalaya, Po-boy sandwiches, and of course oysters, raw, fried, and baked. They also carry a very nice selection of French Growers Champagne, not to mention the Absinthe fountain and keg-erators. The joint has a nice live vibe. Busy and loud, in comforting sort of way, like an oyster bar should be.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Observatory

Anyone that's lived in Portland for any amount of time knows the flavor of 82nd Avenue, especially between Holgate and Washington, is a bit tangy. But just a block west on Stark the hippest new locale is The Observatory, who's flavorful dishes are putting the Montavilla neighborhood on the culinary map. A place for regulars and destination diners alike, The Observatory is just as likely to have tables full of those seeking a nice dinner out as it is to accomodate a group of locals looking to sip mystic, fruit and tea infused cocktails over a three-hour game of Scrabble. Dinner to impress, or just a place to hang out, The Observatory is well worth a look.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Lil' Hip-Hop

Lil' Wayne and crew stormed the Rose Garden last Thursday and the show was absolutely live and outta control, complete with girl-fights and pyrotechnics. The former Cash Money All-Star had the crowd of over ten thousand bouncing off the roof. Wish I coulda got you in a bit closer but because of the fire and explosions, tour management had us photogs way back at the sound board instead of up in the pit. It's always so comforting to know they really care about our health and well being. Let's just hope I don't have to pass a drug screening any time soon 'cause it was a lil' smokey in there.