Salmon and trout make up a huge part of the Pacific Northwest's seafood economy, so it's no surprise that hyper-local restaurants like Ned Ludd in Portland feature fish prominently on their menu. Most of these dishes at Ned Ludd are prepared in their huge wood-fired oven, which means adaptation is the name of the game when cooking this fish at home.
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Roost's Seared Panzanella Chicken stood out amongst the rest of the poultry recipes in Portland, Oregon Chef's Table for its rustic restraint. The chicken is simply seared skin-side down and finished in the oven. The panzanella component is no more than caramelized garlic, oil-cured olives, toasted bread, parsley, and chicken jus. Each plate is finished with a whiff of arugula salad and a drizzle of extra jus. Nothing more, nothing less.
I ate at Andy Ricker's Ping a couple of times right when they opened in 2009. The food was a little hit and miss, but one dish was spot-on every time: the carrot cake. Not to be confused with the American dessert, Ricker's carrot cake is actually made from daikon and rice flour, and is sort of like Southeast Asian gnocchi. The dumpling-like cakes come stir-fried in a slightly sweet soy and garlic sauce, scrambled with eggs, bean sprouts, and cilantro.
While many restaurants offer over-the-top dishes of fried meats smothered in gravy, Southeast Portland's Toast offers simpler (but no less hangover-curing) dishes like their egg and sausage sandwich puzzlingly named 'Go Home Thomas.' Their recipe offers directions for making each element from scratch, including the English muffin.
When Olympic Provisions opened up shop in 2009 (see our tour here), it was the first salumeria in Oregon officially licensed to produce and sell their own charcuterie. From then it was only a matter of time before the salumeria launched a couple of successful restaurants and a meat processing plate. Their food is, naturally, meat-centered, and their Porchetta Sandwich featured in Laurie Wolf's Portland, Oregon Chef's Table, is truly a testament to the pig.