Portland Food: Meriwether's

There’s been enough blog fodder over the last week that I have not had a chance to write about the meal I had last Saturday night. J took me to Meriwether’s for my birthday. It’s a restaurant with its own farm so each day the menu changes based on what they’ve harvested. It’s an interesting concept and one that plays right into the whole locavore movement in Portland.

Right off the bat, they got 5 stars for carrying half bottles of champagne—the perfect size for one person. I guess it’s the bubbles but I always love champagne for special occasions. Cheers! 

Surprisingly, for a Saturday night, the restaurant was not that full. It made me apprehensive that I’d chosen poorly (despite the champagne) but the arrival of our appetizers allayed my fears. J had sardines and avocadoes on crostini and said it was delicious. I had gravlax on toast and it was also delicious—the salmon tender and lightly coated with olive oil.  

For entrees J had the pork ragout and I had crab risotto. Again, I was a bit nervous because a lot of restaurants don’t do a good job with risotto—they either undercook or overcook it. Disastrous both ways. Happily, the birthday gods were with me because this was one of the best risottos I’ve ever had. Cooked perfectly, with fresh baby spinach, tiny bits of fresh crab, lemon zest and parmesan. SUBLIME. My only regret was that I ordered the smaller portion as I could easily have eaten more, but probably best that I didn’t. I can still taste it; it was that good. Creamy with the sweetness of the crab against the hint of bite from the lemon zest—divine. I was a very happy girl. 

Oh, and J’s meal was also great. He got the pork ragout with hand-cut pappardelle. Again, they got the balance of protein to vegetable and starch right so rather than overwhelm the dish with slabs of pork there were smaller pieces throughout. This is always a good sign to us. Not to lecture, but your protein shouldn’t be the largest item in your meal. Rather, your veg should be, then grain, then protein. My risotto was the same way with the crab shredded into smaller bits. It’s so much healthier that way and you still get all the flavor you need. Lecture over.
It was a quiet night of wonderful food, which makes for a lovely birthday.