Monday, September 26, 2011
Our costumes were not consistent with the dining room apparel at Castagna. Although this is a fine dining restaurant, it was the rare customer that was tied or jacketed.
Canada has discount pharmaceuticals, Thailand has cheap cosmetic surgery and Portland has inexpensive eats - the tasting menu ran $95 plus $55 for wine pairings.
Buttermilk puffs with herb powder and trout roe:
... were a light and tangy amuse that hinted at the complex creations to come.
Black sesame butter coated frozen discs:
... of sesame crackers with a dab of rosehip puree. These lozenges brought to mind pb&js in outer space.
Wheat and rye crackers were spread with a bit of chicken liver mousse and rolled in poppy seeds:
... in an offal seedy starter sewn up with sips of Prossecco.
... in a dip of potato puree were salinified sheets of shattering spud starch. These transparencies were developed with chives and creme fraiche.
... were cured, smoked and brushed with molasses to create crisp strips that dissolved porkily on the palate. These jaw droppers were wedged into charcoal to show off their sheer swiney seduction.
Pickles were poised with frozen nasturtium nubs and foliage:
... with a squirt of aquavit gel and glugs of 2010 Arregi Getariako Txakolina.
Shitake ice isn't a new Smirnoff drink, it was sheets of shroom sleet creating an under glass effect to ribeye carpaccio with tomatoes, mustard seeds and herbs:
This purslane plumed 'paccio paired pleasingly with 2010 Chateau Virgile, Costieres de Nimes.
Smoked cheese enveloped a duck egg yolk:
... delivered with salivatious letters of garlic and herbs. Tomato tea was an embryonic tonic taken with Teutonic Riesling.
A plug of smoked bone marrow offered support to a dried, cooked and raw bouquet of vegetables:
Garlic puree bolstered roots and shoots with a 2008 Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Blanc.
Snapping twigs of potato skins with pine, chanterelles created a nourishing nest for a smoked quail egg:
... which went down the hatch with a 2009 Vessigaud Macon-Fuissé.
Hot rye bread was formed into muffin mounds:
... and served with house churned butter topped with brown butter solids:
... (we resisted eating the rock platform) and a smoked lardo infiltrated with herbs, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds.
Reduced milk with thyme and hay spilled from a hollowed squash next to a stump of hen roulade:
... tootsie rolled in its skin. A 2010 Domaine Cheysson Chiroubles chugged cheerily with this fine fowl.
The aged beef wasn't our thing:
Although nicely sous vided and seared, the meat offered more resistance than flavor and the vinegar on the cipollini dominated the dish. Hops offered herbaceous help and sugared onion loops adorned a cheese ball planet that didn't pull us into the orbit of this dish served with a 1999 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco.
A phenomenal lemon pulp sherbet:
... blew us away with a light as air, candy floss texture to this delicate dessert. The server explained that they "suck out the atmosphere" before freezing this citrus sensation served with a wild flower meringue with a boutonniere of borage.
Freeze dried blueberries, fresh huckleberries and walnut nougatine with a fig "milk":
... was gilded with 2008 Andrew Rich Gewurztraminer.
Tarragon touched off a vanilla ice cream with malt, ground cherries and a branch of almond cookie:
... with a hive of 2006 Royal Tokaji Aszu.
Espressi and hazelnut pralines rolled in chocolate:
... filled us to capacity after this impressive parade of plates. We were struck by the emphasis on textures and the pristine produce that permeated every cool composition.
Castagna also has a neighboring café that we plan on checking out (if we can resist returning directly to this restaurant for more of their 'triguing tucker.
1752 SE Hawthrone Blvd.