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#201 Quo Vadis

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 08:14 AM

sACMAN...

"Quo Vadis, insofar as photography goes...

There is NO "right to privacy" in a public space, which a restaurant surely is.. None. This holds true with regard to photography. Over and over again, the courts in the United States have found this to be the case. If I am in a retail establishment, unless I have done something criminal (like shoplift), the best the proprietor can do is kick me out. They can't demand my film, detain me, search me, hold me, or anything other than kick me out."

"What the law allows honor forbids" is a good old quote.
It should be basic decency and respect that keeps you from photographing people who are just trying to do their fucking JOBS and publishing them all over the place without their permission.

Just because you won't go to jail for it doesn't mean it is decent, honorable, ok, kind or even... nice.

It is about acknowledging that whatever you paid for you meal doesn't give you a right to the privacy of a person who just happens to be doing their job. How would you like it if people were snapping photos of you all day picking your nose at your desk?

If you want a picture of someone who is working their ass off just trying to give you a decent meal the least you can do is ASK. By not asking you show that either you don't care how they feel about it or you recognise that they would probably rather you NOT take the picture.

Either way, Sacman... really?

Also, I don't know about the restaurants you go to... but mine happens to be private property. :wub:
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#202 Egads

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 08:38 AM

I have to say I'm kind of surprised that the photography thing is an issue at all. In this day of smartphone proliferation, I can't even begin to count the number of times I've been at dinner with someone, and they whip out their iPhone, take a picture of the burger that just got delivered to their plate, and email it to their spouse, girlfriend, friend, etc. Happens all the time. In other words, it's not just bloggers. I think restaurants are right to fear that someone will post poorly composed photos on a blog, and that people will be scared off, thinking the food doesn't look good when in reality its the photos that aren't good. There's really no way around this. But when has that not been an issue? How many people have gone and told their friends that Apizza Scholls "would be better if they didn't burn the crust"? Restaurants can't control their patrons passing along bad info, whether that info takes the form of a bad photo, or inaccurate information.

As for the celiac--in my view Sacman is 100% correct here, and I'm baffled that it's even an issue. He very clearly told the server about a dietary need, and the restaurant failed to follow through. If a Muslim came in and said I can't eat pork, and then ordered a soup that he was told contained vegetable stock but also, unbeknownst to him, contained small bits of pancetta--that's the restaurant's fault, not his. The diner should not be obligated to say "does it have _____? What about ______?" Saying "I can't eat gluten" should suffice.

My wife and I deal with this from time to time--she's a vegetarian, so we make sure to ask about stocks, gelatin, things like that. However, she is a vegetarian for ethical reasons, not dietary. If we get a dish and the sour cream has gelatin in it, that's life. She won't get sick from it. Celiac is a different issue altogether. If you're a restaurant and you have a "meh, that's the way it goes" attitude over giving a diner inaccurate information WHEN THAT INFORMATION DEALS WITH THE DINER'S HEALTH, then you suck. Case closed. You flat out are not good at your job, and I hope you go out of business. Oh noes, too many diners make special requests!1!1! Go cook in a hospital cafeteria, or Old Country Buffet.

#203 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 08:55 AM

What bothers me about Sacman's post that has generated so much controversy is too much ego! I read the post before everyone jumped in and my thought was that it added nothing to the overall sense of the quality of the food or service at Le Pigeon. It focuses too much on an experience that tells me nothing about what might happen to me if I were to visit Le Pigeon. So you had a bad experience. Do you really need to lay it out for everyone to see, illustrated by photos even?

I mean really, you've been to this place multiple times. You've seemed to have a satisfying experience each time. So what is the point of making a big deal about one experience that is clearly out of the norm?


This seems contradictory. You're essentially saying that Sacman's post adds nothing to your sense of what dining at Le Pigeon is like because it gives too much information and is too detailed.

Sacman has done the right thing here. He continues to give an honest account of his meals, whether good or bad, which gives us a more informed expectation of a meal at Le Pigeon. Restaurants make mistakes. He was the first to say that he has had good meals there and that this was anomalous. But bad meals or dishes shouldn't be ignored just because they're not the norm. And even if we disagree with Sacman's intepretation or conclusions about his experience, that doesn't mean that he's wrong to relate the experience itself. The opinions that were controversial have been argued about, some people defending them, some people attacking them.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#204 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 09:37 AM

I moved the meta-discussion on allergies and diets and how to deal with them here:

http://www.portlandf...?showtopic=9671
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#205 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:02 PM

A messier but more comprehensive split of the photos-in-a-restaurant meta-discussion has been moved here:

http://www.portlandf...?showtopic=9674
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#206 Amanda

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 11:18 AM

I wondered if I'd ever get to Le Pigeon, but I had a "gift certificate" from Restaurants.com with the intention of going for burgers sometime. Instead we ate for real.

We were seated at a long table, but others were further down and when the place began to fill up the seats next to us still remained empty, so it wasn't a painful, communal experience. We had our space and I was thrilled.

I thought we'd go easy on the spending, but it ended up being a big splurge instead. We ordered a split of Belle Pente Pinot Noir. Lovely, lovely wine. They gave us plenty of bread and butter with sparkles of salt. That was really great. Nice of them to be generous with it in a time when other places charge for bread and butter (ahem, Park Kitchen).

To start we had the hamachi nicoise salad. This was wonderful. The fish was cooked nicely and a bit on the rare side - Not dry and chewy like some places do. The green beans and other veggies were crisp yet tender and so fresh tasting. Lightly dressed. This was a winner.

For entrees John had the rabbit with apples, parsnip, and chestnut. It was really good. The rabbit was crunchy and had an apple-saucy gravy over it. It had a wonderful warm, autumny flavor that we both thought was great. I had the beef cheeks bourguinon. It had some carrots, thinly-sliced potatoes, and maybe parsnip or another root vegetable accompanying it. It had a rich, robust flavor that reminded me of a similar dish some years ago that I tried and loved, but can't remember where. This was definitely a great choice.

We even went for desserts. We got creme brulee, which came with a cappuccino pot au creme and a chocolate shortbread cookie. The creme brulee was the standard wonderful stuff you can get everywhere. The cookie was OK. I was shocked by the pot au creme, though. I had a bite, even though I dislike the taste of coffee, it was smooth, creamy, and sweet without a hint of bitterness. This is the first time I've tasted anything with coffee flavoring in it that I thought I could actually enjoy. I didn't even make an ugly face. We also got carmel cake with chocolate sauce, bananas foster, and peanut butter whipped cream. Kind of an Elvis-y type dish we couldn't resist. It was very good, as well. The cake seemed just a tad on the dry side, but with the chocolate and the whipped cream it was fine. I loved the bananas foster. I could have just eaten those alone and been satisfied.

So there you have it. Never say never. I made it to Le Pigeon with my beautiful man. Service was fantastic. I was happy for that after hearing about Sacman's poor service experience there. It wasn't noisy during the time we were there and without people sitting next to us, we had a great time. We didn't see anyone there who looked under 30 and those on the youngish side were with over 40's it seemed like. I don't know if that is their standard clientele or if it's just because we supped early. I'm not sure if I'll go here again or not, but I can say that this experience was a good one. With the "gift certificicate" it all ended up costing us $103 with tip. I think the total bill was originally $107 or thereabouts. This is a nice special occasion place. I didn't really have the cash to blow, but I did it anyway and at this point I have no regrets to speak of.

Best regards,

Amanda

#207 ExtraMSG

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 02:59 PM

Re-posted from the vegan thread...

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The best prepared of the Portland fine dining restaurants I visited -- and the last one I'll report on -- was Le Pigeon. Honestly, I was surprised when I called that they were so receptive. I didn't even bother calling Beast, knowing their policy, and I figured the restaurant that only makes five burgers a night and then makes everyone else order pork belly and beef cheeks, would be more like Toro Bravo and just tell me that what they had was what they had. Nope. The person on the phone was one of the more enthusiastic people I talked to about a reservation. She said that the kitchen enjoyed making something special and that those who'd had the meals had been quite pleased. Okay. When Sel Gris was so unreceptive, surprisingly, that gave it the final slot.*

When we got there and sat down, one of the first questions from the server was which of us was vegan. She then said that the kitchen was looking forward to the meal and had prepared a full meal for me if I wanted to put myself in their hands. If I had any requests or things I didn't like, she said they'd be happy to take them into account. She even said the kitchen wanted to know if honey was okay because they had a special dessert planned. (I said yes to the honey.) I should add that I've bitched a little about service at Le Pigeon before. They're charging similar prices to Wildwood, Paley's, Bluehour, and Ten-01. Maybe a little lower since they don't have NY steaks, but basically about the same. But in the past, the service hadn't been as attentive as those places. I don't need formal service -- I don't even like formal service -- but it's nice to think the server gives a damn about my meal. In the past, I'd felt sometimes like I was in the way at Le Pigeon. That was definitely not the case this night and just paying attention it seems like Le Pigeon may have put some effort into service.

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Kind of weak bread, just some baguette, but they did bring oil for me without me asking and had a pat of butter topped with a sprinkle of salt for my wife.

I've been avoiding showing the meat dishes in this thread for the most part, just linking to them mostly. And especially with this one, maybe I shouldn't offend the sensibilities of the vegans, but damn if this didn't look like a fantastic foie gras course:

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That's a foie gras and avocado terrine with lemon brioche toast and cherry tomato jam. I believe the yellow bits around the outside of the terrine are preserved lemon. The avocado was "lemon cured" as well, if I remember correctly, probably to keep it from discoloring as much as anything. Great idea. It's the vegetable version of foie gras with the animal version. My wife said the various elements did a great job of countering the richness of the foie.

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I started with a salad of escarole, pickled peppers, tomato jam, and croutons on a ripe slice of tomato. I think there was something citrusy, too, perhaps the preserved lemon from their regular escarole salad. A vibrant dish -- it really packed a punch and tickled the tongue.

My wife got the poussin with shell beans, corn, and chanterelles with a slice of tomato. I think there was some sort of pesto as well. It was a big dish and she took about half of it home. I had to take most of the meat off the bone for her and it was still quite moist, not overcooked at all.

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My entree started with a bed of fregola, a sort of over-sized cous cous, even bigger than Israeli cous cous. Atop the pasta was a nice summer mixture of chanterelles, corn, summer squash, frisee, cherry tomatoes, and green beans. A garlicky dairy-free pesto brought everything together as did a splash of acid.

My wife got the apricot bread pudding with noyaux ice cream. She seemed to really like it.

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However, they easily gave me the best vegan dessert of the entire month and my favorite dish of the night: a grilled peach topped with apricot slices, raspberries, basil, honey, and a cinnamon crisp. Terrific. This was some sort of candied citrus peel and lemon sauce as well. It was bright, with several layers and variations of sweetness. There was the juicy, meltingly tender grilled peach in contrast the the crisp cracker. The cinnamon added a spicy element that countered so much sweet. The aromatic basil added one more complimentary layer of flavor. I didn't envy those with bacon-maple ice cream this night.

Definitely one of the best experiences of this whole thing. I know it can be hard for vegans to reach out to a restaurant that revels in its carniverocity. But I can say that these carnivores are reaching out to vegans with open arms. I was impressed.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#208 ExtraMSG

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 04:06 PM

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Went to Le Pigeon the other night, primarily to try their burger. It's been several years since I've had it.

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My dining partner started with the spaghetini. Slivers of tender lamb belly mixed with sweet peas studded the pasta, everything bound together in a light, creamy sauce. Everything was covered in parmesan. The dish was a flavor bomb. Super intense, like a tasting menu item where three bites could impress on your palate for days. That's what I love about Le Pigeon's approach. Skate or go home. It's not timid food.

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I couldn't go to the pigeon and just get a burger. I started with the pig's feet, a croquette of stewed pig's feet topped with sweet cippolinis, onion greens, a poached egg, and shavings of cured foie. Another flavor bomb. Love the croquette with a crunchy, dark brown crust and soft, meaty interior. Egg could have been gilding the lily, but it didn't matter with the wonderfully bright yet rich cured foie. We were sitting at the bar and I asked about the flavors and where the citrus notes were coming from. Gabe went into a lengthy explanation of the convoluted process of developing the dish. It was dizzying. My dining partner said something sarcastic like, "Simple home cooking, then." Not simple in creation, but simply delicious.



My dining partner got the salmon, but I don't even remember it. I was too busy dealing with my beautiful burger and watching it be made.

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Burger comes with home fries or salad. I chose the former. Darn good home fries. Ultra crisp and deeply flavored. They truly crunched in the mouth and I had a hard time not over-indulging.

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The burger comes on a ciabatta roll with vinegary stewed onions, a thick layer of cheese, and a tangy slaw. A very good house ketchup comes on the side. It's earthy, but brown sugar sweet, spiked with clove and all spice.

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This is one fucking messy burger. That's not a bad thing, but a bib would be useful. It's a pretty juicy burger. This one was undercooked a little, rare rather than mid-rare, but it's really that slaw that makes it so messy -- and so tasty. It's creamy and tangy. There's a dijon on the bun, too, that has a good hit of horseradish. Nice counter to the slaw and beef covered with cheese. The sweet and tangy onions help in this regard as well. They taste liked they've been stewed in balsamic. I'm usually not a big fan of ciabatta rolls for burgers, but with how sloppy this is, it works well. And, of course, it has better flavor than most buns.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#209 Twohearted

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:54 AM

With high end burgers, I don't care if the middle is undercooked or even raw just as long as it has a nice crust on the outside.
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#210 ExtraMSG

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 10:51 AM

Ideally, you would expect the higher-end the burger, the more likely it would be to be cooked as ordered, however.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#211 nervousxtian

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:39 PM

You've been a burger eating machine.. I see you got Fenouil, Lauro, Wildwood, and CC still to post!

#212 jennifer

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:02 PM

Uggh. I was trying to decide where I wanted to go for my bday. I've got a few weeks to decide but was thinking about Metrovino, Castanga or Le Pigeon. I think this just swung my vote.

#213 sacman

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:25 PM

mrs. sacman and I went our separate ways tonight after work. She volunteered at her charity of choice, while I made an emergency visit to a friend's business to resurrect a wayward router.

I give you this background so you can understand how I found myself driving, alone, across the Burnside bridge at about 7 p.m. And I was hungry, and I had no plans for dinner, and I hadn't been to Le Pigeon in nearly a year. A year! That's absurd. I decided to treat myself.

I had a salad, then the burger with the home fries.

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This is a salad of little gem lettuce, tiny fresh mozzarella balls, avocado, cucumber, and breadcrumbs. Tangy, light, crisp, and delicious.

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Here's a reverse angle, before I tore into this thing.

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That's one thin cucumber. They slice it a la minute, with a truffle slicer.

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This is the main event. Note the generous tub of house ketchup.

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The interior shot. I don't know how Nick manages to keep his burgers so well put together while he's slicing through them. This one was trying to slide all around the plate as I was hacking at it.

The burger was quite good, but not as good as I remembered. Throughout the meal, I was chatting with the sous chef, Eric (Gabe was off that evening). He told me that LePigeon had switched from the Strawberry Mountain beef to Cascade Natural. Apparently, Strawberry Mountain has been out of business for a while. I did notice - the burger didn't taste as beefy as normal.

Hard to tell from the photo, but the burger was cooked acceptably - it was pinker than the photo shows. Remember that these are all flash-less photos in a very dim restaurant. I think they turned out quite well, considering.

Another change was the potatoes. I noticed lots of crispy onions in them this time. Very much appreciated.

I was happy I stopped by. The host remembered me from my most recent visit, which was almost a year ago. Service was very prompt and pleasant. The food was, as always, great.

Frankly, the biggest disappointment for me was that the pig's foot croquette was off the menu. I am assured that they are going to try and work it back asap, though.

-sacman
- I am an employee of a Portland-based firm that has business relationships with several local food-related businesses.

#214 ExtraMSG

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:54 PM

They need to bring back the crispy pig tail!
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#215 sacman

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 11:11 PM

Oh! They did have a pig's ear dish on the menu, with spring onion. I nearly ordered it, and probably should have. I have decided that 2010 is the Year of the Pork.

-sacman
- I am an employee of a Portland-based firm that has business relationships with several local food-related businesses.

#216 Jill-O

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 01:40 PM

For those that love that burger, they will be serving it in Salem on May 23rd in the parking lot of Evening Land Winery:

http://www.eveninglandvineyards.com/

"Les Pinots in Le Parking Lot with Le Pigeon" is how they are billing it. $10 entry...
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#217 Jill-O

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:54 PM

From a press release:

Hamachi's delicate flavor can be enjoyed simply sliced and fanned across a plate, but where's the fun in that? We know this favorite fish is capable of so much more. This week we're featuring it three ways: paired with foie gras in a terrine, cured in the style of an Italian bresaola, and whipped into a subtle rillettes.
Call us at 503-546-8796 for a reservation, or walk in for a seat at the chef's counter.
Never give up! Never surrender!

#218 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 12:26 PM

http://www.portlandm...tens-le-pigeon/

Following our news that Lauren Fortgang was taking her veteran rolling pin to the highly anticipated Little Bird later this year, comes more sweet news: a new dessert role at Le Pigeon.

....

About that taco which has newly debuted on Le Pigeonís menu. Think: convenience store Drumstick ice cream cone, but with a high IQ. The homemade waffle cone is shaped like a taco and filled with fresh vanilla bean ice cream, good chocolate and peanuts. But wait, thereís more! All this is served over dulce de leche and a shot of homemade horchata in a sugar-rimmed glass.


The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole & Kenny & Zuke's

#219 Jill-O

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Posted 09 October 2010 - 01:07 PM

Cool, now who's hiring Steven Smith and all of the other talented pastry chefs in town?

Seriously, I miss his desserts...
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#220 Angelhair

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:45 PM

twitter is abuzz with news that Rucker has won the James Beard Rising Star award.