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#221 Flynn

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 02:54 PM

Breaking here: http://pdx.eater.com...e-year-2011.php

Fuck yeah, I say!

#222 nervousxtian

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 03:00 PM

Right on Gabe!!! Way to represent!!

#223 doglover

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 08:38 PM

Congrats to Gabe and the crew supporting him at LP!

#224 sacman

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 01:58 PM

Oh, dear. I just re-read this writeup and realized that it's basically a love letter. Meh, so what? I'm willing to bare my soul. Here goes:

Le Pigeon is the best restaurant in Portland.

There is no question in my mind. The flavors and textures are superbly balanced. The service these days is great. The prices are on the expensive side. And so what? For me to call any restaurant "best in the city" it simply must have the best-tasting, most delicious food. And Le Pigeon is it.

It's ridiculous how good the food is.

Here's what we had the other night.

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This is the "beef tongue with reuben flavors." The tongue is formed into a patty. That's the slab that looks kind of like a crouton, on the left. It's crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and absolutely loaded with beefiness. Then there's a house-made Thousand Island, with a couple riffs on cabbage. There's a green cabbage slaw underneath the dressing, super-thin shavings of purple cabbage on top, and the whole thing is topped with some cilantro sprigs.

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Cilantro? Sure, cilantro. It's a natural fit with a reuben. If you think about it, the herbacious cilantro scent is perfect for a dressing that's made of tomatoes, pickles, and a creamy component. This was fantastic. Rich, tart, and just packed with flavor.

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My toothpaste buyer ordered the crab. It's king crab, served with a sunchoke puree, celery, and a hollandaise sauce. I got a few forkfuls of this, and it was dizzyingly great. The crab was sweet, and so was that sunchoke sauce/puree. The celery was soft and served tossed with the crab. But those are celery greens atop the pile, to add some additional high notes to the dish. Awesome.

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We split our main. We got the pork with rapini, squash, romesco, and pancetta dressing. The dressing obviously included a substantial hazelnut component.

This was another layered dish. I just LOVE this kind of composed dish. The squash was served as a puree. Then a layer of rapini, then a boneless pork chop, and finally the dressing. There was a substantial hazelnut component as well.

And where was the romesco? It was here.

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Unbidden, the service staff brought an annotated menu to mrs. sacman, detailing how she should order her meal to avoid gluten. And that romesco? It's apparently got gluten in it, so it was served on the side. No questions, no muss, no fuss.

Bravo, Le Pigeon. Additionally, the service intentionally omitted the bread and butter. And, know what? The whole evening was very pleasant and easygoing, despite the fact that they were slammed. Zero service errors on a Friday night is a difficult thing to achieve. Sure, it was bustly and casual, but it was exactly as I expected. We did show up without reservations, so there was an hour-long wait to get a couple counter seats.

And there was also this:
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...a perfectly cooked pork chop. Looks a little rare in the shot. Well, it was rare, but less so than this picture belies. The pork dish was a top-10 for the year. The sunchokes were sweet and rich, the rapini added some crunch, the pork was big and flavorful, and the pancetta/hazelnut dressing added an even sharper crunch. Awesome.

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From my position at the counter, I couldn't resist taking some shots of the kitchen at work. Yes, that is indeed Gabe Rucker putting the finishing touches on a plate of the beef cheek.

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This is a plate of the veal marsala atop some brussels sprouts.

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Finally, we ordered a plate of cheese from Steve. We were amply warned that the crackers were not gluten-free, which was fine (I shared with the couple sitting next to us; they appreciated those thin, delicious, house-made crackers). We had: Alexis de Portneuf (blue cheese, from Quebec), Quattro Portoni Caseificio (Italy), and Tomme Crayeuse (France).

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All the cheeses were excellent. They were served with some lightly pickled apple and fig. Awesome, and served at exactly the right temperature.

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Le Pigeon has started to make their mignardises in-house. These were standard salted caramels enrobed in chocolate. Standard, but delicious.

And so, to return to the thesis: deliciousness. There are no Portland restaurants that make my eyes roll back in my head the way Le Pigeon does. You might find a better bang-for-buck experience, you will definitely find restaurants more focused on local/sustainable/organic, you will find places with more authenticity, and you will find places that cost more, less, and the same. But you simply will not find a restaurant with tastier food.

Le Pigeon is it. The place to go, when pure yumminess is what you seek.

This meal cost about a hundred bucks, including tip and a couple drinks.

My GOD, that was a great meal.

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

#225 nervousxtian

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:44 PM

Wife had never been to Le Pigeon. We were trying to figure out where to go, and on a whim ended up here.

Outstanding in every possible way.

#226 Flynn

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 10:32 PM

What did you have? I had leftover chicken salad and some Cheez-Its for dinner. Beat that.

#227 truth

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:34 PM

What did you have? I had leftover chicken salad and some Cheez-Its for dinner. Beat that.


I had 3 ribs at a party, take-out from Smokehouse 21. so nice, so smoky. no sauce needed. I would like to go to le pigeon some day.
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#228 nervousxtian

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 05:57 AM

Sorry was gonna post last night, and edit the post.. but things came up.

Anyhow, we both did the 5-course tasting menu.

1st up was the pork carpaccio with apricots, tuna, and greens. Apricots had been marinated in wine I believe, and the carpaccio was melt in your mouth good. Tuna was a very light tuna salad between the apricots and a tuna cream. The apricots and the pork worked great together, very good starter.

2nd we were served up the lobster and chicken tart. Was a dish composed of 3 parts, one side was a lobster salad with a vinaigrette, next what seemed the same vinaigrette in an ice cream, and last was the lobster and chicken tart. This was my wife's favorite dish, the vinaigrette was light and the sweetness of the lobster came out, surprisingly the ice cream worked well with the other two components. So much flavor in every bite.

3rd was the pheasant, mizuna, shiitakes. Pheasant was almost shredded meat under the mushrooms and mizuna, on top of it all was a shaving of a hard salty cheese. We were told what it was, but can't remember. Such a great umami dish. Mushrooms went fantastic with the pheasent and the mizuna. I could have ate a triple portion of this.

4th was lamb, risotto, peppers and fennel. Nicely cooked risotto with radish and green onions, loaded with cheese and cream on the bottom topped with super tender on the inside but crisped on the outside lamb topped with the peppers and fennel. I believe it was chili oil put around the outside of the risotto. Again, just out of this world flavors all over. Wife thought the meat was a tad salty, I thought it was perfect.

5th dish was dessert with strawberries in multiple ways with angel food cake and a foie gras cream puff. Angel food had strawberry sorbet, sauce, powder, and whole strawberry. Foie Gras cream puff was foie in just about every component with carmel. So deliciously rich and decadent. The opposite of the very light strawberry side.

Outstanding meal, and probably one of the best I've had in Portland. Just well matched assertive flavor combos and quality ingredients.

#229 Flynn

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 07:31 AM

That sounds magnificent. I've been many times and the only dish above I can recall having is the pheasant. I love that they aren't getting complacent.

#230 robert40

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Posted 29 July 2012 - 12:04 PM

Anyone happen to know who took this photo? Chef Rucker would like to use it in upcoming cookbook.
https://www.facebook.com/robert.rymarz.5?ref=tn_tnmn#!/photo.php?fbid=3112661830624&set=a.1559132913372.63442.1686767296&type=1&theater

#231 pwillen1

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:04 AM

So I edited Sacman's post, because it's essentially what I would have said.

 

I've been now almost 20 times, including last night, and have only had 2 misses (slightly overcooked dishes). An impossible batting average given how often the menu changes.

 

Last night the standouts were the Stuffed Mushroom with cornstarch spätzle, compressed pickled pears, gouda, hedgehogs.  The dish was really rich but the pears balanced it perfectly.  Brilliant.

 

The Butterscotch Pot de Creme had a Luxardo Maraschino cherry as a "surprise" inside--also excellent.
 

Oh, dear. I just re-read this writeup and realized that it's basically a love letter. Meh, so what? I'm willing to bare my soul. Here goes:

Le Pigeon is the best restaurant in Portland.

There is no question in my mind. The flavors and textures are superbly balanced. The service these days is great. The prices are on the expensive side. And so what? For me to call any restaurant "best in the city" it simply must have the best-tasting, most delicious food. And Le Pigeon is it.

It's ridiculous how good the food is.

The whole evening was very pleasant and easygoing, despite the fact that they were slammed. Zero service errors on a Friday night is a difficult thing to achieve.

From my position at the counter, I couldn't resist taking some shots of the kitchen at work. Yes, that is indeed Gabe Rucker putting the finishing touches on a plate of the beef cheek.

And so, to return to the thesis: deliciousness. There are no Portland restaurants that make my eyes roll back in my head the way Le Pigeon does. You might find a better bang-for-buck experience, you will definitely find restaurants more focused on local/sustainable/organic, you will find places with more authenticity, and you will find places that cost more, less, and the same. But you simply will not find a restaurant with tastier food.

 

 

All still true, including Gabe working the line.


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#232 jennifer

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Posted 15 June 2013 - 10:58 AM

I have to agree with Sacman.  We finally had the chance last night to use a year+ old gift certificate from my bro-in-law, and this was fantastic.  This is the best restaurant that I've been to in Portland. We're still mentally swimming through dinner last night.  7 course tasting menu and beautiful wine.  

 

Watching these 3 in the kitchen is my kind of theater. They were so calm, so organized, so much unspoken communication...like watching a dance.  Great to be able to have a seat up there and watch. 

 

There were many regulars in the place, I felt like we were guests at someone's dinner party.  I wish we could be regulars but for us, this is special occasion.  I'm just glad we finally got to experience it.  

 

I took pics, but they suck.  

 

This is the foie gras carpaccio.  The foie is brined (cured? marinated?) for a day in Pernot and something else.  The little black dots are a reduction of licorice candy, Pernot & orange. But it wasn't at all candy-sweet. The whole dish was like a Chopped basket.  "Green grapes, fennel, black licorice candy, fois gras, almonds."  I watched as other people had the same reaction with their first bite as I had.  "WOW!"  

fois%2520sm.jpg

 

This was a cheese course.  Another "WOW!"  Brulee'd Toscano cheese (it was like a thin layer of cheese mouse at the bottom that they sugared & torched), grilled cherries, 10 yr balsamic, and these croutons with powdered ramps, or some odd thing like that.  Who thinks of things like this?!?  Genius.

cheese_sm.jpg

 

We also got to try the beef cheeks, a couple of pastas, the foie profiteroles and this thing:  Clams casino with razor clams. "Wow!" was our word for the night.  Gabe was there cooking, all 3 of them brought dishes out to diners, everyone helped everyone and was genuinely happy to be there. Love this place. 

clams_sm.jpg



#233 mymil

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:30 AM

As of Saturday, Le Pigeon has both the maple bacon apricot cornbread AND curried carrot cake with cardamom-chevre ice cream and tamarind-lime sauce on their menu. The carrot cake, in my opinion, is better than the cornbread. Stunningly good, even.



#234 ariel88

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:39 AM

In the last few months I have had the privilege of eating here twice -- one tasting menu and one ordering off the menu. Simply stellar, especially the tasting menu (back in July). Le Pigeon never disappoints. And hats off to the service. We were seated at 9:30pm on Saturday, and though we were finishing dessert after midnight, we never felt rushed. In fact, we were encouraged to take our time.



#235 pwillen1

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 06:18 AM

Worth checking out this week, the Double Dragon Linguine. It's a confit of 6 months of meat scraps, tossed in a miso sauce. 

 

Limited time only.


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