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#1 hidenseek

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:21 AM

On our last "date night" we went to Carlyle. For the next one, my wife says she'd like to go to either Giorgio's or Olea. I think I know what the consensus here will be, but if you were in my shoes, which would you choose. If it helps, this will be part of an anniversary and birthday (hers) celebration. Thanks!

#2 pdxnewbie

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 11:30 AM

Hi
There is an intimacy and elegance to Giorgios that I did not find in the higher ceilinged, larger, noisier, brighter Olea.

#3 Epicurious

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Posted 07 September 2006 - 02:11 PM

I also second Giorgios. Far more intimate for what you describe as the occasion.

#4 hidenseek

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 07:18 AM

Thank you! Giorgio's it is. It's somewhat comforting that neither of you picked one over the other on the basis of food alone.

#5 Jill-O

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 06:41 PM

OK, we went to Giorgio's for dinner tonight. We shared a first course of peekytoe crab salad on an heirloom tomato/crouton/pesto salad ($16). Very tasty, and when we said we were going to share it, it came out on two plates (no fee for splitting it, either). Very nice.

We both ordered the same thing for our main course (yeah, I know, but it appealed to both of us and nothing else on the menu really did) a special of pork 3 ways: pork belly, roasted pork loin, tenderloin stuffed with dates and nuts - served with apples, potatoes and pearl onions with a nice reduction sauce and on a bed of apple and foie gras puree. ($27) It was a very tasty plate, everything was done to perfection and it all went beautifully together. The pork belly was simply amazing.

For dessert we ordered and shared two things, the chocolate cake with caramel ice cream, and the coconut panna cotta with passionfruit syrup and pistachio biscotti. ($8 each). The center of the chocolate cake was good, but the edges were burnt and the caramel ice cream was OK. The panna cotta was OK with good coconut flavor and a nice tart note of passionfruit, but the biscotti wasn't all that great. Dessert was the low point of the meal.

For the whole meal, including two glasses of wine, a mixed drink and a cup of decaf, it was around $117, not including tip. Service was very good, if a little brisk...we were there barely an hour.

The first two courses were very good and the service was good, but it was a bit expensive overall. Also, though many think the atmosphere is romantic/intimate, we really didn't. It was OK, but not something I would seek out as special...though it is a place where the food is good enough to go back. I wish more of the menu appealed to me, though. Maybe we will go back for lunch, when the entrees are $15 or so.

The food was better than our meal at Fenouil, and definitely better than our meal at Paley's (where the food and service left a lot to be desired...though the atmosphere is nicer there)...but none of the above, Girogio's included, have given us a meal/experience as good as any of the many meals we have had at Carlyle.

Looked at the menu of Olea as we walked past, and that might be nearing the top of our "to try" list.
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#6 hidenseek

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:40 PM

Now I'm feeling guilty for having asked for the recommendation, and not posting a review. Generally, I agree with Jill's though. I don't remember what my wife had - mushroom ravioli maybe - but I do remember that I was a little disappointed that the pappardelle wasn't quite drained well enough before they added the boar ragu, which made the dish a little watery. Everything else though was well presented and executed, and the space very appropriate to the occasion. So thanks again.

I'm not sure I'd agree with Jill's assessment of how Giorgio's stacks up against the other places (Fenouil has always been good for us) except her ranking of Carlyle. I've only been there for dinner once, but as for the food, that experience clearly stands apart from the other mentioned places. I'm wondering Jill, have you ever had the Chef's Whim dinner at Alberta Street?


......is next on our list, maybe sometime this month! :)


Haven't you been saying this for a couple months now? And it hasn't always been the same restaurant, has it?

#7 Jill-O

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:49 PM

I've been to Alberta Street and I wasn't impressed enough by the food I ate or the menu choices (then or since) to return. There's always something in the list of ingredients of a dish there that I don't like, or a combination of things in the dish that sounds disgusting to me.

I generally like the food at Fenouil, but I think the food we had at Giorgio's the other night was better...except the dessert, anyway.
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#8 pdxnewbie

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 02:51 PM

We had some sort of pasta at Giorgios and I have more memories of just how nice it all was rather than the food :)
Our problem is that we don't eat red meat so the menu is very limited for us. But we like it very much.

#9 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:57 PM

Went to Giorgio's tonight.

http://www.giorgiospdx.com/main.html

The room seems pleasant, though not especially nice, with large windows along the two sides of their corner space and a padded bench along the back wall. It's intimate, but not especially warm, comforting, or elegant. We were seated a bit near the door in front of the bathrooms, though. (Very boring bathrooms through a broom closet, essentially.)

They are an Italian restaurant, but it's very modern, upscale Italian food. It's to Italian what Hurley's is to French and it's apparent as soon as you see the menu: apple-foie gras puree, truffle spuma, tomato confit, etc. Appetizers range in price from $8 for soup to $16 a peekytoe crab salad with crushed avocado, ruby red grapefruit, and frisee. Other items include things like grilled octopus with shaved celery, tomato confit, and nicoise olives ($14) and homemade cappellini with bouchot mussells, herbs, and capezzana olive oil ($12).

Entrees range from $21 for wild mushroom ravioli with arugula and grana padano to lamb two ways for $32. Other items include dishes like butternut squash agnolotti with chanterelles and sage brown butter ($23) or pappardelle with wild boar ragu, moscato, and pecorino toscano ($24) or braised short rib with herb crust, crispy yukon gold potato, shaved fennel, and orange gremolata ($28) or pancetta crusted pork tenderloin with apple foie gras puree and grilled porcini ($27).

They started us with an amuse: a demitasse of potato-leek soup. It was tepid and perhaps a bit thick, but I enjoyed its flavor. It may have been a touch salty, but with such a small portion, I thought it was fine. There may have been a bit of truffle oil, though I'm not sure.

For apps, we got the roasted pumpkin soup ($8) and the polenta with ragu ($13). The pumkin soup -- my dish -- had a mild flavor that grew on me as I ate it. I still would have preferred a little more intensity, but it was enjoyable. It came with "spiced mousse" -- a dollup of creamy goodness that said pumpkin pie. There were little crunchy croutons that added a nice texture change, plus a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil.

The polenta was served as a bar -- my dining companion described it as looking like tofu -- crusted with small diced pieces of porcini mushrooms and crispy prosciutto. It was glazed with a meaty reduction. The polenta itself was very fine and creamy. Only in the finish could you tell that it was a grain. It was almost more like the consistency of a creamy cheesecake or stiff panna cotta. Good textural contrast with the mushrooms and ham.

For my entree, I got the crispy red bream with lentils, shallot marmalade, and black truffle spuma ($27). The fish was cooked perfectly. It was meaty and moist with a layer of crunchy skin. The lentils were perhaps a touch overdone, but still had bite to them. There was a nice mix of peppery earthiness, sweetness, and aroma from the accompaniments. I really liked the truffle spuma, though it was really just a frothy truffled cream sauce.

My dining companion got a special, lamb two ways: medallions and braised shoulder. Both ways were excellent, served over braised greens and split grape tomatoes. I can't remember much else of the dish. I only got to try a couple bites, but what I had was very good. The braised lamb was permeated with the flavor of a reduced, perhaps somewhat sweet, red wine and tomatoes. It lit up every part of the tongue. The medallions were perfectly medium rare and juicy.

For dessert, I got the special, a pumpkin or squash cheesecake with sage ice cream and a balsamic reduction ($8) and my dining companion got the molten chocolate cake with caramel ice cream ($8). I liked my dessert, though I didn't love it. My dining companion despised it. I thought the ice cream was similar to other herb ice creams I've had, like mint, basil, lavendar, or green tea. The cheesecake could have been a little stronger and a little sweeter, but it was nice. The addition of the vinegar reduction did a good job of brightening the flavors.

The cake was a bit overcooked. We could smell it before it came out. The extra doneness made the shell a little bitter, though the caramel ice cream countered that some. The inside of the cake could have been more runny. It was still okay, though.

Overall a very good meal. As far as portions go, I think they're comparable to places like Carlyle or Hurley's. ie, they're a bit small and expensive, but they seem to be trying to earn it. My dining companion got the dish I was interested in so I picked a dish I wouldn't normally get, fish, because of the accompaniments and I thought it was very good.

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

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#10 mczlaw

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 10:56 PM

Sage does not belong in ice cream. It belongs in stuffing or maybe the set of a wild west movie.

There are few herbs that lend themselves to sweet treats--the citrusy types, for example, and the mint group. But most are just godawful. Rosemary is one. Sage, as we discussed. Tarragon, ick. I'm ambivalent about basil, but tend against. Same with lavender.

I want ice cream that tastes like a confection, not someone's excess garden trimmings.

--mcz


#11 Calabrese

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 12:14 AM

mcz - I disagree about lavendar ice cream. It's divine if done correctly. About 15 years ago, I was in a French place in Seattle and have their homemade lavendar ice cream with fresh raspberries. It's one of the best and most memorable desserts I have ever had. The berries and lavendar just played off of each other.

#12 Joisey

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 09:57 AM

--I want ice cream that tastes like a confection, not someone's excess garden trimmings.--

Then take a run down to Plaid Pantry and get yourself some Ben & Jerry's.

#13 SINworker

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Posted 05 November 2006 - 12:32 AM

Curious what people think of Frateli, it is between Olea and Girogio.

#14 mczlaw

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 08:54 PM

--I want ice cream that tastes like a confection, not someone's excess garden trimmings.--

Then take a run down to Plaid Pantry and get yourself some Ben & Jerry's.



J: I suppose if I wanted Ben & Jerry's, I'd go to Ben & Jerry's. And believe me, with a 9 y/o, I have been there plenty. My preference is fresh fruit gelatos from Mio or Alotto, but alas, the season has passed. Now that I'm thinking about it, I don't recall seeing any bizarre herbal gelato varieties at these two or even at Extra's fave, Via Delizia. I could stand corrected on this, however.

But do tell: what garden trimmings flavors do you like and where do you go for them?

--mcz

#15 Amanda

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 09:02 PM

The basil ice cream that Carlyle sometimes has tastes incredible. But I'm much more into savory than sweet (allegedly, as extraMSG would say). Gooey, sticky blizzard-type concoctions do nothing for me. Gelato doesn't even thrill me. Sorbets and sherbets are good every now and then, though, if the mood so strikes me.

Best regards,

Amanda

#16 ExtraMSG

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Posted 06 November 2006 - 11:37 PM

If not lawn clippings, how about chicken fried steak:

http://www.dallasfoo...e...icle&sid=76

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

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#17 mczlaw

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 06:47 AM

If not lawn clippings, how about chicken fried steak:

http://www.dallasfoo...e...icle&sid=76



1. Nick, you have sick friends.

2. As long as savory ingredients aren't combined with sugar and offered as dessert, I am OK with ice cream made from them. Consider this an addendum to my earlier diatribe. Of course, at Giorgio's, the sage ice cream WAS served for dessert. Blecch.

--mcz

#18 Jill-O

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Posted 07 November 2006 - 09:11 AM

They have a problem with that chocolate cake. When we were there and ordered it, it was burnt at the edges too.

Not nice at all...especially since they make a point in saying that it is cooked to order and that there is a short wait for it. If you're making me wait an extra 15 minutes or so for dessert it would be nice if it wasn't burnt.
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#19 Twitch

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 01:44 PM

Went for lunch today. It's close to my office and I was tired of long cold walks.

Had:
Fluke with cauliflower, morels, potatoes, red wine syrup (latter I got on the side).

They treat their vegetables really really well. Potatoes and broccoli were perfectly cooked in butter and oil with a bit of chives. The morel was just at that point where you could aggressively cut it with a fork.

The cut of fluke wasn't great, and it was overcooked. Little bit fishy, little bit tough. My least enjoyable part of the plate.

The place was empty at noon. I love restaurants where you go in and they only offer you two tops, when it's obvious that the twenty-plus four-tops aren't going to be used during service. Two ladies came in while I was wrapping up.

Portion size was definitely small. For $15, I would not call it a good value. Food took quite a while to come out for being the only person in the place 40 minutes into service.

#20 mczlaw

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 03:25 PM

The cut of fluke wasn't great, and it was overcooked. Little bit fishy, little bit tough. My least enjoyable part of the plate.

Portion size was definitely small. For $15, I would not call it a good value. Food took quite a while to come out for being the only person in the place 40 minutes into service.


Maybe it was just a fluke. . .or else they had to thaw it out :)

--mcz