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Castagna & Cafe Castagna


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#181 John DePaula

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Posted 27 May 2011 - 07:37 PM

Had lunch today at Cafe Castagna. The dish I chose was the fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce pizza with pepperoni.

The good news is that it's probably one of the best pies in town. Crust is delicious, crunchy and lavash-like on the edges. And hey, it's not BURNED!

The down side was took rather a long time to get the pizza and when it arrived, it was BARELY warm. Oh well, it was quite delicious, though...
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#182 BiscuitQueen

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:16 AM

I am SO glad the Cafe started doing lunch again. I had the pork pate and gruyere sandwich on a baguette yesterday and I can't stop thinking about it. Yum.

#183 Adam

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Posted 16 June 2011 - 12:02 PM

Had lunch today at Cafe Castagna. The dish I chose was the fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce pizza with pepperoni.

The good news is that it's probably one of the best pies in town. Crust is delicious, crunchy and lavash-like on the edges. And hey, it's not BURNED!

The down side was took rather a long time to get the pizza and when it arrived, it was BARELY warm. Oh well, it was quite delicious, though...


I always forget that CC serves pizza. The photos I've seen of it don't look all that great to me, but one of these days I'll definitely have to try it (and I'll take your advice and order the pepperoni pie). And since I'm moving back to Portland next month, that'll happen sooner rather than later.

#184 jennifer

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:26 AM

Uggh, According to Eater, Lightner is moving to NYC to open a small space in Tribeca. Last day at Castagna is July 30.

#185 Quo Vadis

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:35 AM

A big loss for Portland but can't help but be happy for chef Lightner.
Warms the heart to see hard work and dedication pay off.
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

#186 jennifer

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:41 AM

A big loss for Portland but can't help but be happy for chef Lightner.
Warms the heart to see hard work and dedication pay off.


Like!

#187 Calabrese

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 05:36 AM

I hope Monica finds an equally talented replacement. Lightner helped Castagna shine.

#188 Calabrese

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 09:18 AM

Had my b'day dinner part 1 @ Castagna last night. Justin Woodward does the place justice. Some friends who I first introduced to Castagna had been there recently and raved about their meals (and since I am not being allowed to go to the beach for my b'day) so I decided to make this my splurgey b'day meal.

It was fantastic. There were 3 amuse bouche, each molecular gastronomy dishes, and a seeded roll served with both sweet butter and lardons with herbs before the meal started. Amuse bouche 1 was a "puff with greens and trout eggs". Another was dried pork turned into a bacon like crisp. My date shared with me.


Stand-out items....Chanterelles with young pine, leaves and watercress, Chinook salmon with cream, eggplant, amaranth, toasted nuts and seeds , and the peaches with mint, peach sorbet and French toast bits.


We each got the pairings for what we ordered. They were spot on though not as inspired as what Michael does at Genoa.


It was a very stellar meal and service was excellent.


I used to be dubious about molecular gastronomy but the meals I have had at Castagna have changed my mind.

#189 pwillen1

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 03:42 PM

Had my b'day dinner part 1 @ Castagna last night. Justin Woodward does the place justice. Some friends who I first introduced to Castagna had been there recently and raved about their meals (and since I am not being allowed to go to the beach for my b'day) so I decided to make this my splurgey b'day meal.

It was fantastic. There were 3 amuse bouche, each molecular gastronomy dishes, and a seeded roll served with both sweet butter and lardons with herbs before the meal started. Amuse bouche 1 was a "puff with greens and trout eggs". Another was dried pork turned into a bacon like crisp. My date shared with me.


Stand-out items....Chanterelles with young pine, leaves and watercress, Chinook salmon with cream, eggplant, amaranth, toasted nuts and seeds , and the peaches with mint, peach sorbet and French toast bits.


We each got the pairings for what we ordered. They were spot on though not as inspired as what Michael does at Genoa.


It was a very stellar meal and service was excellent.


I used to be dubious about molecular gastronomy but the meals I have had at Castagna have changed my mind.


I'm glad to hear castagna has stayed fantastic through the chef change. It's an amazing place that's unique to the west coast.
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#190 pdx city-state

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 01:11 PM

I went on Friday night. I had kinda written the place off when Matt Lightner left, but some friends wanted to go. Gotta say--it was as good as ever.

#191 JimProuty

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 08:24 PM

We finally pulled the trigger on having dinner at Castagna just the other night.

I'd love to say that we'll be back, but probably not.
The food was excellent, but the price and wine pairings were not.

For about half the price of our $250 dinner for 2, we enjoyed our meal next door at Otto much more. And Paley's is a better value, too (though not half price).

The wine pairings included some not-so-memorable European whites, a dreadful Oregon red, and a rather good Port from somewhere. For the $70 for two wine pairings we'd have been better off choosing something we knew we liked.

#192 Wavy Navy

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

A first date and an adventure, all in one really great evening at Castagna last Friday. Although I didn’t make the reservations, it didn’t seem like seating was an issue at all even though this was a spur of the moment choice on Friday afternoon. My date was seated and enjoying a prosecco by the time I arrived. We decided to enjoy the 10-course menu and wine pairing.

Everything from start to finish really was impeccably executed. I would be hard-pressed to find fault with anything. One very trivial observation was that the service bordered on being too attentive (aside from the wonderfully brief and welcome descriptions of each course). Again, very trivial and didn’t impact anything at all.

I did not take notes or pictures and my attention was largely on my date more than it was on the meal. Although there were some absolute stand outs of the courses that we enjoyed –

Each of the four amuse bouches that arrived were quite good – from other reviews, I think they are somewhat standard and I would hope to enjoy one or all of them again on my next visit: buttermilk puff with herb aeoli, smoked slice of delicious pork ‘candy’ (my favorite), chicken liver mousse and another that I can't remember.

My favorite course was the first – wild steelhead smoked with lime and herb sponge. The texture of the steelhead was firm and the flavor was clean and sweet. I wanted more (and more and more). So good.

Second favorite was the petrale sole with a warm butter sauce. As with the steelhead, the sole was perfectly done – just a slight hint of kelp added to the essence of the fish and pulled the whole dish together.

Second to last was my third favorite – Castagna’s version of a deconstructed s’more. I wanted to lick the plate but for the fact that…it was Castagna and a first date.

The wine pairings were overall very well done. More often than not, we were nodding our heads in agreement with the choices.

Everyone expects an adventure/experience at Castagna and they absolutely came through.

#193 ariel88

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:02 PM

Welcome to the board, Wavy Navy!

#194 HappyHourHero

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 04:50 PM

I had my first experience at Castagna this week. The food was world class. I did the 5 course with wine pairings. It looked like this: (from their website)

1st }
Citrus cured sturgeon with cream cheese, aquavit and radishes
Cazin, "Le Petit Chambord" Cheverny 2010


2nd }
Carrots roasted in lemon thyme, shiso and black garlic
Leitz, "Dragonstone" Riesling, Rheingau 2010


3rd }
Petrale sole with aromas of early Spring and clam jus
André Neveu, "Le Grand Fricambault" Sancerre Rosé 2010

4th }
Beef with charcoaled onions and beets à la plancha
Des Hauts Chassis, "Esquisse" Croze Hermitage 2009


5th }
Goat's milk ice cream, dried cream and hay
Royal Tokaji, "5 Puttonyos" Tokaji Aszú 2007



Every preparation was thoughtfully put together. I love how every dish is garnished with wild greens. That being said, the service could have used some work. My father in-law who really cares less about food ordered the chicken off the a la carte menu. That was it... I don't know whether he is to blame for going to a fine dining establishment and ordering one course, whether the house is to blame for not informing him that he would be sitting for several hours while we ate our food, or whether I am to blame for not speaking up. Regardless, he did not eat until about 2 hours into the meal. Also, there was an occasion where silverware was forgotten with a course as well as a wine pairing with a course. The wine pairings did not particularly intrigue me. In the future I will drink beer or order a bottle of pinot. The pre and post meal "snacks" were interesting and playful. Despite the service hiccups, I will definitely return for special occasions. We are lucky to have this caliber of food at this price point in town.

#195 Angelhair

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:49 PM

They are doing a brewer's dinner Weds. with Upright:

Join Castagna restaurant and Upright Brewing for a special Brewer's Dinner. On Wednesday, April 4th we’ll host Alex Ganum of Upright Brewing to showcase the ease of pairing beer with modern cuisine. Chef Justin Woodward has prepared 4 courses, plus snacks, each course paired with an Upright beer. Alex will bring his limited release seasonal beers and a special treat for dessert. Seats are limited so call the dining room for reservations at (503) 231-7373.

Dinner will be served on Wednesday, April 4th at 6:30
4 courses, plus snacks, paired with beer $75
Gratuity included


Snacks
Upright Four

Cauliflower in various textures with oyster, horseradish and oxalis
Upright Gose

Citrus cured sturgeon with cream cheese, aquavit and radishes
Upright Five

Rib eye with smashed beets, charred onions and wild chives
Upright Oyster Stout

Meyer lemon curd with green juniper meringue and hefeweizen
Upright Fantasia Reserve

#196 jennifer

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:32 PM

Eater just posted that Cafe Castanga's new chef is Jeff Emerson from Alba. Wonder if this means we'll be seeing some great pasta on the menu. I loved Alba!

#197 averilpdx

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 10:19 AM

I could have sworn there was a thread for Castagna. Couldn't find it. Wondering if anyone has been here lately. Thinking of going for my birthday splurge dinner. Thanks!

#198 Angelhair

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

I could have sworn there was a thread for Castagna. Couldn't find it. Wondering if anyone has been here lately. Thinking of going for my birthday splurge dinner. Thanks!


I went to that brewer's dinner that I posted about above. I thought the meal was both delicious and delightful. Unexpected flavor combinations in whimsical packages. I think it would be a great choice for a birthday.

#199 averilpdx

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 09:36 AM

We did end up going to Castagna for my birthday. It was amazing! We had the 5 course menu which is mostly the same as the one online- http://castagnaresta...tml?page_id=641
The shrimp dish was replaced with a salmon dish. It was a few slices of tender, flavorful fish topped with "frozen yogurt", which was wafer thin slices of yogurt frozen into sheets that melted on your tongue as you ate them. Every dish was a symphony of textures and flavors. Presentation was wonderful as well- down to the plates and slabs of slate or rocks that were used. For me, it struck just the right balance between surprising/novel and just plain delicious. Portions are small, but for me the 5 course was just enough food ( especially with the yummy homemade rolls and butter and a few free nibbles before and after) Service was great as well.
When we arrived at 6:30 on Thurs. night there was one two top sitting outside and NO ONE in the dining room. As we sat there a total of 5 or 6 people came in. I get that this is a relatively pricey dinner, but it saddened me to see the 5 or 6 people in the kitchen, creating this beautiful food, and not nearly enough customers. The waiter said they are going to change the menu/pricing- maybe having a 7 course (as opposed to a choice of 5 or 10) and an a la carte menu so it's not such a $$ commitment to just walk in the door. I hope this helps bring in more people. I won't start the whole "Portland is a bunch of provincial hicks who only want burgers and comfort food and beer" argument, but it will be a real loss if this place can't sustain itself.
This was one of the best meals I've had anywhere. If you are so inclined, please give this place a chance.

#200 ExtraMSG

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 10:16 AM

When we arrived at 6:30 on Thurs. night there was one two top sitting outside and NO ONE in the dining room. As we sat there a total of 5 or 6 people came in. I get that this is a relatively pricey dinner, but it saddened me to see the 5 or 6 people in the kitchen, creating this beautiful food, and not nearly enough customers. The waiter said they are going to change the menu/pricing- maybe having a 7 course (as opposed to a choice of 5 or 10) and an a la carte menu so it's not such a $$ commitment to just walk in the door. I hope this helps bring in more people. I won't start the whole "Portland is a bunch of provincial hicks who only want burgers and comfort food and beer" argument, but it will be a real loss if this place can't sustain itself.


You don't have to. Others will:

http://pdx.eater.com...-pdx-vs-nyc.php

In his most recent interview with Bloomberg critic Ryan Sutton, Ricker explains the price differences in the cities, particularly why he uses $20 Label Rouge chickens in New York versus $12.50 whole game hens in PDX. "Price plays a part in the separate markets. The Label Rouge hens are delicious, better than the game hens but Portland Punters would never pay the price, despite lip service about sourcing and sustainability. You guys [New Yorkers] are more sophisticated and richer."


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