My wife and I ate here recently as well. Great space. Really like the look of the all wood booths, the casually elegant lighting, and the copper counters overlooking the bar and the open kitchen. Lots of big windows, too. (One minor quibble is that the front door seems to be on some sort of hydraulics that make it keep opening on its own and shut slowly resulting in cold breezes that are unable to be curtailed; be wary if you sit near it.)
Menu is split into four sections: vegetables, fruits, grains & salads; fish & shellfish; meat, game & poultry; sweets. There's no clear distinction between appetizers and entrees within the sections, although I would guess that all the meat/poultry dishes are full entree size, whereas the fish and veggie sections are split. Price may be a good guide. Items range in price from $5 for soup to $20 for steak (doesn't say what cut). See below:
GRAINS & SALADS
Puree of Sorrel & White Bean Soup
With roasted garlic mascarpone $5
Mixed Salad of Wild Lettuce & Herbs
Tossed in "Italian, French, Thousand Island, ranch or blue cheese" vinaigrette $6
Wedge of Butter Lettuce
With "green goddess" dressing & soft boiled egg $6
Baked Green Garlic & New Crop Potato Hand Pie
With Bellweather farms ricotta cheese & a shaved chickory salad $13
Country Cat "Hobo Pack"
Toasted quinoa with wild mushrooms, rappini & fresh goat cheese $12
Grilled Artichoke Skewer
Basted in spring herb pesto with a marinated lima bean & pearl onion salad $12
FISH & SHELLFISH TABLE
Fish & Shellfish Chowder "Pot Pie"
With fennel, celery, leeks & potatoes $7
Scalloped Hood Canal Oysters
With chopped spring onion, horseradish, & garlic bread crumbs $12
Beer Battered-Fried Whole Rock Fish
With malt vinegar mayonnaise $11
Manila Clams, Smoked Country Ham & Sugar Peas
Steamed with mint, sour cream, lemon & thyme $15
On grilled brioche with bread & butter pickles $10
Bacon Wrapped Trout
With a pan braise of farmers market spring vegetables $16
MEAT, GAME & POULTRY
On a French onion bun with cheddar cheese, garlic mayonnaise & onion rings $10
Cast Iron Skillet Fried Chicken
With braised bibb leaf lettuce & grilled asparagus tossed in creamy Tabasco vinaigrette $18
Mixed Grill of Carlton Farm Pork
Rolled belly, brined chop & smoked shoulder on white corn grits with Moyer plums $18
Molasses & Hickory-Smoked Duck Leg
Glazed in rosemary honey with buttered baby onions & fennel pollen $18
Grilled Strawberry Mountain Beef
On fork mashed new potatoes with House made Worcestershire sauce $20
With baked-to-order cookies $6
Warm Rhubarb Pie
With buttermilk ice cream $6
"Fudgy" Bundt Cake
Filled with "Manhattan" cream and topped with hot chocolate $6
Fallen Ice Cream Cone
With coffee, pistachio and vanilla bean ice creams $6
Lemon-Ginger Meringue Tartlet
With candied lemon zest $6
One thing I like about the menu -- at least for my tastes -- is that there aren't a lot of starches. Half the meat dishes come with vegetables instead of starches. Even more the case with the fish and veggies.
We ordered the butter lettuce wedge and the rockfish for appetizers. The butter lettuce wedge is a more substantial portion than it appears in my photo, but still not large. Fair for the price, though. It's the wedge of lettuce, topped by an avocado dressing that reminded me a lot of taqueria guacamoles (the smooth kind), but thicker and richer without any spiciness. It did taste like it had, perhaps, some cilantro however. It had a slight bitter component to it, like garlic past its prime. However, my only real complaint is that it was too much on the rich and creamy side and needed a tart component for balance, such as lime. The eggs said they were "soft boiled" but were truly somewhere around an 8-minute egg, I would guess. I think that's a good thing in this case. Some croutons or bacon bits would be nice. Pleasant enough, but no contender with Podnah's wedge.
I think Twitch is right on with his description of the rockfish. The batter was light and nice, but ours was a little under-crisped. The edges were excellent texture-wise, but the steam from the fish inside quickly made the light tan middle part of the crust a little soggy. The flesh inside was tender and moist, almost buttery, but as Twitch said, both were BLAND. That fish needs some salt as does the batter. The malt vinegar mayo was bitter and off-tasting. Neither my wife or I enjoyed it at all. I'd rather toss my fish in ketchup. I liked the slaw, which consisted primarily of fennel and carrots. It was very tangy -- too much so for my wife. I certainly wouldn't have minded if it was toned down. It was like eating a salad of pickled fennel and carrots. Without a big starchy side, I'd say this dish is a bit small to be an entree. I would guess there was 4 ozs (two chunks) of fish and the salad.
For entrees my wife got the fried chicken and I got the duck. Like the rockfish, the chicken suffered from lack of seasoning. It's tough to just add salt to fried chicken or battered fish at the table. Not a fan of the boneless chicken. It gives it a little bit of a rubbery hunk feel. But even with that, this is easily one of the best fried chicken plates I've had in town. Love what cast iron does to a crust where you get a generally golden-brown and deliciousness pocked with darker bits. The crust was thicker than, eg, Ken's Place's, but lighter than Simpatica's. It had a nice crunch yet the meat was juicy. Because of the lack of seasoning, I definitely preferred the chicken WITH the sauce. I would have liked more sauce (but on the side). I didn't think it was very spicy and it was mild enough that it didn't bother my wife at all. It might have been more tangy than spicy, even. Nice mix of creamy, tangy, and spicy. I didn't really care for the braised lettuce. Too delicate for my palate. I like heartier braised greens. I think they were done about as well as they could be, though. It also came with perfectly cooked grilled asparagus. A big step up from Screen Door's fried chicken, a slight step down from Ken's Place's fried chicken. It was a pretty hefty portion, too.
The duck was our favorite savory dish. I couldn't taste much rosemary in the glaze, but the honey gave it a wonderful dark sweetness. The skin could have been more crisp, but it's flavor was terrific. The meat (leg and thigh) slipped easily from the bone with a fork, like duck confit, and was supremely moist. I think the glaze could use a little bit of a bright note, or perhaps a side with a brighter quality, or perhaps some glaze reduced with vinegar or finished with lemon on the side, but that's only a minor quibble in this case. It came with sauteed pea greens in addition to the buttered baby onions. Both were tender, but not mushy, and tasted fresh and delightful. I didn't notice the fennel pollen.
Our favorite dish, though, wasn't made by the chef, but rather the chef's wife: the rhubarb pie. My wife and I have eaten several rhubarb desserts lately. They're one of my wife's favorite things. And this is the best we've had. It started with a great crust, very crisp, flaky, and buttery with a complex and not overly sweet taste. One of the best pie crusts I've had in a while. The rhubarb compote inside was tart and mildly sweet with chunks that still held their shape. The buttermilk ice cream matched perfectly, had a nice dense and creamy texture, and intense flavor. I could have eaten it on its own and been happy.
A good meal overall. There's room for improvement and fine tuning, but this is a great start. This is a lot closer to our house than most quality options in Portland, so I could see us here relatively regularly, especially if things get even better.