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#1 kitchenmilitia

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 03:05 PM

heard any news about rocket yet?last i heard the space was almost finished.who's leather going to have as help in the kitchen?originally i had heard that mukland devan-an ex noble rot cook was going to be involved.

#2 Amanda

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 03:11 PM

There's been talk about that place opening for over a year and a half. It will be great if/when it actually happens!

Best regards,

Amanda

#3 Tinto_b

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 12:17 PM

rocket for that most delicious of weeds?

#4 mczlaw

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 10:15 PM

rocket for that most delicious of weeds?


Very tasty as a garnish for foie gras.

--mcz

#5 Amanda

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 08:30 AM

Just an all-around excellent leafy green! My favorite of all time!

Best regards,

Amanda

#6 Tinto_b

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 04:39 PM


rocket for that most delicious of weeds?


Very tasty as a garnish for foie gras.

--mcz



grrrr! i was not trolling...its a disgusting practice.

#7 Jill-O

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Posted 02 March 2007 - 11:18 AM

Nancy Rommelmann has a nice blog piece about it up:

http://nancyrommelma.../02/rocket.html
Never give up! Never surrender!

#8 mcattrone

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 08:25 AM

Does anybody have an update on when Rocket is opening? Any information is appreciated.

#9 kitchenmilitia

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 08:03 PM

i heard about the 20th.from the man himself.

#10 mcattrone

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 03:08 PM

Website is up and says the grand opening is tonight:

http://www.rocketpdx.com

#11 mcattrone

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 08:16 PM

False call...Callled Noble Rot and they said it won't be opening till next Friday....wah wah wah....

#12 nagrom

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Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:31 PM

False call...Callled Noble Rot and they said it won't be opening till next Friday....wah wah wah....



Yep, heard from two friends that serve there, it's next week guys...

#13 Jill-O

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 07:26 AM

Confirmed by the O:

http://www.oregonliv...n....xml&coll=7
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#14 truth

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 06:29 PM

Nobody has mentioned anything about rocket yet... What's the deal?
(modern signature COMING SOON)

#15 Cat Lancaster

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 06:43 PM

Nobody has mentioned anything about rocket yet... What's the deal?


I'm giving them a couple of weeks to get their 'sea legs', but I bet I'm there the week after next.

Cat
"travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness" ~ Mark Twain

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#16 ExtraMSG

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Posted 09 May 2007 - 07:38 PM

Actually, mczlaw has a review up of them in a different thread along with Country Cat. (Yes, I too wish he'd just post in the proper threads.) I'm giving it a couple weeks.

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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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#17 Stinky Cheese

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 07:46 PM

can you direct me to the improper thread? I'm hella curious about Rocket's first week...

#18 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:09 PM

Here you go:

http://portlandfood....?showtopic=4160

Is it a coincidence that the serial restaurant openings this week and last have each featured the greasy good times of french fried onion rings? Not those big, thick, distinct bands of onion with more or less incidental batter coatings such as you see at The Ringside. Rather, at Country Cat (Adam Sappington’s new joint in the Montavilla neighborhood) and at Rocket (Leather Storrs’ “law of heights”-defying E. Burnside debut), the onion rounds are thin, their light coating flaky, crunchy and abundantly, desirably salty. Also at both, the core element of deep frying–hot oil–lends its irresistible mouthfeel to the rings which tend to gather--as if for safety--in small, convenient to eat clusters.

No one in either kitchen is talking, but that’s probably because nobody has asked whether the boys had a pre-opening, menu-related chat. I kind of doubt it, though. The two places are separated by many more degrees stylistically than they are by distance.

The Cat is down home focused, but with such abundant examples of sophistication as to telegraph the chef’s deep roots at Portland’s classic high-end spot, Wildwood. Leather Storrs, on the other hand, Noble Rot wine bar vet, plainly loves to goof around and, at Rocket, he has come up with a bunch of supremely edible inside jokes.

Let’s briefly compare and contrast:

Appetizers:
Rocket: tongue hot dog ($7) or lamb sausage corn dog ($7)
Country Cat: grilled artichoke skewer on marinated bean salad ($12) or green garlic and potato hand pie ($13)

Mains:
Country Cat: boneless chicken fried chicken with braised lettuce and grilled asparagus ($18)
Rocket: breaded pork cutlet with your choice of two of several sides including chili carrots, garlic spinach or “tomatoed potatoes.” ($18)

Dessert:
Rocket: Gorp tart ($8)
Country Cat: Fudge Bundt Cake with a cream cheese center ($6)

One should not go too far with the style bit, since the substance of both Country Cat and Rocket is what counts, and both are impressive out of the gate. La niña and I visited on their respective second nights in business and the service at each was generally polished; the decor was pleasant; and the food was uniformly delicious and mostly served at proper temperatures. The bar area at each establishment is large and will doubtless be used to chill in comfort while awaiting a prime time table.

A special nod is due Rocket for its wonderful outdoor seating area and fourth floor view of downtown and Portland’s west hills. (How often have you suffered crappy food to catch a pleasant city- or naturescape from several stories up? If the answer is “usually,” you understand the law of heights and how rare it is to find an exception.)

Rather than filling more space describing these places immediately after birth–cute babies may or may not become attractive adults–let me suggest instead that if Country Cat and Rocket are portents of the spring openings yet to come–Toro Bravo, Clyde Common, Trebol, to name three–Portland’s already verdant culinary landscape will become ever more lush.

I hope they all have onion rings.

--mcz


I went tonight and will report on my meal pretty soon.

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


#19 mczlaw

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 08:42 PM

I'm giving it a couple weeks.


Apparently not.

--mcz

#20 ExtraMSG

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Posted 12 May 2007 - 10:12 PM

Decided since we are starting the food stamp challenge tomorrow, we might as well go out for dinner. After mczlaw's praise for Rocket, we decided to go ahead and give it a try, even though it's still early.

Fantastic space. One of the best in Portland, I'd say. It's on the fourth floor at the corner of 11th and Burnside with huge windows overlooking the city. Nearly all the 50 or so seats are along the window except a couple four tops and three six-person booths that are raised so that customers can still see out the window. There are an additional several tables on a balcony on the southwest corner outside and several counter spots at the bar. There's a nice big, comfy bench for waiting. I like the color scheme: creams and whites with wood. Goes against the trends of dark and somber colors. Along with the big windows makes the place feel luminous and ebullient -- vibrant. Interesting, fun lighting, too, and the industrial ceilings are decorated with overlapping and concentric metal and glass circles that seem to dappen the noise, which can get a bit intense at times anyway.

Menu is mid-priced in-line with places like Le Pigeon, Park Kitchen, Clarklewis, and the like. The appetizers are a little all over the place, but entrees and sides are largely old school. For entrees, you pick one and then two sides to go with it from the list:

PREFIX

- Red greens & breadcrumbs -- vinaigrette or goat cheese, $8
- Warm asparagus & mushroom salads, $13
- Rhubarb, radish, pea shoots & beets -- rice wine vinaigrette, $12
- Butter lettuce, fennel & olive -- orange & cauliflower dressing, $10
- Lettuce, pea soup, $8
- Cottage cheese tart with tomato jam, $7
- Rocket rolls, $6
- Avocado in a shrimp shell, $13
- Chicken gizzards on a stick with honey-mustard cabbage, $11
- Rocket steak: sauteed beef on toast -- rocket & fried onion, $12
- Crisp dumplings & mixed mushrooms, $14
- Potato pierogies with catfish, caraway & fried beets, $14

MATRIX

MAINS (Pick One)
- Braised beef rib -- red wine jus, $18
- Grilled Spencer (12 oz) -- shallot jus, $26
- Broasted pork shoulder -- marsala jus, $20
- Breaded pork cutlet -- caper brown butter, $18
- Lemon pepper chicken, $18
- Grilled duck breast -- fig sauce, $22
- Sauteed trout -- almonds & sherry, $19
- Poached salmon -- tarragon & breadcrumbs, $21
- Roasted onion filled with pearl couscous & mushrooms -- rocket puree, $16

SIDES (Pick Two)
- Steamed asparagus
- Sauteed pea shoots with ginger
- Garlic spinach
- Chili carrots
- Caramelized cauliflower
- Roasted beets
- Mashed potatoes
- Tomatoed potatoes
- Little potatoes, chives & butter
- French fries
- Onion rings

RX

- Hamburger & fries, $10
- Lamb corndog, $6
- Tongue hotdog, $7
- Scrapple, $5
- Grilled beef ribs, $10
- Pocket rockets -- shrimp, chickpea fritter or crispy pork, $8

DESSERT

- Cherry tart with creme fraiche ice cream, $8
- Mocha cream cake covered in chocolate, $8
- Hen-yay's!, $7
- GORP bar, peanut brittle & toasted marshmallows; Vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate & nuts, $8
- Rhubarb chips & lemon dip, $8


We ordered the butter lettuce salad, the corndog, the duck, the pork shoulder, and the rhubarb chips. Total: $66.

The butter lettuce salad was fairly large and a bit unwieldy. The flavors went together, though I'm not sure the crumbled cauliflower added much and the orange slices were a bit bland. But it was enjoyable enough.

The corndog was fairly tasty. It came with a tangy house-made mustard and a ketchup that was more like an Italian tomato sauce, not ultra sweet, which I liked. The corndog batter could have been more crisp, but it was light, moist, and tasty. The lamb dog inside was sweet and meaty with a nice bit of gaminess that went well with the sweet corn.

My wife got the chili carrots and the tomatoed potatoes with her duck. The carrots just tasted like stewed carrots to me and not much else. You could see a chili sauce, but there was't much flavor to it. The tomatoed potatoes were crisp, tart, and flavorful. One of the better sides. The duck was bad. It had a decent meaty-fruity fig sauce and slices of dried figs on top along with a "flag" of duck skin (that tasted burnt). But the small portion of breast itself, cut into two thick slabs, was way overcooked. One piece was no less than medium to medium well and the other pieces was duck jerky. Normally I don't complain or send things back, but I would have in this case, but the server only asked us how our food was early on and I hadn't noticed yet how bad it was and that my wife wasn't eating it. She left over half of it on the plate, but the runner, not the server took the dish. She was a pretty good server and I think she would have commented. Worst duck I've ever had in a restaurant, probably, and duck is my favorite meat; I get it often.

I got the pea greens and cauliflower with my pork shoulder. Pea greens were tasty, slightly sweet, and nicely cooked. I didn't taste much ginger, but it didn't matter. The cauliflower was good, too, well-charred, not mushy or undercooked, and well-seasoned. Pork shoulder was tender and succulent, but I didn't taste much flavoring beyond the meat itself. It says it's broasted, so I expected it to be crisp on the outside, like carnitas, but it wasn't. I would have liked something to contrast with the rich hunk of meat. It was just too plain.

A lot of the cleverness that was promised for the restaurant seemed to be focused in the desserts. The GORP, which interested me most, was out, so we got the rhubarb chips. These came as tortilla chip shaped red triangles that were thin and crunchy, tasting like tart rhubarb fruit leather. The sauce was a questionable match also being very tart, though a little creamy. Clever, pleasant, but a bit much.

It's early. Things like the overcooked duck can be easily fixed. I'm a little worried about some of the dishes conceptually and I think portions are a bit small on some of the items I saw go by for the price. But I only tasted a couple things. More annoying was that our meal came out really slow and one of the dishes was very poorly executed, yet the chef was playing Rocco, schmoozing and sitting with tables, handing out t-shirts, while ducks hardened and plates languished.

Other than problems with a slow kitchen, the service was good. Our server made useful comments (even warning about the rhubarb chips) and kept us aware of where I meal stood on the line. The staff kept our glasses full, our table clear, and clean silverware on the table.

This was a disappointing meal, but I'll go back in a few weeks and try again depending on how new reports come out. So far, though, it's going to be tough to get me to pass by Country Cat which is half the distance to my house and a much more promising new spot.

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