Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Long Drive But Nice Rewards

Today I had a pleasant drive to Portland to pick up a framed painting at Pearl Framing. The frame stock for one of the works was back ordered so I must make a return trip next week. There are rewards you have to give yourself when things do not go just right so that life evens out. Today my reward was lunch at The Parish on NW 11th at Evert. A blossom of Louisiana nestled in the Pearl just waiting to be plucked.
I made a reservation on OpenTable and after a little visit to Powell's and Whole Foods, wandered in and was greeted by Sabrina, who showed me to a nice table with a view of 11th and handed me a menu. I watched the trolly pass and thought about the sights and sounds of New Orleans and riding the Streetcars there. The smells coming from the kitchen helped form the memory.
I was not looking to stuff myself so I found and ordered the Wedge Salad, a nice big quarter head of fresh crisp lettuce drizzled with a creamy buttermilk Ranch dressing and served with soft cooked egg. Then I added three pan fried oysters and topped it of with a glass of INOX, Chehalem's nice little '11 Chardonnay.
There are few wines that would have gone as well with the meal as this one did, perhaps Ghost Hill's Pinot Noir Blanc, but this is what they had and I was more than pleased. Crisp fruit with just that perfect hint of slate and a very smooth and delicate mouth feel. It worked with both the salad and the oysters, cutting the creamy dressing and enhancing the flavors of the fried oysters. This wine is one of the best of their INOX label that I have tasted. Unoaked and brilliant with ginger and white peach along the good minerals. Loved it!
The oysters were small, perfectly done, and lightly breaded in cornmeal and all the delicate flavors came shining through.
I enjoyed reading the New York Magazine while slowly cruising through the meal, letting the tastes mingle and enhance each other but alas, the meal was done and I had to move on. I thanked Tobias Hogan, one of the owners. He and his partner had another oyster bar called EaT in north Portland. When the cooking school, In Good Taste, closed after Barbara Dawson decided to combine it with her location in Lake Oswego, they stepped in and brought Portland a little more classy sample of Louisiana.
I highly recommend this place and let me tell you, from past visits, the rabbit and andouille jambalaya is out of this world, or at least out of Oregon.

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