Favorite Dishes July-August
Skewers at Magna Kusina

“Creativity takes courage.” — Henri Matisse

Courage is powerful

Courage is requiring proof of vaccination for indoor dining, even in the absence of a government mandate. Courage is having the guts to open a new restaurant during the pandemic. Courage is putting your staff first: pivoting to a take-out model to keep them employed, getting everyone tested, supporting the front of house against abuse.

For the past year and a half, we’ve watched restaurants exhibit perseverance and resilience. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve also seen that there’s remarkable creativity and curiosity at work in these kitchens.


Here Are the Best Dishes I’ve Eaten Recently

1. Corn creme brûlée at República. Oregon sweet corn is taken out of its usual context as a savory ingredient in this dessert, and the flavor is unbelievably true. Attention to detail is on display in this dish, from the quality of the products to technique and execution.
2. Hummus from The Skinny Chef. Velvety, rich and bright with loads of garlic and a tangle of caramelized onions. I wish I had a tub of this in my fridge at all times.
3. Pasta al pesto at Dame. The pop-art green of the pesto and lavender of the chive blossoms make this dish visually stunning… and the toothsome handmade pasta under a nap of herbaceous sauce made it impossible for me to stop eating.
4. Nectarine carpaccio with young pecorino at Coquine. The drizzle of vanilla-scented olive oil paired perfectly with the sweetness of the fruit and the rich salty sheep’s cheese. Tiny basil leaves gave this dish a distinctively summery flavor.
5. Tongue skewer at Magna. Grilled on charcoal and served with house-made spiced vinegar, it was so tender I could not stop kicking my feet back and forth under the table with glee. If the chicken skin skewer is on the menu, order it.
6. Smash burger at Abbey Road Farm. It’s a really fucking good burger.
7. Squid, fish sauce bacon, and cherry tomato dressed in lime at Arden. Yes, I would like all of the umami, thank you. Appropriate ratio of pork to green things, for those looking for My Kind of Salad.

Author: `aqaq`

Tasia Bernie is an essayist, and editor of FeederPDX.com.  She enjoys used bookstores, offal, and hard laughter.  She is a very good eater.  She lives with her daughter and two orange cats in Portland, Oregon.


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