Last Friday night 3 of my most favorite girlfriends and I went to dinner at Beast in honor of my mom. I had heard about it and knew i was in for a treat with the prefix 6 course menu and wine pairings. I felt like i had been in a rut though. Portland has SO MANY amazing restaurants that i was getting snotty about my food and nothing had made me swoon in a long time. Apparently i didntneed to worry so much. Beast made me swoon with every single bite! I have never had such a meal so perfect in my life. This is why i love food so much.
I had also just finished a book called Julie and Julia in which the author spent a year recreating every single recipe in Julia Child’s masterpiece; Mastering the Art of French Cuisine. There are huge chapters in there about Aspics and organ meats galore. She tackled them and made sense of them, and if figured if she can cook aspic from a calf hoof and set it with a cold piece of foie gras, i could try anything.
Here is the Menu from Beast for Friday June 13th.
I think that the theme for this menu should be “Things That Melt in Your Mouth””
Spring Carrot Soup with Fava Bean and Herb Salsa Verde
– this soup was so divine that it melted into your taste buds before it left the spoon. and the fresh fava beans were just a tiny bit salty so they added the perfect accent. this is what soup should be
i must preface this section by saying that this was the portion of the menu that i was terrified of. I HATE organ meat. I think it is one of the most disgusting things we eat and i dont understand why people think it is a delicacy…well until i ate here. Now i am a bit less afraid and also know that when done properly, it is mana from heaven. I am still salivating for the damn bon bons.
Foie Gras Bon-Bon
– HOLY HELL! this little morsel was made with Vanilla Bean and Cognac. It had the texture of a chocolate truffle center and was so dense and delicate. None of the flavors were hidden. My friend Sami wasnt into it so i ate hers too. i want to eat this every single day of my life. Some dream of lounging on a chaise wearing silk and eating a box of chocolate bon bons, I will eat these, in a cardboard box next to the detroit train station if i must.
Chicken Liver Mousse with Seville Orange Marmalade
– maybe you didnt know but I have never been a fan of the organ meats So this this little bite was a shock. It also melted in your mouth and didnt have that horrid I am a liver after bite. Sami loved it until i told her what it was. It is amazing how our memories can affect us more then our taste buds. Case in point would be the following,
Steak Tartare with Quail Egg Toast
–The Steak melted in my mouth but i still cant do the raw yolk. I know everyone tells me it is just like a complimentary sauce but i have never been a fan of the yolk. This was the only thing on the entire menu i didnt lick off the plate. in fact i very systematically cut it away from the steak portion of the toast without breaking the yolk and tried to pawn it off on everyone else.
Pork and Liver Pate with Cherries and Pistachios
– This was lovely. It reminded me of a really fancy but delicate sausage with all the nuts and fruit in it.
Rose Petal and Champagne Sorbet
–perfect timing to cleanse the pallet after all that rich meat. and so simple
Riesling Braised Carlton Farms Pork Cheek
Porcini and Morel Turnover
Baby Nantes Carrots with Spring Herbs
– What can i say? I am a pork loving fool. I cant get enough of it and when you braise it in Riesling…They gave us these serious steak knives but the meat just fell apart and melted in your mouth. The turnover was a buttery bit of heaven with perfectly diced cubes of fresh mushroom and the carrots were still crisp.
Arugula Salad with Crushed Strawberries & Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette
with Shaved Humbolt Fog Goat Cheese
– we each got a pile of spicy arugula lightly dressed and topped with the lightest of goat cheeses. I LOVE arugula
Selection of Cheeses with Poached Apricot, Candied Hazelnuts, Date, Salt and Pepper Shortbreads and Wildflower Honey
– yes indeed, it DID just keep getting better. The Poached Apricot tasted exactly like my mom’s apricot pie (which i now need to make) and the cheeses were really strong!
we could have ended it here and been perfectly content but no, we had to persevere. I say that with glee
Chocolate Covered Coconut Chiffon Petite Four
with Salted Caramel Ice-Cream
– oh yes, it was as lovely as it sounds. This was served with a red dessert wine that complimented the salty chocolate and caramel goodness. It also wasnt as heavy as i had imagined. It was plenty rich, but wasnt the entire meal??
So that was it. it was, in my humble opinion, perfection. I have never had a prefix menu that paid such close attention to each detail. There was not one weak course. The wine pairings were perfect and so thoughtfully planned out. I went home and plotted what i had to sell so i could eat here each week.