Friday, May 16, 2008

Table For Twelve at Park Kitchen

I remember the last time I dined at Park Kitchen like it was yesterday. Probably because it was yesterday. We ate lunch outside at one of the bistro tables overlooking the gently shaded North Park blocks, basking in the hot noon sun and watching alabaster Portlanders loll about in the grass and play hoops. Between the sudden lift in the weather's spirits, and the exquisite flank steak, blue cheese and sherry roasted onion salad and phenomenal buckwheat papardelle with braised lamb and rapini, I completely forgot that the day before, the weather had been total bollocks and I'd been making arrangements to move somewhere warmer, like Brazil. Taking my first bite of violet meringue with chocolate mousse and cocoa nibs, I forgot all about Brazil. Portland would do just fine.

I remember the first time I ate at Park Kitchen like it was yesterday too. It was actually 2004, and Executive Chef Scott Dolich had just been named a Food and Wine Magazine Best New Chef. I was dashing around town on a whirlwind weekend visit, eating as much as I could and trying to decide if my restless bones wanted to move to Portland next, or Brazil. I don't like to be cold. Food and Wine article in hand, I tread reverently into Park Kitchen for brunch, my last meal of the trip. As I savored the last bite of Park Kitchen's brioche French toast and chunky strawberry compote, I knew Portland was The One.

I guess you could say Park Kitchen is both the reason I moved to Portland, and the reason I didn't leave Portland for Brazil on Wednesday. Apparently, it is the place to have life-changing epiphanies—while eating the best flank steak salad in the universe, no less.

So I'm definitely expecting some sort of interesting revelation to occur this Wednesday, when we converge upon Park Kitchen once more for Table For Twelve: The Have The Flank Steak Salad AND Your Life-Changing Ephipany at Park Kitchen! Edition.

Maybe Rachel Ray will bounce in and ask us to guest star on her show. (I sort of hope not, she scares me.) Maybe Chef Tom Colicchio will be at the bar and when I sit down casually beside him and order a gimlet, he will ask me to marry him. Maybe Michelle will tell me she will go home after dinner and tipsily download our pictures into the TableTalkPortland Picasa album and add amusing captions, which is usually my arduous and tedious task. Who knows what could happen? We're eating at Park Kitchen! At the very least, maybe we'll get a personal tour of the kitchen by incredibly talented Executive Chef Scott Dolich. A girl can dream.

Details, Details

When: Wednesday, May 21, 7:30 pm

Where: Park Kitchen, 422 NW 8th Ave,

Why: Because their flank steak salad is edible therapy. And might be the cure for the common cold. And might be what makes the world go 'round. And just might really be the best thing since sliced bread.

RSVP: Via our email address (

Poem Penned in 45 Seconds by Jen in Honor Of This Event:

Park Kitchen is Yum.
You should come.
For the drinks, service and food,
Matched only by the memories and mood...
The flank steak's superb,
We once fended off a perv,
With a salt cod fritter and a beer,
At the company Christmas Party last year.

See you at the table,

Jen & Michelle

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