We had a great showing for the commemorative dinner and everyone was craving an adventurous dining experience, so it made it difficult to order... we clearly needed a strategy! So, Jen and I, being the resourceful TableTalkPortland employees that we are, and slightly manipulative as well, coordinated all the ordering to ensure that we didn't order duplicates and got to try almost one of everything ...
After the stress of ordering and seeing the "Damn Pigeons" hat, we unwound by watching Chef Gabriel Rucker prepare our exquisite appetizers while sipping on chilled Terre dei Beatiʼs Cerasuolo Rosé.
Out came the appetizers....
Starting with the fried sweetbreads served with cod, tomatoes, and a curry sauce... I loved the lightly fried sweet breads but the majority of us agreed that the curry overpowered all the flavors on the dish.
The definite crowd pleaser was the seared savory creamy foie gras served atop a crispy vanilla waffle served with candy almonds and rhubarb. It was honestly one of the best preparations of foie I have ever tasted... SORRY PETA.
Another favorite was the panko fried cows tongue served with spicy horseradish sauce atop a mixture of arugula, marinated cows tongue and potatoes. The spiciness of the horseradish and arugula perfectly contrasted the earthy flavor of the potatoes and tongue.
While we were waiting for our entrees, Jen and I told stories of Percy and Priscilla. Our food arrived just before we got to the juicy story when Jen was grounded for blindfolding Percy and letting our cat Henry chase her... it was all fun and games until Percy flew into the window and had to be resuscitated.
Out came the perfectly cooked rare duck topped with a tomato concoction served atop spätzle with bacon. I was worried that the tomato would be too acidic for the duck, but the tang was mellowed by a slight smoky flavoring and the salty spätzle.
The lamb was served atop a cucumber, radicchio, and blue cheese salad. The preparation and flavors were good, but nothing too unexpected. A nice classic dish.
Now the beef cheek bourguignon is something to write home about! The rich glazing and the tenderness from braising the beef cheeks creates euphoria in your mouth.
The only disappointing dish was the Sea Bass served atop leeks, snails and potatoes, that I forced Jen to order, and which I am sure I will be hearing about for another 10 years. The dish was rather bland and pretty forgettable.
After such a marvelous meal, we were more than ready for dessert. Since we ordered almost the entire entree menu we decided that we should try one of every dessert. We ordered Le Pigeon's most famous dessert--corn bread with bacon served with a scoop of maple syrup ice cream, and we ordered the goat cheese cake, foie gras profiteroles, and chocolate pot de creme. I was in dessert heaven!! One of our guests was so excited about the corn bread she ordered an extra one and refused to share... smart girl! I thought the profiteroles sounded a bit over the top, but they were to die for. The puff pastry surrounds foie gras ice cream, the foie brings a very rich taste to the cream and prevents the dish from being overly sweet, and to add a hint of sweet the profiteroles are topped with light caramel sauce. The only disappointment was the pot de creme and I really think it is probably a great dessert, but we were comparing it to the others, which were amazing.
So, we started the meal with Jen in tears and we ended it with her in tears. Jen turned to me at the end of the meals, eyes glistening with tears AGAIN, and said Percy and Priscilla would be proud.
RECOMMENDATION TO READERS: The Le Pigeon Menu is not descriptive at all, so make sure you ask their fantastic servers to describe the dishes. They definitely know their menu and you won't be surprised by one of their many creative preparations! We ended up having the waiter describe every single dish on the menu!
Le Pigeon* 738 E Burnside* Open everyday 5-close* (503) 546-8796* reservations for 2 or more at communal table