I picked a bad weekend to visit Portland…it’s been snowing the whole time, and it’s forecast to continue until we leave! Luckily, that hasn’t deterred us from eating at some amazing Portland restaurants.
Here’s the view of Portland in the snow from the plane.
We started at Olympic Provisions (which we ate at on our last trip to Portland) for brunch, and that’s reviewed here, and then went to Ox for dinner. (We went to Cultured Caveman twice the next day – click here for review and photos.)
For those of you from Portland, you’re probably already familiar with Ox since it won the Oregonian’s 2013 Restaurant of the Year award. And for those unfamiliar with the place, it’s a cosy upscale dinning experience that wows with flavor, freshness, and creativity. Their website calls it “Argentinian inspired Portland Food.” I think it’s just plain yumminess!
I was actually surprised by the large selection of what I would called “almost Paleo” dishes on the menu, from Spicy Braised Octopus & Beef Tripe to Grilled Lamb Heart, Grass-Fed Uruguayan Beef Ribeye, Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, and Maple-Brined Pork Loin Chop. Their menu is here for you to peruse.
We started with an amuse bouche of butternut squash soup topped with chimichurri sauce.
Then, we went with two “exotic” appetizers: Grilled Lamb Heart and Smoked Beef Tongue. I really liked the beef tongue, which was full of flavor (the texture was a bit like thinly-sliced pastrami and you could really taste the smoky flavor).
Here’s the Grilled Lamb Heart with Arugula & Turnip Greens, Quince Mustard, Bacon Lardons, and Parsnip Chips.
And here’s the Smoked Beef Tongue with Horseradish, Ensalada Rusa, and Sweetbread Croutons.
The entrees were served family style, and we shared the Asado Argentino, a dish for 2 with Grilled Short Rib, House Chorizo & Morcilla Sausages, Skirt Steak, Sweetbreads (a gland from a calf or veal that isn’t sweet and isn’t a bread!), Fried Potato, and Green Salad…
…the Cocoa-Braised Lamb Shoulder with Sautéed Spinach, Chickpeas, Shiitake Mushrooms, Red Wine-Poached Prune (the lamb was really tender)…
and the Kale & Radicchio Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese, Celery, Green Apple, Crispy Red Onion Rings (I didn’t try this dish, but our non-Paleo friends enjoyed it).
I wish the photos came out better (sadly the lighting was pretty poor during dinner), because the food really was amazing and very very filling! And if you’ve never tried lamb heart or beef tongue, then this is a great place to try it!