It’s always nice to already have some friends when you move to a new city. Big Spoon and The Gunner are just a few of my fellow Portlandians. We kicked off my first weekend in the new city at Little Bird, a relatively new French restaurant in Portland. Ordering wine turned out to be a huge ordeal after the waiter, out of obligation, halfheartedly asked if we were above 21. Of course we all said yes, but The Gunner and Dumpling Man had to make some jokes which resulted in the waiter actually carding us. Dumpling Man being the genius he is did not bring his wallet that night. So after some crafty use of the internet with multiple iPhones, he was able to prove that he was in fact who he said he was, and as old as he said he was. The manager for the evening had to approve such non traditional identification before we were served. I can’t even remember if the wine was worth all that.
Oysters daily selection
I’ve really grown to appreciate the taste of these briny little fellas. I used to think these tasted like one big fishy gulp of the ocean, but now I taste salinity tempered by fleshy sweetness. A squeeze of lemon seems to cut any fishiness while adding another dimension of brightness to an already fresh bite.
Roasted Bone Marrow black olive & citrus tapenade
I think Cut ruined bone marrow for me. Everywhere I go, the bone marrow simply cannot compare. The bone marrow here was good, but not the best. I’m not a huge fan of olive tapenade, but they made good use of it here to jazz up the fattiness of the bone marrow. My other complaint, which applies to most bone marrow dishes, is that they never give you enough of the toasted baguette. They expect you to consume ALL that fat with just 3 measly slices of bread.
Beet Salad seasonal greens, hazelnuts, goat cheese cream
While I usually love a good beet salad, sometimes they do disappoint. The beets were sweet with a nice firm texture, but there were too many nuts and it was distracting. The flavors overall were light, despite being weighed down by all those nuts. The goat cheese cream was a different take on something that’s usually chunky and more tart.
Gnocchi Parisienne peas, roasted portabello, pistou
Who knew the French did gnocchi? The version here was a bit different with each piece pan fried with a slightly crispy exterior. The sauce was rich but tempered by the sweet peas and earthy mushrooms. The gnocchi was probably a little denser than I would have liked. Nothing beats the lightness of the gnocchi at Osteria Mamma.
Roasted Pork Shoulder sherried onions, crispy egg, dijon vinaigrette
I had high hopes for this, but the pork was a little too dry. The crispy egg with its luscious runny yolk, the tangy vinaigrette, and the sweet onions almost made up for the meat.. Parts of the meat were more moist than others, but overall, I was wishing for some of The Gunner’s moist trout.
Le Pigeon Burger salad
I did not try this, but Big Spoon seemed to like it. It looked pretty juicy.
Grilled Trout almond puree, green bean salad
The fish felt like something that was so Portland. It felt like it was something just caught that morning and made with locally sourced ingredients. The Gunner really enjoyed her fish. I need to step outside my box and try to order fish more often.
Filbertella Tarte summer berries
Filbertella was a house version of nutella. It was very chocolately, and frankly not too different from nutella in taste. The summer berries were a nice contrast. Overall, there was nothing too unique going on here.
Wildflower Honey Pot de Creme blueberrries, graham crackers
I love pot de creme. I made a chocolate version once upon a time and after seeing how much fat went into it, I couldn’t bear to make it again, but I love it still. This was divine bit of the most flavorful honey. I’m not a big fan of honey, but when you have one that’s so fragrant and sweet, it makes you think twice about eating bee spit. I liked how the little graham crackers were in the shapes of little birds!
Apricot Tarte Tatin chamomile ice cream
Despite looking like a little pile of orange poo, I really liked the combination of sweet sour fruit atop a crispy butter crust. I think we were cheated of any ice cream, because the little white pile ended up being whipped cream.
Mignardises rasberry macarons
I don’t know why I don’t go gaga for cupcakes or macarons, which seem to be the popular sweet trends these days. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good macaron when one is place in front of me. These were miniature delicacies. It was a good end to a good meal.
I think we all enjoyed our evening out at Little Bird. Some of the dishes were hit and miss, but overall I like the approach at Little Bird and I’d be willing to try it again. The service was on the slow side. Our dinner was probably 3 hours long, but we had some good fun conversation. It makes me look forward to future dinners in Portland with The Gunner and Big Spoon or pretty much any other old and new friends. Next time I would love to try some of the charcuterie. I simply cannot resist house made and cured meats.
219 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97205