by Brian Lee
Beast, Portland

When it opened in September, 2007, there were just two cooks and two wait staff, no prep cooks and no dishwasher.  Despite modest beginnings, the accolades came quickly.

Chef Naomi Pomeroy was born and raised in Oregon and has been featured in Gourmet and Elle Magazine.  Bon Appetit named her one of the top six new generation female chefs in September 2008 and Food & Wine Magazine recognized her as one of the 10 Best New Chefs in America for 2009.  She was a finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Pacific Northwest in 2010, 2012, and 2013 before winning the prestigious award in 2014.

Meals are served around two communal tables with a view of the kitchen that shares the room.

Our meal began with an amuse bouche of kennebec potato chip with uni, yuzu aioili, hard boiled quail egg, and chive.  It was a well balanced combination of flavors and textures.

Spring Tartine with black olive focaccia, sliced Japanese turnip, snap peas, roasted golden beets, topped with whipped Briar Rose chevre and a fennel pollen vinaigrette.

Dashi infused egg custard with fava beans, smoked trout roe, chervil blossoms, and meyer lemon oil.  This was an amazing riff on Japanese chawan mushi and really good!

Potato Gnocchi with morels, celtuce leaves, green garlic confit, caciocavallo cheese, and parsley oil with a sauce made from potato skins, dried mushrooms, butter, and creme fraiche.  The morels were the best I have ever tasted.

Lan-Roc Farms pork ribeye cap, brown butter endive, roasted spring onion, rhubarb and pickled mustard seed confiture, and demi glace with balsamic and rhubarb extract.  The slight tartness of the rhubarb was the perfect counterpoint to the richness of the pork.

Jerseykaas Cheese, country ham biscuit, pickled green strawberries, pea puree, Side Yard Farms pea shoots.

Toasted white chocolate and vanilla bean pave, honeoye strawberries, matcha-sorrel sorbet, honey-black pepper tuile.  These strawberries were simply otherworldly, intensely flavored and sweet.  The matcha-sorrel sorbet sounds strange, but it worked beautifully.  The herbaceous sorrel blended well with the matcha.

Lastly, a rum raisin macaron.  A tasty end to an exceptional meal.


You may also like

Leave a Comment