Primal-ish in Portland Part 2

December 18, 2012


Le Pigeon

It should not come as a shock that I visited a French restaurant. Le Pigeon and its little sister Little Bird came highly recommended via all internet sources. It was a toss-up between the two, but we chose Le Pigeon simply based on the current menu.

Le Pigeon is quite tiny – I counted just over 30 seats, including those at the bar, overlooking the prep area. The main seating area is one long communal table. Personally, I love communal tables. My only advice is the sooner you make friends with your neighbours the less awkward the meal will be.

The service was welcoming and helpful from the start. When I inquired about gluten free options, our server went to the kitchen to check, and then came back with a marked up menu indicating exactly what’s gluten-free. Impressive.

My friend and I split the burger as an appetizer. It was cooked perfectly medium rare – thick, flavorful, juicy. Surprisingly, the butter lettuce that accompanied it almost stole the show. I know that sounds silly, especially coming from me. But I just couldn’t shut up about that butter lettuce. It was so vibrant and fresh. And the creamy dressing was delicious, and just the right amount. The bun was toasted nicely, or so I was told (I didn’t ask for bunless so that my friend could enjoy it).


For the main, we each had the beef cheek bourguignon. I was elated it was gluten free as the last time I tried to order beef bourguignon elsewhere, it wasn’t. I must admit I was slightly hesitant to order the beef bourguignon because I have a thing about pot roast / braised dishes, perhaps because I order cows by the half. Unless done exquisitely well, pot roasts/braised meat have a tendency to all taste the same in the end. Luckily, that wasn’t the case here. The beef was very rich and flavorful, and certainly not one dimensional. The cheeks were incredibly tender. But this is what I loved about this
restaurant – the side wish again almost stole the show. It’s not that the main part of the dish lacked anything. It’s just that its sidekick was uncharacteristically good. The beef bourguignon was sort of deconstructed in that it was served on top of potatoes with a side of carrots.


The carrots were served cold, which was odd, but kind of refreshing considering everything else was piping hot. But wow, those were the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. There was layered onion underneath – hard to explain, but absolutely delicious. And the potatoes were very creamy and had his unexpected underlying smokiness. They blew me away. Comfort food at its finest – I loved this dish.


The wine we had was a blagny. Very tasty and paired nicely with the beef. For dessert, my friend had some foie gras profiteroles (caramel sauce, sea salt). Yes, you read that right. I tried some of the foie gras filling. It’s quite fitting that my first time ever having foie gras was in a dessert. I have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like. Obviously this was a sweeter take on it, but I quite liked the fatty goodness. Then again, I love all fats (fat is flavor), so that’s no surprise. Oh and at end of the meal, the bill comes with a dark foie Gras filled chocolate. The foie gras in the profiteroles is almost ice cream cold, which worked really well with the profiteroles dessert. But it was room temperature in the chocolate, so it melts and oozes out of the chocolate as you bite into it. Again, bursting with flavor. The other part of that dessert was some sort of hickory smoked cheesecake. Unfortunately it contained flour so I didn’t have any, resisting my friend’s exclamations of “you have to try this”. Apparently it was phenomenal. The profiteroles though were the best dessert my friend has ever had, by a longshot. I could see why.


I ordered the Chocolat-Sarsaparilla Croquant (poached pear, caramel). The star ingredient was the sarsaparilla which is the plant from which root beer is traditionally made. The dessert really did taste like root beer – which was a unique treat. I appreciate it when when dishes have some unexpected element, and this one nailed that aspect. I wouldn’t say I loved it bough. It didn’t have enough going on other than that. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good, just not fantastic.

Overall, I had an awesome time. Restaurants like Le Pigeon are why I dine out. Friendly, warm service. Incredibly well executed food that goes beyond the textbook. Meaning it goes above and beyond being done “correctly”. It piques your interest and is memorable.

Highly recommended. It’ll be a challenge to find a restaurant in Portland that I’ll like more – and that’s saying something considering Portland’s food forward reputation. But that’s a challenge I’m up for… Although next time I might just start with Le Pigeon’s little sister, Little Bird.

Le-Pigeon-Interior_thumb1Le Pigeon on Urbanspoon

Mother’s Bistro


Couldn’t leave Portland without doing brunch, right? Since it was a sunny day, we actually headed over to Veritable Quandary first, thinking it might be pretty, but for some reason they were closed. Mother’s Bistro was our rainy day fallback. Our plan C was Tasty n Sons. (What can I say, I travel prepared).

Mother’s is known for their brunches. But I was especially drawn to their claim of quality ingredients:

“We make everything from scratch, using the best possible ingredients Pacific Northwest wild salmon, Carlton Farms pork, Painted Hills beef and the finest European-style butter in everything we cook and bake.”

The restaurant is massive – I counted 4 rooms. It has an airy feel, is adorned with pretty chandeliers, and seems like a lovely place to bring your mother. Their mugs even remind you to “call your mother” on the back.


Speaking with the server confirmed that Mother’s is know for the breakfast/brunch, so I stuck to that menu. It was refreshing how frank and opinionated the server was – and very helpful in helping me hone in on what to order.


To start, we shared some chopped liver (“like pâté—my mother’s recipe—made with slowly sautéed chicken livers & onions, served with assorted crackers”). Forget the crackers, I just dove in by the spoonful. Good stuff, not amazing, but I’m not one to turn down liver.


I then had the grilled portabella mushroom scramble (“grilled portabellas marinated in garlic, olive oil & balsamic vinegar, scrambled with eggs, fresh sautéed spinach & asiago cheese”), which came with a side of potatoes. That’s about as vegetarian as I get. It was good. Not mind blowing or anything, but enjoyable.


My friend had the “Painted Hills” beef burger (grilled all-natural 1/3 pound burger on a potato bun, with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato & red onion, served with French fries). It was also tasty – the burger was nice and juicy.

None of the food that we had was very special. But again, good ingredients, and nothing to really complain about. What did blow me away was the Stumptown French press coffee. I am not a coffee drinker – I almost never have coffee. I’ll go through short-lived iced coffee phases in the summer, or will resort to some if I’m travelling and need a pick-me-up. But realistically, I almost never drink it. And then I saw this on the menu:

“Columbia El Jordan (Direct Trade): warm aromatics of nutmeg and cinnamon segue into mouth-watering flavors of black cherry, bergamot & ripe blackberry, which finish with notes of honey and fig.”

Uhm. How amazing does that sound? I was totally sucked in. We shared one large French press. It was a revelation. First of all, it was the first time I’ve ever been able to drink coffee black. I didn’t even put cream in it. The coffee was neither bitter nor harsh. In fact, it was smooth. And flavorful. It reminded me of tea, and that’s meant as a compliment. I added cream to the last little bit just to see what it’d taste like, and it was good but it masked the interesting coffee flavor. Did I love it? No. I didn’t want to gulp it up and ask for a refill. But I was thoroughly intrigued by the complex flavors. And no, I wasn’t able to pick up the black cherry, blackberries, etc. But I did enjoy drinking it. And interestingly enough, I didn’t feel super caffeinated after. No jolt of energy. Just felt a tad more awake. It’s not like I’m going to start drinking coffee now. But it’s nice to have been able to experience some what I presume is high quality coffee.

I’d say Mother’s is a fun place for brunch. Nothing fancy, but decent home style cooking in a nice setting. I wouldn’t mind going back, but there are a few other brunch spots I’m keen on trying first.

Mother's-Bistro-Interior_thumb[2]Mother's Bistro & Bar on Urbanspoon

Have you been to these restaurants? What did you think? Were there any places that I should’ve gone? Please share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments.

PrintFriendly and PDF

Leave a Comment

{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

fsmtgbhbf November 26, 2015 at 2:08 PM

Primal-ish in Portland Part 2
fsmtgbhbf http://www.g14fwb400905919iq1yz0b3rbhby62dgs.org/


tods bags celebrities 80s November 27, 2015 at 8:12 AM
burberry outlet los angeles November 27, 2015 at 8:58 AM
soccer jerseys xavi alonso November 27, 2015 at 9:29 AM
dolce gabbana perfume sephora November 27, 2015 at 9:37 AM
salomon trail running shoes gtx November 27, 2015 at 10:11 AM
skechers-sttsr-011 November 27, 2015 at 12:05 PM
parajumpers type n-3b- man quotes November 27, 2015 at 2:00 PM
Pas Cher Gris UGG Ansley 3312 Slippers Paris November 27, 2015 at 2:20 PM
tiffany rings box November 27, 2015 at 2:42 PM
burberry wikipedia fr November 27, 2015 at 3:07 PM
minnesota vikings jersey history books November 27, 2015 at 3:24 PM
rolex no date homage November 27, 2015 at 3:32 PM
vivienne westwood melissa buy online 500mg November 27, 2015 at 3:40 PM
haglofs mens skarn hood November 27, 2015 at 3:49 PM
reebok nfl turf shoes November 27, 2015 at 4:19 PM
jaeger lecoultre master control oro rosa November 27, 2015 at 4:27 PM
sergio rossi sample sale November 27, 2015 at 4:50 PM
oakley outlet store branson mo weather November 27, 2015 at 5:18 PM
canada goose opinioni wish November 27, 2015 at 6:05 PM
celine dion youtube at last November 27, 2015 at 7:48 PM
dior rosy glow nail polish November 27, 2015 at 8:01 PM
bcbgmaxazria macys November 27, 2015 at 8:08 PM
tory burch purse crossbody jet November 27, 2015 at 8:29 PM
canada goose langford parka xxl November 27, 2015 at 8:55 PM
balmain 4005 November 27, 2015 at 9:04 PM
brandon marshall camo jersey ユニフォーム November 27, 2015 at 10:28 PM
skechers shoes velcro November 27, 2015 at 11:12 PM
abercrombie fitch bad reputation download November 27, 2015 at 11:19 PM
seattle seahawks wilson jersey uk map November 27, 2015 at 11:25 PM
mcm electrical definition pdf November 27, 2015 at 11:37 PM
moncler stores new york times November 27, 2015 at 11:55 PM
breitling aerospace display November 28, 2015 at 12:00 AM
haglofs lim q jacket November 28, 2015 at 12:06 AM
w88优德.com November 28, 2015 at 12:10 AM



human hair November 28, 2015 at 12:11 AM

I enjoy this type of human hair! very very good, for carrying . plus are not able to carries these kinds of! very vouch for these people!


calvin klein baby new york November 28, 2015 at 12:19 AM
miu miu bow bag heavy November 28, 2015 at 12:40 AM
geox andrea 47 November 28, 2015 at 12:55 AM
tag heuer monaco automatic November 28, 2015 at 1:06 AM
parajumpers billigt billiga hotell i g November 28, 2015 at 1:19 AM
washington redskins baseball jersey dress November 28, 2015 at 1:24 AM
tods on sale uk london November 28, 2015 at 1:51 AM
white house ornaments for sale uk November 28, 2015 at 1:57 AM
audemars piguet leo messi November 28, 2015 at 2:05 AM
sunglass hut outlet pearl ms November 28, 2015 at 2:09 AM
henri lloyd loft jacket männer November 28, 2015 at 2:29 AM
geox outlet paris November 28, 2015 at 2:34 AM
jack wolfskin clothing germany November 28, 2015 at 3:10 AM
dog clothes ebay uk November 28, 2015 at 3:10 AM
mcm bag thailand address November 28, 2015 at 3:17 AM
kate spade address book outlook November 28, 2015 at 3:23 AM
omega 3 fish oil 1200mg November 28, 2015 at 5:16 AM
raymond weil logo 500 November 28, 2015 at 6:55 AM
miu miu bag handbags wholesale November 28, 2015 at 7:20 AM
ugg kensington chestnut November 28, 2015 at 7:37 AM
stella mccartney amazon uk November 28, 2015 at 8:18 AM
fendi outlet bags November 28, 2015 at 8:23 AM
wholesale religious christmas ornaments value November 28, 2015 at 9:08 AM
mcm post instagram November 28, 2015 at 9:23 AM
Pas Cher UGG Nightfall 5359 Boots Chocolate Paris November 28, 2015 at 10:03 AM
new england patriots football jerseys history November 28, 2015 at 10:16 AM
ferragamo key fob incoterm November 28, 2015 at 10:49 AM
ecco bella concealer za November 28, 2015 at 11:35 AM
reebok 9k kfs shoulder November 28, 2015 at 11:56 AM
parajumpers sale kinder November 28, 2015 at 1:48 PM
stuart weitzman store san francisco November 28, 2015 at 3:24 PM
dkny 655 madison ave albany November 28, 2015 at 5:17 PM
patagonia scenic tours vietnam November 28, 2015 at 5:30 PM
ray ban for kids November 28, 2015 at 5:47 PM
dallas cowboys jersey authentic ハンバーガー November 28, 2015 at 6:35 PM
tag heuer at discount November 28, 2015 at 6:42 PM
furla chicago photography November 28, 2015 at 7:20 PM
washington redskins mens jerseys wholesale November 28, 2015 at 7:50 PM
parajumper arches November 28, 2015 at 7:56 PM
true religion 803 November 28, 2015 at 8:39 PM
air jordan 11 outlet November 28, 2015 at 9:32 PM
washington redskins jersey numbers determined November 28, 2015 at 10:08 PM
cam newton pro bowl jersey for sale ボードゲーム November 28, 2015 at 11:19 PM
houston texans baby jersey nfl November 28, 2015 at 11:57 PM
canada goose store net online November 29, 2015 at 12:20 AM
vibram fivefingers spyridon ls mens November 29, 2015 at 1:04 AM
new balance shoes tulsa ok November 29, 2015 at 1:53 AM
coach usa racine to ohare November 29, 2015 at 2:13 AM
oakley vault aurora outlet mall usa November 29, 2015 at 2:54 AM
wholesale giant christmas ornaments 81 November 29, 2015 at 3:05 AM
furla candy bag designer November 29, 2015 at 3:22 AM
alexander wang dumbo soft clutch November 29, 2015 at 4:39 AM
eebest8 November 29, 2015 at 6:26 AM

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to return the favor.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!


kenneth cole v-neck slub t-shirt November 29, 2015 at 6:44 AM
houston texans jersey dress nba November 29, 2015 at 6:56 AM
valentino heels david jones November 29, 2015 at 7:10 AM
nba 2k13 all star jerseys nba November 29, 2015 at 7:24 AM
furla flair tote November 29, 2015 at 7:45 AM
miu miu havana sunglasses November 29, 2015 at 9:31 AM
rolex lady datejust black dial November 29, 2015 at 10:14 AM

Previous post:

Next post: