Tuesday, July 30, 2013

European Cuisine with a Modern Twist

Happy Tuesday friends! 

One of the best things about Portland is that it has an amazing food scene; I'm so excited to explore it more now that we live here! From gourmet food trucks to award-winning breweries to farmer's markets filled with local ingredients, this city is truly a foodie paradise. Cameron and I love good food and trying new restaurants and while I don't plan on turning In the Pink & Green into a completely food-focused blog, I am looking forward to using this space to share my discoveries! (Especially now that I have my beautiful new blog design!) I'm hoping eventually it might serve as a resource to people who live in/are visiting Portland as I plan on keeping a list of all my restaurant reviews (as well as other must-see/do things here in the city) on the Portland tab on my nav bar.

So without further adieu, let's get to today's reviews!

Both of these restaurants are a little more upscale and feature menus that offer a fresh take on classic European dishes. They're also both located in the Southwest/Downtown area of Portland so I thought it made sense to share my thoughts on them both in the same post.


Raven & Rose

This restaurant is actually located in a historic carriage house that came from the Ladd Estate in the late 1800s and it's been beautifully restored. The building provides the perfect setting for this restaurant as it seems a little more dressy than some of the very casual places in Portland, and I thought the vibe was a good balance trendy and traditional. Their menu is classic British and Irish cuisine with an updated twist and offers lots of interesting options. We went there for dinner a few weeks ago with Cameron's parents on a Sunday and had a really lovely evening...

I started my meal with a delicious Romaine & rabbit salad
One of the unique side dishes they serve is Yorkshire pudding; it's an English specialty that's made from batter and is typically served with roast meat. It was fun to get to try it! (It's the thing that kind of looks like a crescent roll)
On Sundays, they offer an option of a platter of roast meat served family style with a variety of sides which is what Cam and his parents ordered (you need at least 2 people to order this option, just FYI)
I had the beef short rib and it came with chard and horseradish mashed potatoes. It tasted like classic comfort food--very filling and I loved the flavors!
For dessert, I had the butterscotch pudding with toasted streusel. It was creamy and had such a cute presentation!
Because the food here is more heavy and the restaurant is very cozy, I feel like Raven & Rose is probably a little bit better choice for the winter than the summer
Upstairs, they have a separate area called the Rookery where they serve a bar menu and craft cocktails (along with live music on Wednesdays!). The hostess explained to us that this area actually used to be the old hayloft when it was a carriage house which I thought was cool! And if you like bourbon, they have their own special single batch bourbon that's bottled just for the restaurant. I think this space would be a perfect spot for a group outing or event!

Raven & Rose on Urbanspoon


GrĂ¼ner

Cameron and I actually ate a Gruner a few years ago, but decided to go back and have dinner there the other night since it had been quite awhile. The restaurant has a more decidedly trendy vibe than Raven & Rose and has a modern minimalist aesthetic when it comes to the decor. They do have outdoor seating and that's where we ended up having dinner. Gruner's menu is inspired by alpine cuisine from countries like Germany and France, however, the word "gruner" does mean "greener" in German and it's obvious the menu is inspired by the Pacific Northwest as well. They have an interesting wine list with a lot of European options, along with a variety of creative cocktails. 

Although it's a little bit pricier, the vibe of many of the decor elements is very casual
One of their specialities is their beet-pickled deviled eggs--I loved these, plus they're so pretty!
Cameron got the spaztle entree which had black forest ham, snap peas, cream, and asiago cheese--it was delicious! However, I said this place was "trendy" and that definitely equates to somewhat small portions, just FYI!
I wasn't super hungry, so I just got an appetizer called maultaschen--it was ravioli filled with pork, beef, and spinach served in a meat broth...I was not a huge fan of this dish at all as it was really under-seasoned and had no flavor. However, there are lots of other dishes on the menu that look delicious!
Your bill comes to your table inside a German paperback...like I said, trendy.
Gruner has an interesting cocktail menu, and then they also have separate place called Kask which is connected to the restaurant except it's got more of a modern saloon feel apparently? We haven't tried it out yet but I'd like to soon!


Gruner on Urbanspoon

My conclusion on both restaurants is fairly similar--they're both very good and we had some dishes at each one that were excellent. However, I can't necessarily say that I was blown away by either place to the point that I would want to go back right away or bring an out of town guest here.


So there you have it, the first of my official Portland restaurant reviews! 
There will definitely be more to come, and I'll be updating the Portland page in my navigation bar at the top of the page as I continue to try more new (to-me) places! Bon appetit! Xoxo

9 comments:

  1. Ahhh, even though your entire eating experience wasn't incredible, your photos have me drooling... the food is so wonderfully displayed! Just another reason we need to visit Portland again soon :)

    xxx
    Jenna

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  2. Kyle was in Portland last week too and he LOVED it!! i love any restaurant that serves beet pickled eggs, btw.

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  3. what an adorable place! all of the food looks delicious, and who knew deviled eggs could be so pretty!?

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  4. Oh wow. This food looks delicious! It makes me want to jump on a plane and go try it!

    Nicole
    www.eleganceandclutter.com

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  5. Oh my goodness...I could definitely go for some of that butterscotch pudding! Looks amazing!

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  6. Yummy! This food all looks so good!! and these places are so cute!

    xoxo
    Petchie
    http://psblogbook.blogspot.com/

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  7. I've always wanted to visit Portland! These restaurants (and the food!) all look amazing!

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  8. Love that you're using your DSLR in Portland! That last pic of you is gorgeous!
    xo,
    Stephanie
    newlywedsnorth.blogspot.com

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Your sweet words make my day! :)

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