Happy Friday everyone!
So one of my goals for this fall was to start doing more with my blog. I love having this space to write and share photos and it's something that I invest a lot of time in because I truly enjoy it, and would honestly do it even if no one was reading. However, I'm feeling like I've reached a point where I really want to broaden my horizons and explore opportunities to do more with this platform (and yes, sometimes that may include things like sponsored posts). One really awesome example of what I'm talking about when I say "doing more" is how I've been able to connect with this great community of bloggers since moving to Portland, and in particular, this really vibrant community of food bloggers.
I know I've mentioned over and over again what an amazing restaurant scene Portland has, and in addition to that, there are so many amazing breweries and wineries here in Oregon as well. While I still don't plan to turning this space solely into a "food" blog, it's honestly just a reflection of whatever is going on in my life at the time. And right now, enjoying this amazing food scene here in Portland has been a big part of what Cameron and I do in our free time, so naturally my blog is going to showcase that. The really cool thing is that now I've started to get to know other people here in the community that love to eat as much as I do (and that's saying something) and they also love writing about food and sharing it with others. Good food + blogging + Portland = pretty cool.
I previously posted about attending an incredible food festival weekend called Feast (and I've actually got one final post about it coming next week, so stay tuned!) and during that event I was able to not only meet some great food bloggers, but I was also able to connect with some of the people here in Oregon who are passionate about making this incredible food, beer, and wine. One person in particular was April, the Director of Marketing for Hawks View Cellars in Sherwood, OR. She was kind enough to invite me to attend their Media Dinner Grand Tasting earlier this week at Irving Street Kitchen. (She also met Cam at Feast and we were chatting about how he never gets to go to these fun blogger events with me...so she emailed me earlier this month seeing if he'd like to attend the Media Dinner as well--how sweet is that?!) It was such a fabulous evening full of amazing food and wine....check it out!
Irving Street Kitchen is located in the Pearl District aka one of my favorite parts of town!
I loved the decor for the restaurant--it's very Portland-y in the best possible way :)
The event was held in ISK's private room which is a really lovely space!
Hawks View Cellars and Irving Street Kitchen did a great job of putting together pairings for the night!
Chilled white wines to start the evening off when we walked in the door
The wines we'd be sampling during the course of the evening
Obviously since this is Oregon you know we were going to be enjoying some Pinot!
A.J. Kemp, one of the co-founders of Hawks View Cellars, was our host for the evening and he was so much fun. He told a lot of really great stories about his family and the history of winery! It's very clear that he's passionate about what he does and he is a super nice guy.
Executive Chef Sarah Schafer of ISK also spoke and introduced the amazing food she prepared!
Our first course was a Salmon Gravlax with Sauce Gribiche and Rye Crackers, paired with the 2012 Hawks View Oregon Chardonnay--a great start to the evening!
Next we enjoyed the night's mystery wine...which ended up being the White Pinot! It was one of my favorite wines of the night, and it paired really well with the Chicken Fried Oysters.
We then enjoyed the Marinated Pork Chop with Country Ham, Shelling Bean Ragout, and Celery Root Apple Slaw which paired with their delicious 2010 Oregon Pinot Noir
Up next, we had a delicious red wine blend called La Baleine, or "The Whale". A.J. told a great story about how this wine came to be, and Cam said it was his favorite wine of the night
This particular wine paired so perfectly with the Chef Sarah's Fried Chicken
Seriously, this fried chicken was probably the best I've had outside of Poogan's Porch in Charleston...which I mean as extremely high praise! Definitely try this dish if you come to ISK!
Our final dinner course was Teres Major Steak with Garlic Grits, Ancho Ketchup, Onion Rings, and Marrow Sauce; it really complimented the complex flavors of the 2010 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon!
Our final course was really fantastic--we were served a rich Chocolate Torte (topped with sea salt!) along with the 2011 California Syrah. Definitely a great way to end the night!
As if this amazing night of food and wine wasn't enough, Irving Street Kitchen was kind enough to send us home with jars of their incredible butterscotch pudding. Not gonna lie, I ate this five minutes after I got home and it was AMAZING (and not just because I had 7 glasses of wine, I swear).
Sometimes being a blogger husband isn't so bad! :)
Hawks View Cellars and Irving Street Kitchen did a great job of putting together an amazing evening, and I'm so glad that Cameron and I were able to attend! Thanks again for having us!