Friday, 30 May 2014

Eating Around / Le Pigeon

Chef Gabriel Rucker at Le Pigeon.
Had a wonderful meal at Le Pigeon last night. Chef Gabriel Rucker was cooking and we sat at the bar giving us a birds eye view of preparations.  Le Pigeon is perhaps my favorite restaurant in Portland.

 I had the Pigeon starter which was served on a plate of cold blood sausage puree, with cipollini and shaved asparagus, sprinkled with egg yolk.   It was rich a rich sauce and the pigeon breast was perfectly cooked medium rare.  I quaffed down a good class of Coteaux du Languedoc -- Podio Alto -- Domaine du Poujol -- '09.  For her starter, P had the Crab and Artichoke Toast with arugula and fried artichokes.  She had a glass of Greek white wine, Roditis/Malagouzia - Petra - Kir-Yianni Estate - ‘12 Amyndeon.  The crab toast was a bit uninspired, but the batter fried artichokes were amazing.  We shared an entree of Corned Lamb Shoulder served on a bed of potato with cabbage cream, huckleberries and horseradish.  I'd never heard of corned lamb but could immediately imagine it.  I asked Gabriel about it.  He said, "I had an idea. I'm not the first to make it and won't be the last."  Like corned beef, the meat is brined for four days and then cooked sous vide for most of a day. To plate the dish they chopped a hunk of the corned lamb and sauteed it in a pan to heat it up. They sliced it, stacked it on top of the potatoes, sprinkled with huckleberries and shredded lots of fresh horseradish on top. The lamb was surprisingly ham like.  It was a really unique dish, the kind of thing I expect at Pigeon.  For dessert we shared a carafe of Stumptown coffee and a Crème Brûlée which also came with a Vietnamese coffee pot de crème with whipped cream, amaretti crumbs.  I have no idea what made it Vietnamese, but it was excellent.

Gabriel Rucker has been nominated for, and has won, numerous awards from the James Beard Foundation, including: Rising Star Chef of the Year 2011, and the 2013 Best Chef in the Northwest.  Thanks for another great meal.


  1. Damn, Jim, I'm drooling. The fishing sounds good but I'd go for the eating alone.

  2. Yes, Steve, for a foodie, the restaurant scene alone makes Portland worth the trip. Other Portland favorites this last trip included Clyde Common (decent happy hour menu but better for a full dinner) and Ox (amazing empanadas - I have a lamb heart salad there that was great too.) Ned Ludd, OK - but not as good..