Sunday, February 21, 2010

Le Pigeon and Artful Weekend

Le Pigeon logo
We went to Le Pigeon for dinner after an afternoon of painting and conversation. Saturday was about as full of adventure as I could handle, so today was more low-key.

Le Pigeon's chef, Gabriel Rucker, is currently one of 20 chefs nation-wide to be nominated for the James Beard "Best Chef - Northwest" award, as well as being nominated for the James Beard 2010 "Rising Star Chef of the Year" award.  We didn't know it at the time - one of my friends wanted to go to a nice French restaurant as it was her birthday on Friday. I neglected to get a reservation at Western Culinary School's restaurant (always fun to see what students are doing, but sometimes a crap-shoot). They asked me if I knew any other French restaurants and I couldn't remember the name of the one a classmate worked in over in NW Portland, so I said, "Well, I have heard of Le Pigeon, but I can't vouch for it." We got reservations and had a lovely night.

I was unsure of the whole thing as I am not an adventurer and most French food involves all kinds of sauces, which I do not like.  I ended up with the Beef Cheek Bourguignon which was good, but the wine reduction was a little bit overpowering by the last bites.  I KNOW it was me and not due to any lack on the chef's part.  The restaurant was cozy and nicely outfitted, the waitstaff was courteous and efficient and answered all of our questions.  We were seated at a long table that we shared with other diners, but there was a sense of commaraderie that I don't always feel in situations like that. All in all, a superb dining experience.  They did have foie gras ice cream which really sounded vile... but again, I'm a zero on the adventure scale.

I would highly recommend Le Pigeon, especially if you are a fan of French food.

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