Castangna 2nd Visit — Portland OR (7/2016)

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On this mid-summer return to Portland, I debated whether I was going to go back to Castagna for a second visit.  I decided to go back because I didn’t really find any other place that I wanted to go to, and it was summer, so I wanted to see what the offerings would be.  A few days before my arrival, I was able to book an early-evening reservation for that Saturday night.  Again, there were two menus to choose from and a variety of wines.

I went with the full Chef’s Tasting menu and a glass of Chardonnay from Mâcon.  Just as before, they offered an alternative/additional selection for the main meat course.  Instead of the pork (or in addition to), I could choose to have Japanese wagyu beef.  I asked about the pork, and it seemed like something I would like anyway, so I opted to decline the beef this time.

The first presentation was a refreshing “cocktail” course, with Hendrick’s gin, shiso leaf oil, and melon and cucumber juices.

The next snack was albacore tuna tartare in a kohlrabi wrapping and finished with fennel blossom, micro-basil leaf and basil oil.  This was a nice, creamy and crunchy bite.

For the full write-up, click here.

Castagna — Portland OR (4/2016)

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After booking my reservation at Farm Spirit, I searched for modernist cuisine restaurants in Portland.  Castagna came up as a possibility.  They were bookable on Opentable.com and had availability for my free night, so it was easy enough to get a reservation.  I have to apologize for the sub-optimal photos.  This was my first use of a new camera which was supposed to allow for better pictures, but I obviously have to learn how to use it first!

The restaurant offers two tasting menus:  a Chef’s tasting menu and a Seasonal tasting menu.  The latter is a subset of the longer menu. During the reservation process, they ask if you know which menu is your probable choice.

They offered one buy-up option on the menu:  Japanese A5 wagyu beef could be substituted for the listed beef course for an additional $35.  I selected that option.

The dining environment was a standard white-tablecloth modern setting.

For my wine choice, I selected the white Burgundy they had paired up with the halibut.

The meal started with several snacks.  The first one was a beet chip, presented as pictured on the left.  I turned it over to reveal the smoked beef tartare.  There was a little bit of spicy hotness at the end.

For the full write-up, click here.