1) G looks for the xmas tree in Pioneer Square
G and I flew down to Portland Friday to enjoy a few days holidaying together before heading out separately tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with family – G flying to Toronto; me to London. We will re-connect in Toronto next Friday for but a single night staying at The Royal York to join Lady Sarah and Sir Phil for dinner at Canoe before flying down to New York City to ring in the New Year, with Blee joining us! Yay!
We continue to adore Portland and continue to eye condominiums there as, gosh, it’s a great place. Fabulous food, weird people, amazing coffee, and best of all, no tax. What better reason to have a home-away-from-home?! We’re holed up at our usual haunt, The Nines and have made a point of trying several of Portland’s restaurants, including Chef Isabel’s self-styled Isabel in the Pearl District (amazing!); the highly rated Andina for Peruian food (sadly, terribly over-rated); Clyde Common (outstanding and highly recommended); and the Nine’s own restaurant, Urban Farmer. We also enjoyed spending many hours exploring the Portland Art Museum (loving, in particular Sang-Ah Choi‘s whimsical works); the Pearl District and even ventured all the way up to Tazo-tea founder’s Steven Smith‘s new venture this morning … only to find it …. closed …. despite what his website claims. Grrrrrr! There was shopping at Macy’s (open 24 hours); a rather dull Nordstrom’s; strolls through a (frankly) sad Old Town Chinatown, and (too) many happy hours (another bonus feature of Portland), especially loving Brasserie Montmatre last night for truffled frites, frog’s legs, oysters and Kir Violette (champagne cocktails served with Creme de Violette).
2) marinated char-grilled chicken lettuce wraps at Isabel; 3) moi at Isabel on Friday night
4) we had an excellent Oregon State Pinot Noir; 5) Ahi Wonton crisps topped with seared ahi, avocado,
sweet soy & wasabi cream
6) Blue cheese walnut salad, mixed greens, balsamic vinaigrette, blue cheese crumbles, walnuts & grilled bread; 7) Carnitas bowl, tender carnitas served on a bed of steamed brown rice,
black beans, plantains, cilantro lime sauce, avocado sauce & tomato corn salsa
8) G wanders the Pearl District; 9) and Macy’s
10) our suite at The Nines
11) horsing around outside the Portland Art Museum; 12) here’s the entrance to the Museum
13) the perspective here is interesting as this bowl of fruit is actually some 1.5 metres round!; 14) Sang-Ah Choi’s brilliant “Holly-a-saurs”, a perfect take on what Christmas has come to in the west
15) Choi’s “Tree of Life”; 16) each tile is hand done and incorporates much of one of my favourite things, anime!
17) YUCA RELLENA – yuca croquetas stuffed with mozzarella and cotija cheese, served over huancaí sauce; 18) DE PESCADO “5 ELEMENTOS” – a preparation of fresh fish in leche de tigre
19) PALTA RELLENA DE CANGREJO avocado stuffed with crab, topped with a poached prawn; 20) PIMIENTO PIQUILLO RELLENO sweet piquillo peppers stuffed with quinoa, cheese and Serrano ham (this was delicious!)
21) the view of Pioneer Square at night from our hotel
22 & 23) enjoying happy hour at the Urban Farmer with oysters, a cheese plate and oh-my-gawd so-good whiskey cocktail
25) thence onward to Brasserie Montmartre; 26) returning last night feeling oh-so-happy!
27) at 7AM this morning Macy’s was empty so we took time to tour Santaland; 28) Santa Brent, wanna sit on my lap? (wink)
29) the rosemary biscuit with sausage and salsa at Clyde Common this afternoon; 30) roasted potato soup, bacon marmalade, pecorino tartufo, horseradish, crème fraîche
31) open faced pastrami, pepper slaw, herbed brioche, fried egg
Wherever you may find yourself today and tomorrow, G and I wish you a warm and wondrous holiday season!