Jesse and I had a dinner date Friday night, something that doesn’t happen very often for the two of us. It was wonderful — we dined at Park Kitchen and enjoyed pleasant conversation, the most amazing service and fantastic food. Honestly, everything was perfect. It made me wonder why we waited almost two years to use our gift certificate (that’s no exaggeration, it was dated Dec. 2010). Oh yes, the combination of being gluten-free, mostly dairy free and a vegetarian made it too difficult for me before. Granted, I still have food restrictions now, but they’re actually a lot easier to work with.
The hostess knew about my dietary needs ahead of time and when I told her my name when I walked in the door, she knew who I was and was already on top of things. After seating us, she came over to me and jotted down all the things I don’t eat and double-checked with me on everything! She went and spoke with one of the chefs and came back with a customized menu of things I could order (it was really just a matter of taking certain things out of dishes), and thoroughly explained everything. It was truly unbelievable and honestly, the best service and attention I’ve ever received in a restaurant. I’d go back and recommend Park Kitchen in a heartbeat.
I had a lovely glass of chardonnay from a winery in the Willamette Valley (lucky for me, chardonnay is a dry, scd-friendly wine) and Jesse and I shared a small cold plate of golden beets, chiles, radicchio, and walnuts. The flavor was citrusy and slightly zesty. The beets were sweet and tender, and the walnuts added the most satisfying crunch. It was simple, beautiful and flavorful.
For dinner, I ordered the grilled albacore tuna, which came with cherry tomatoes, wide zucchini noodles and some sort of broth. The broth came out on the side, in a sake pourer (do these have a proper name?), which the waitress poured over top of my fish and vegetables. I don’t know what was in that broth, but the flavor was addicting and satisfying. It was salty and packed a lot of umami flavor. The tuna was the best I have ever had, and for the record, I’ve had some pretty darn good tuna! It was fork tender and as soft as a peach. It was cooked to the perfect amount of doneness, and its color was that of a soft pink. It was gorgeous and I did my best to slowly savor each bite.
By the way, Jesse loved his meal too. Hopefully we’ll get another gift certificate, so we can go back and really enjoy it again! This is a fine dining restaurant, so it’s pretty spendy and a place we wouldn’t normally pick. I highly recommend dining here if you’re in Portland and can make it work!