Saturday night I was fortunate enough to dine at the James Beard House. A friend of mine had an extra seat for dinner and I agreed to go without knowing anything about the food that would be there or if I would be able to eat anything. At the very least I thought it would be a good opportunity to experience a fun culinary event and drink a fair amount of wine. What I experienced was such a delightful surprise I am still excited about it many days later.
Not only does the James Beard House hold some great culinary history, but the open kitchen allows guests to watch their food being prepared and talk to the chefs. When the hors d'oeures were being passed I asked the waiter if he knew if they were gluten free. He told me they were and that everything that night was gluten free. I pointed to the gougeres and asked "even those?" with some serious doubt. He said he wasn't sure but he'd go check. He came back and told me they were. I didn't believe him. He told me to go talk to the chef. Well, this is the whole fun of an open kitchen so I went right in and asked Ariana herself. When I told her I had Celiac she said her whole family has issues with gluten, herself included, and that the whole meal was in fact gluten free. What a bit of luck.
|Ariana and Andres Fernandez|
Speaking of caviar, the food was amazing. The entire meal I felt so fortunate that I could eat everything I was served without any pre-planning. The great thing about sitting with the restaurant owners was that Susan and Glenn walked us through each course, describing where the food came from and the wines they chose to go with each. We talked a lot about why the entire family is gluten free and how much of their restaurant is gluten free as well.
Each course was better than the next. I'm trying to pick a few of my favorite dishes to tell you about, but I'm not even sure where to start. I'd have to say the slow braised beef short rib with parmesan heirloom polenta was probably my favorite. The wild Oregon salmon with black trumpet mushrooms, truffle-caviar beurre blanc, and Oregon truffles was a close second, and I don't even like salmon. The entire menu is below.
Ariana is located in Bend, Oregon. Based on the meal I had in New York, I highly recommend you try it. And if you've never been to the James Beard House, I recommend you go there too.
- Hors d'Oeuvre
- Foie Gras Mousse–Filled Gougères with Huckleberry Jam
- Smoked Columbia River Sturgeon with Roasted Ramp Crème Fraîche and Gold Potatoes
- Pork Belly with Radishes, Chiles, and Lime
- ARGYLE VINTAGE BRUT 2010
- WESTSIDE 75 > BENDISTILLERY CRATER LAKE GIN WITH CLEAR CREEK DISTILLERY WILLIAMS PEAR BRANDY, LEMON JUICE, AND ARGYLE VINTAGE BRUT 2010
- Celery Bisque with Dungeness Crab and Lemon
- BETHEL HEIGHTS VINEYARD CHARDONNAY 2012
- Venison Carpaccio with Horseradish, Spring Onions, and Parmesan Crackers
- WILLAKENZIE ESTATE GAMAY NOIR 2011
- Wild Oregon Salmon with Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Truffle–Caviar Beurre Blanc, and Oregon Truffles
- DOMAINE DROUHIN DUNDEE HILLS PINOT NOIR 2010
- Slow-Braised Beef Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta and Spring Garlic Gremolata
- DOUBLEBACK CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2010
- Passion Fruit Curd, Lone Pine Coffee Espuma, Raspberries, and Cocoa Nib Meringue
- CHÂTEAU STE. MICHELLE & DR. LOOSEN EROICA RIESLING ICEWINE 2006