Monday, December 13, 2010


I admit that I've neglected this thing for a while, at least with pretty much anything substantial, personal, or what the average person reading this might consider interesting. That is to say, I'm uninterested in reading a lot of the stuff here and when the author isn't even interested, that doesn't exactly indicate Andean condor-like majesty of prose or content. (Though, I suppose that's not really the point of this thing anyway.)

You might have noticed I played with bloggers template designer. We are amused. And look: color! Fun!

What most people seem to be interested in here is the restaurant. What is going on with that exactly? The stuff that seemed to me new and exciting for the first couple months are now kind of old hat and pedestrian. But it's been six months now and I definitely feel much more at ease than I did the first few months. I haven't had chest pains in a couple months for instance (something that seemed to correlate to ingesting caffeine before service—I stopped doing that).

Milestones for Portobello since my last related post (August 22nd):
  1. listed in the Willamette Week's guide to top Portland restarants
  2. appeared on the Cooking Channel
  3. started serving lunch
  4. began serving fancy prix fixe meals on weekends
  5. had one very positive and one middling review regarding the pizzas
Our line is also all crazy. Nate (formally master of apps and desserts) is now the chef de tournant or rotating chef. He's been trained up on pretty much everything and can fill in at any station on the line. I'm now picking up appetizers, desserts and pizzas and am slowly getting lessons on the sauté line, which is to say I'm occasionally getting splattered with hot oil and narrowly avoiding melting my flesh with boiling water.

Jesse, sous-chef and living art exhibit, is now running the show most nights, as Aaron the co-owner/head chef is preoccupied working lunch, designing prix fixe menus, and encouraging everyone to do push-ups.

On the pizza front specifically, we've gone through a few menu changes, and I've made some dough adjustments after learning a little more about salt and its effects on gluten development and enzyme activity.

Since August we ran through our Autumn menu which included a pizza with butternut squash sauce, cherry peppers, brussels sprouts, garlic, and cashew cream in addition to what've been our four standard pizzas: a marinara, a daiya cheese-based margherita, a spicy field roast and cherry pepper pie, and the "piscia"—caramelized onions, olives, capers, garlic, and oregano.

The Winter menu has boasted the standards plus a sweet potato, caramelized red onion, kale, garlic, and rosemary pizza; a pie with butternut sauce, hazelnuts, chili oil, shaved apple, and sage; and last week we had one with cashew cream, chanterelle mushroom, brussels sprout, garlic, pear, and chao cheese. (Is it pizza as I imagine it? Eh. Not exactly, but they tasted good. Trust me. The hazelnut pizza, sans apple, has been my favorite thing to make for myself for a few weeks now. I made a version at home for some friends and they were all pleasantly surprised.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice look, but I think it is more my look than what I think of as a Will look. Are you meandering toward the middle in your creative tastes?

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