December 27, 2012

wildwood

Fun fact: Wildwood was the first farm-to-table restaurant in Portland, at least according to Greg, our adorable waiter who bears a striking vocal resemblance to Bradley Cooper and has sadly moved to Maui since we dined there a few weeks ago. (Speaking of Bradley Cooper, have you seen Silver Linings Playbook? It is awesome.)

As I alluded to in this post, Phil and I  joined our friends Justin and Lindsy at Wildwood to celebrate their engagement. The restaurant itself is warm and inviting with a sophisticated elegance that feels very grown-up. Naturally, we got drunk on cocktails, burst into fits of laughter, and likely disturbed everyone in the restaurant. C’est la vie!

Like every good celebration, the evening began with alcohol. My current love affair with champagne cocktails decided my drink order, while my husband went with the seasonal apple cocktail, a combination of scotch, calvados, averna and flamed orange peel, which he loved but I found a bit strong for my liking.

Before the first course arrived, Greg brought out Wildwood’s complimentary amuse-bouches – scrumptious single bite servings of roasted beets topped with bleu cheese. Next up was the dungeness crab and apple salad, a refreshing mix of tart and sweet that really got my mouth watering.

For my main course, I ordered the skillet roasted mussels with garlic, sun dried tomatoes, saffron and grilled bread. As it turns out, the mussels are Wildwood’s signature dish and have been on the menu since they first opened in 1994. I can see why – they were absolutely delicious and beautifully presented.

The real stars of the evening were the desserts. (I swear, it is so fun to go out to dinner with people who like to order dessert.) We ordered the apple hazelnut pie cake (top picture), chocolate caramel tartlet (bottom picture), valrhona drinking chocolate with apple cider donuts and a little plate of chocolate chip cookies to accompany Phil’s glass of eggnog, which he’d been looking forward to all evening. Of course, Greg didn’t want Phil to drink alone, so he brought out complimentary  half glasses of Monbazillac – a sweet white wine from the Southwest of France. We miss you Greg!!