Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend with Mom - Wine Tasting and Olympic Provisions

My mom was in town this past weekend for a visit, and what a weekend of all weekends we had.  Lots of food, lots of drinking, lots of driving, and lots of walking.

Saturday was a lot of the first three of those "lots".  We went wine tasting, to the organic beer festival, and had a delicious dinner at Olympic Provisions.

We started our day with a breakfast at Bakery Bar, a coffee shop and bakery in my neighborhood.  They brew great coffee and have delicious pastries and breakfast items.  Then we set off for the Newberg/Carlton area for some wine tasting.

After visiting Lenne Vineyards and Carlton Winemakers Studios, we decided we should probably eat something, and stopped at Horseradish, a wine, cheese, and meats place in Carlton, for some food.  We tasted wine there as well, and packed up some treats to eat at our last stop-off, Penner-Ash.

The picture above is the view of Mt. Hood from the back patio at Penner-Ash, where we sat and enjoyed the gorgeous view, tasted their wine, and ate the platter of cheese and meat.  It was great.  With a trunk full of wine (seriously, between our club shipments and purchases, we had at least 2.5 cases of wine), we headed back to Portland.  Of course, we had to make a pit stop at Gonzales Mexican food and bakery for some Mexican pastries, but no pics of that.  

Back in Portland, after a quick stop at my house to drop off the wine, we were off to more drinking: the Organic Beer Festival.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures at the Organic Beer Festival.  Some nice people sold us a coupon they had but didn't need, so we each got a cup and 9 tokens for $15 instead of a cup and 4 tokens for $20.  What a steal!  We intended to just have a couple tastes and save some tokens for Sunday, but we instead drank all 9 tokens-worth of beer each, sat in the grass and listened to hippie-music while watching hippie-folk, and enjoyed the sun.  My mom can't get over the fact that in the summer at 8pm it still looks like it's 2pm in Portland.  Honestly, neither can I.

Once we were out of tokens, it was time for the next segment of our day: dinner.  I guess I should have mentioned at the very beginning of this all that my mom doesn't really eat meat.  Or cheese.  Or, as far as I can tell, anything that didn't grow out of the ground or get fished out of water.  So the fact that on this day, she has already eaten cheese, salami, and cured beef (all part of the plate from Horseradish) is kind of incredible.  And Olympic Provisions is known for cured meats... 

The above is the charcuterie plate we started with (from bottom left corner, clockwise):  chorizo rioja (I think), a saucisson (don't remember which one), country style pork terrine with pistachios (again, I think), something (seriously, no idea what this is, but if I know my charuterie, it's sliced intestine), pickled cauliflower, pickled rhubarb, pickled asparagus.  And mustard, but you can tell can which that is.

My mom ate, no joke, half this plate.  Her contribution to eating dropped off rapidly soon after, but the fact she downed half this plate is incredible.  

Next came the veggies.  We had fried cardoons and roasted radicchio.  

I really wish the picture of the roasted radicchio was better, because my mom and I both agreed that it was the best dish of the night.  I don't really like radicchio.  It's a bit too bitter for my taste, and I never quite know what to do with it.  The last time my parents were in town, we had a radicchio salad at Nostrana, and it was incredibly NOT bitter.  We asked them about the lack of bitterness, and they told us that they soaked it in ice water to de-bitter it.  It was an absolutely delicious salad, yes, but radicchio IS bitter.  Instead of de-bittering the radicchio, Olympic Provisions embraced it, pared it with salty cheese, and roasted it for one of the most delicious plates I have had.  

Next was the meat and fish.

Pan roasted sturgeon, manilla clams, saffron broth and Roasted fresh chorizo, potato salad, grain mustard.  My mom informed me after the food arrived something that I should have remembered: she may or may not be allergic to clams.  So I ate all the clams.  We split the sturgeon, but I was mostly responsible for the chorizo.  Both dishes were good, but again, we were working our way through a bottle of wine...

I usually never order desert, but one of the offerings was dark chocolate “salami” with salt and pepper shortbread.  How can one pass that up?

That stuff that looks like salami?  It's dark chocolate with nuts and maybe other delicious things.  Who knows.  It was really good.  The orange marmalade accompaniment was great too.

That's about it for Saturday.  After our long day of eating and drinking, we were more than ready to go to sleep.

Bon appetit.


  1. Wow, sounds like an amazing weekend! You know, I usually don't like radicchio either, but I had it on a pizza the other night, along with potato, rosemary, and gorgonzola, and I really liked it. No bitterness at all.

    I love the salami-like dessert!

  2. Oh E, what an AWESOME weekend with your mom!!

  3. It was a really great weekend.