The Leisure is all Mine

The past two weeks have been hectic; late work hours, lingering self-imposed obligations, and a family emergency have led to near-sleepless nights, Nespresso-induced jitters, and a rational fear of hearing my Blackberry ring/ding/make any sort of vibration

As a result of the above, I have been spending my rare and golden nuggets of free time “taking it easy,” translating to trading in my weekday late-night Riot Acts and business talk at Teardrop to some late night Forbes and Financial Times in my candied ginger-scented bubble baths. As for the weekends, I have been sticking to relaxed queue-less suppers out with my nears & dears and some self-care…in the forms of ninety minute deep tissue massages

Since my weekday diet tends to consist of a cereal/yoghurt/gourmet burger pattern, a Saturday night dinner at Laurelhurst Market was a very welcome and fulfilling indulgence

The first time Naz and I ventured over to Laurelhurst Market was last May as part of a celebratory Thursday night post-thesis completion celebration

Of course, since Olive, Naz, and I spent our Saturday afternoon occupying saunas, massage beds, and plush spa robes, it was only fitting that we concluded our evening with some gentrified comfort food

We started with two ramekins of Mac n Cheese; Laurelhurst Market is famous for their mac n cheese, baked with a Tim’s potato chip crust and oozing of dairy velvet luxe. I am not even going to try to describe how incredible this was- let me just say that it made me wonder why I do not eat Mac N Cheese more often:

You KNOW you want some

For the main course; after much debate, Naz and I each ordered the Piedmontese Culotte Steak with truffled farm eggs and pistou:

As a self-proclaimed meat head, thisĀ  most certainly tapped the iron and Vitamin B12 craving; I do admit however that I preferred the egg sunny side up when we last ventured here; omelette texture skeeves me un peu…even when umami-accented

Since Olive is vegetarian, she chose the Little Gem Romaines Salad to go along with her ramekin of mac:

Shaved beets, French breakfast radishes, fromage blanc, pumpkin seed vinaigrette

It is worth iterating here that there are no vegetarian entrees at Laurelhurst Market; however luckily Olive is a fan of le fromage so she was quite content with having a salad with Mac n Cheese for din

When Naz and I were here last May, we ordered a Dulce de Leche cheesecake for dessert which was absolutely beyond the most distant valley of impeccable. Over the course of the last several months, everyone who has come into contact with Naz from Bombay to London to Boston to Portland has heard about this cheesecake; therefore it is no exaggeration to say that we had some rather high expectations for our post-steak sweet teeth:

Since there is no way one measly slice of cheesecake would be enough for the three of us, we collectively decided to also order the chocolate whoopie pie (what the hell is with Portland and whoopie pies?)

The salted dark chocolate sorbet was excellent, a delightful dippage for the freshly baked cookies

This time around, as opposed to the cranberry compote, the Dulce de Leche cheesecake arrived with Oregon huckleberry syrup. It was good, a word I try to avoid when calibrating a given dish’s pleasure potential- but sadly it was just that- in fact once the cheque arrived there was an entire bite of crust left which remained


Do you ever treat yourself with a spa treatment?

What would be your ultimate weekend indulgence?


Deserving Indulgence

On Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 I officially completed all the work required of me in undergraduate college

and to add on to that the Portland forecast was sunny with clear views of Mount Hood and a refreshing glow-inducing seventy-two degrees


Oh yes, and I did pick up this terribly unflattering outfit which I must wear in the presence of several thousand people:

…But at least I get some cool India and Finland ribbons and a pin to indicate I sacrificed the cash equivalent of an order of steak tartare to the “Senior Gift”


To celebrate the wondrous accomplishment of never technically NEEDING to step into the library again, Nazu and I decided to go all out on the ‘very much deserving indulgence scale’, starting with dinner at this Bon Appetit-featured, Best Restaurant in Portland runner-up, Laurelhurst Market.

So, you know how my last post was all about meatless meals n all?

Well…I suppose it’s worth noting that Laurelhurst Market is both a butchery and a restaurant, hence the glorious entree Nazu and I selected as our celebratory satiation (we each had our own):

Hanger steak with parsley pistou, extra virgin olive oil, black Oregon truffles, fleur de sel, and a fried egg. Cholesterolicious to the max and exactly what I needed- a truffled protein fest to conclude my undergraduate career


The staff at this place is incredible: Accommodating, friendly, savvy about the menu and cuts of meat, and very very East Portland at the same time.

Of course after such a delightful meal we were more than anticipating a tad of dessert to share:

Dulce de Leche cheesecake with cranberry compote:

Absolutely divine. Luscious and creamy, a textural-gasm if you will.

This restaurant truly deserves all its appraisal: the atmosphere is local and lively yet polished, full of “posh hipster” Portlandia types in ironed flannel and rimmed glasses, yet devouring beautiful hunks of Wagyu steak brisket or piles of dijon-ized Moules Frites. The food is impeccable and abundant with fresh flavours and ingredients. And the location- stupendously stunning. If you have never been to the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Portland, imagine cherry-blossom tree lined streets, idealistic perfectly manicured mini-estates, and this bustling place as your neighborhood butchery/place to grab an evening apertif.

Laurelhurst Market on Urbanspoon

En route back to the car I couldn’t help but fantasize about how wonderful it would be to live here fifteen years down the line…truly a perfect family neighbourhood yet still a short walk away from grungy coffee-shop hipster Portland. En amour.


Apres le diner, Nazu and I made a quick stop over at New Seasons to pick up some fresh organic strawberries so that we could go to my house and do this:


On that note, if anyone working for LVMH sees this, I very much believe I would be a very qualified job candidate as Nazu and I quickly realized the degree of inadvertent product placement our lives contain:

How do you indulge yourself?

Favourite cut of steak? Do tell!