TOAST 2015 Giveaway Winner

As promised, folks, a winner for a $45 General Admission ticket to Toast 2015 has been selected from last week’s post I put up announcing the contest.

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Since I’m still learning how to do cool stuff like plugins for contests and such, I simply used a random number generator that I found on the internet to select a winner for the giveaway. I numbered the seven comments left on my prior post as 1-7, the two tweets as 8-9 and the three Instagram comments as 10-12.

And…the winner is…

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Which means that Melissa wins the ticket to TOAST 2015 at Leftbank Annex on March 7th!

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Congratulations, Melissa! If I may say so myself, you do have impeccable taste choosing the Crazy 88 at Departure as one of your favourite Portland cocktails. Please e-mail me at saltwatercoffee@hotmail.com your e-mail address and full name so that I can e-mail you your ticket 🙂

As for everyone else, I still HIGHLY encourage you pack your lunch a few days next week and use that money towards a ticket to TOAST so that you also can have the opportunity to taste 120 different spirits from 40 distilleries and munch on bites from Smallwares, Olympic Provisions, The Bent Brick, Stella Taco and the up and coming Ringside Grill.

For ticket and event information, click here!

The Best Dinner in Portland: Will Preisch’s Holdfast Dining Pop-Up

Sunday night I had the great pleasure of experiencing an impeccable seven course supper (with four paired wines) prepared and presented by Chef Will Preisch, who coincidentally just this week was named by Portland Monthly Magazine as 2013’s Rising Star.

Preisch, only 29 years old has an impressive resume here in Portland: Park Kitchen, Le Pigeon and The Bent Brick. Recently however he spent sometime exploring and expanding his repertoire of skills in Denmark, Iceland and France and decided to return to Portland with a new agenda.

That agenda is Holdfast Dining. Essentially, Holdfast Dining is a “pop-up” event company where Preisch hosts dinners in various restaurants, venues, or commissary kitchens. The dates are released in the month before, are limited in seating and include a 6-11 course supper with 4-5 wine pairings, typically with the price ranging from $55-$75.

What sets this experience apart from simply going to a restaurant to dinner is that you feel like you’re attending a dinner party; the atmosphere is casual and the kitchen is open with Preisch playing all roles from host to sommelier to chef- conversing openly with all the patrons as he works his magic.

Last night’s event was held at Kitchencru on NW Flanders and Broadway with nine other delightful attendees other than myself:

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The Evening’s Itinerary

And…what that all looks like:

Crab, fried green tomato, apple, buttermilk, dill
Crab, fried green tomato, apple, buttermilk, dill
Smoked Trout, cedar, pine, mushrooms, charred leek
Smoked Trout, cedar, pine, mushrooms, charred leek
Egg yolk, assorted lightly fried grains, miso-beer broth
Egg yolk, assorted lightly fried grains, miso-beer broth

Since I am recovering from a slight cold, this was the perfect comforting dish- a warm slightly salty broth and hearty subtle crunch from the grains…oh and of course some egg yolk to infuse a little richness.

Lamb, Lamb Belly, Eggplant, Caramelized Yogurt, Black Olive
Lamb, Lamb Belly, Eggplant, Caramelized Yogurt, Black Olive

Take it from me, you guys: lamb belly is the new pork belly (and I’m not just saying that because I don’t eat pork belly…this is one of the most succulent and rich pieces of meat I have ever tasted).

Cornbread Madeleine, Honeycomb, Lardo, Parmesan
Cornbread Madeleine, Honeycomb, Lardo, Parmesan
Frozen Yogurt, Honey Granita
Frozen Yogurt, Honey Granita
Miso-Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Carrot Cake, Candied Walnuts
Miso-Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Carrot Cake, Candied Walnuts

This deconstructed carrot cake is one of the most delightful desserts I have had in quite a while- the miso-cream cheese ice cream was so luxurious and creamy, a much preferred alternative to cream cheese frosting. And of course with some crunch from walnuts and a tinge of baked goods from the mini carrot cakes it was the ideal all-encompassing texture gasm of a dessert and final course.

Check out Holdfast Dining yourself! I recommend joining their mailing list so you can be the first to find out about the pop-up dates to reserve one of the few coveted seats available.

Also you can learn more from these recent articles from Portland Monthly Magazine:

1) Holdfast Dining’s One Man Show

2) Slideshow: A Night with Holdfast Dining’s Will Preisch

Last of all, I would like to extend a huge thank you to one of Portland’s top foodies, @garythefoodie (as is known on Twitter and Instagram) for offering me this ticket and giving me the opportunity to have this fantastic dining experience!

Urbanspoon UrbanHour: The Bent Brick

Forgive the one week turnaround on this post; I have two legitimate excuses:

1) I now have a full-time job

and

2) This past week has been “birthday week,” which basically means I have not spent more than two waking hours at home in the past seven days.

Anyhow, last Tuesday I had the honour to be invited to Urbanspoon’s second Urbanhour Event here in Portland. Last month Anne accompanied to the lovely dinner and drinks session provided at Accanto and this month the mini-soiree took place at The Bent Brick in NW Portland.

I’ve been to The Bent Brick for food once before and for their impeccable albeit strong craft cocktails several times (my friend David used to bartend here back in the day). I was excited however for an opportunity to taste several of the newer menu items and of course catch up with all the fascinating food bloggers I met at the prior Urbanhour event.

My darling friend, Erica accompanied me and we ran into the lovely ladies of Talk. Eat. Drink. Portland., Pechluck, and Kathryn- all fellow food bloggers who I had the opportunity of meeting at the prior event.

Roasted chickpeas with herbs
Roasted chickpeas with herbs

This starter was definitely one of the crowd favorites, think salty herby chickpeas with just the right amount of crunch. A delicious snack or salad topping.

Smoked salmon chips
Smoked salmon chips

Think shrimp chips except tasting like smoked salmon, I wasn’t crazy about them but I can see them going well with some sort of cream cheese-like dippage.

Ken's Artisan Bread with whipped lardo
Ken’s Artisan Bread with whipped lardo
Erica's Cocktail: Smoke n Herb- rosemary ice cube, tito’s vokda, lavender, lemon, smoked Jacobsen’s sea salt
Erica’s Cocktail: Smoke n Herb- rosemary ice cube, tito’s vokda, lavender, lemon, smoked Jacobsen’s sea salt
Country Ham Plate: johnston county, fincheville, wigwam
Country Ham Plate: johnston county, fincheville, wigwam
Duck fat jojos with special ranch
Duck fat jojos with special ranch
Demonstration on how to create a rhubarb cordial cocktail
Demonstration on how to create a rhubarb cordial cocktail

This was a pretty nifty demo on how to create The Bent Brick’s On The Veranda cocktail. We all got to sample a shot afterwards and it was nothing short of refreshing and delicious.

Fancified Hot Dog
Fancified Hot Dog
Smashed chickpeas
Smashed chickpeas

Another delightful and comforting side dish; think a more protein-packed and texture filled version of mashed potatoes.

The Hamburger Dog with cheese, bent brick sauce, and relish
The Hamburger Dog with cheese, bent brick sauce, and relish

The premise of this hot dog is to take hamburger meat; grind it into a hot dog casing and top it with a bunch of delectable traditional condiments. Essentially a hamburger that looks like a hot dog, and one that was nevertheless delicious. You take a bite and THINK you’re eating a hamburger, but really it’s a hot dog. That’s gourmet comfort food for you I suppose.

Tea sandwiches with tomato, cucumber, gin, goat cheese
Tea sandwiches with tomato, cucumber, gin, goat cheese
Grilled squid salad with with Mendocino seaweed and potatoes
Grilled squid salad with with Mendocino seaweed and potatoes
The bearded lady x2: bourbon, strawberry shrub, hum rhubarb liquor, salt and pepper
The bearded lady x2: bourbon, strawberry shrub, hum rhubarb liquor, salt and pepper

Perhaps my favourite craft cocktail at The Bent Brick, and so delightful that even whiskey shunning Erica chose to order it. Sweet, yet not overly so thanks to the salt and pepper addition.

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Just like Accanto, Urbanspoon and The Bent Brick both deserve a huge thank you for sponsoring such a lovely event generous on samples and quality cocktails. I also enjoyed the opportunity of finally meeting Jannie and Chloe of Little Green Pickle! Looking forward to seeing you both at Feast in September!

If you’re looking for perfectly executed comfort food with a twist of the unconventional then The Bent Brick is your place. They also have a fantastic happy hour and some of the strongest and most innovative craft cocktails in the city.

the bent brick on Urbanspoon

Can’t wait for the next Urbanspoon event! And also I promise I will post more frequently…let’s just say that I’ve been to Le Pigeon, Interurban, and Canteen all recently and it would pain me to let the photos I took fade into camera roll oblivion.

ALSO one last thing; I have instagram now so you can follow me at: @lilslimlady

Have a fantastic week everyone! xox