Dinner at Castagna's - Portland
#11
  Re: (...)
Warning: this is a long post!!!

Oh what a happy experience this was. Four of us visited Castagna's last Saturday night. We all tried to order different things the whole time so we could taste as many of the offerings as possible.

We drank June's Krug Champagne with the first two courses - she brought it from New York for us to have together.

For the rest of the dinner we had R. Lopez de Heredia, “Bonconia” Rioja Reserve, 2001, $60.00 (80% Tempranillo) - it was wonderful with everything!

Chef Matt Lightner is only 29 years old!! and has been with the restaurant for 7 months. My Lord, can that man cook!
He has been named one of the top 10 chefs of 2010 – will be in F&W magazine in June, I think it is.

First Course -
"Crab"

Dungeness crab with amaranth, lemon (foam) and cardamom - the foam was out of this world

I had this one - "Tartare"

- bison tenderloin, brioche, malt, pickles and fragrant seeds

"Salmon"

- chinook, mustard seeds, jamon broth, toasted shrimp and lardo

"Chipiron" - I had this one and the puree was so good all of us were swiping bread thru it to get every bit!

fresh squid on the plancha, charcoal vegetable puree and sorrel

"New Potatoes" - Roy had this one and it was the epitome of how good 'simple' can be - it was outstanding

slow cooked potatoes, gruyere and its water, herbs

"Ferns"

roasted lamb shoulder, fiddlehead ferns, watercress and wild liquorice

"Carrots" - the only drawback of the evening, the duck was just a tad undercook (even for me)

roasted duck breast with black garlic (yummy!), heirloom carrots and geranium broth.

"Ramps"

charred New York strip loin, toasted ramps and oyster emulsion

"Apple" - I had this one and the apple was yummy warm and the ice cream, sooo good.

poached apple, salted caramel and fresh cheese ice cream

"Chocolate" and it was chocolate!!

chocolate mousse, almond streusel, frozen white chocolate berries and vegetables (don't know what that meant)

"Orange" - this was so light, airy and I wanted more of it!

heirloom oranges, marzipan, mousse, orange blossom ice cream

That's it!

There was one dish on the menu that no one ordered, darn it - "Morels" - slow duck egg, chicken skin, wild greens, nettles and pinenut puree - we asked what a 'slow cooked duck egg' was as opposed to not 'slow cooked'. The egg is cooked in 61° for approx. 1 hour.

This little chef is sure going to be well known before long - the dinner was worth every penny....

If anyone has made it this far, I hope you'll try Castagnas when you're in Portland.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#12
  Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by cjs ( [i]Warning: this is...)
Oh my, what an incredible meal that was! Love the pix! Thanks for sharing and for the descriptions of each course. They are like nothing I've ever seen and each one looks amazing. Was that Chef June that joined you?
Maryann

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
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#13
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by Mare749 (Oh my, what an incre...)
Yup, here we are with Gert!


The dinner was so amazing, Maryann - we kept ooohing and aaahing thinking no way could the next course get better, but it did!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#14
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by cjs (Yup, here we are wit...)
What an amazing meal! I've never seen anything like it either, but it all sure sounded and looked great!
Daphne
Keep your mind wide open.
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#15
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by Gourmet_Mom (What an amazing meal...)
Oh, what fun and how great that you can still get together for a visit. You both look great, like you are having a wonderful time.
Maryann

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
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#16
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by cjs (Yup, here we are wit...)
Wow - the diner sounds incredible. Evidence of a lot of liquid nitrogen - I WANT some.

You and June just look so well and happy - we miss you guys.
You only live once . . . but if you do it right once should be enough!
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#17
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by Harborwitch (Wow - the diner soun...)
OMG Jean I am SOO jealous....she got to have her picture with Gert?!?!?

Oh and the food looked..well ok I guess...

Lol I can't even pull it off in type...that looked so amazing I can't stand it! I have gone over and over the pictures and I am just in awe. What a wonderful meal

How long was the meal? I'm curious how long it was between courses.

Your pictures came out just beautiful.Smile
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#18
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by DFen911 (OMG Jean I am SOO je...)
We were there almost 3 hours. I felt so badly that Gert didn't come with us to your house, Denise, that I'm going to make sure she's always with us to meet our friends.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
www.achefsjourney.com
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#19
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by cjs (We were there almost...)
I'm just wondering when Gert will get to see the Atlantic Ocean?!?!?!? She's gotta be free to fly east SOMETIME!

(Although, I heard she's heading for Texas next December. One can only hope she's planning to hit the Mid-Atlantic before or after!)
Daphne
Keep your mind wide open.
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#20
  Re: Re: Dinner at Castagna's - Portland by Gourmet_Mom (I'm just wondering w...)
Everything looks incredible. Great picture of you and June!
Practice safe lunch. Use a condiment.
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