Birthday celebrations are beginning the 15th week of the year!
Sandra took me to Andina for dinner last Thursday night. We celebrated my upcoming birthday as I will be in Seattle next week.
This restaurant chain, established by Victor Bergeron (nickname Trader Vic who invented the Mai Tai) came to Portland a few years ago. During the tiki culture fad of the 1950's and 1960's, there were as many as 25 restaurants world wide. They all feature a mix of Polynesian artifacts, unique cocktails and exotic cuisine.
A fun place to have a cocktail and who doesn't like a Mai Tai? We then walked two blocks west to Andina, a Peruvian/Tapas restaurant that's been open for many years. Chick has been a couple of times, but this was my first time there. I pass the restaurant on my way home from the Amtrak station every week and there is a table right by the window facing south that always captures my attention. I always wonder, "who is sitting at my table" and last Thursday....the table was actually MY table!
WANTANES DE MARISCOS fried seafood wontons, served with an ají amarillo-tamarind sauce
They have a rotating menu that changes with the seasons and offers versions of traditional Peruvian dishes mixed with their take on modern international cuisine. Dishes are a dazzling mix of colors styling plates like runway fashion models.
CONCHAS DEL SEÑOR DE SIPÁN quinoa-crusted diver scallops perched on top of wilted spinach and potato-parsnip purée, with golden beet and crabmeat “cannelloni,” and a duet of red beet and passionfruit reductions
The restaurant and bar offer a large selection of
small plates to share. We sat at the bar and had an amazing cocktail prepared by head bartender, Eddy before heading over to the restaurant side for dinner.
RON-YKI-ÓN roasted ginger rum shaken with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, lime juice and cane sugar, served up with a cardamom-sugar rim
The menu is broken down into different sections, with the tapas section broken down into three different sizes to choose from. We shared the wontons and then each choose an entree to split, but quite easily you could make it a night with cocktails and tapas in the bar.
Their wine list was extensive with the majority of the bottles from Chile, Argentina and Spain, and a by the glass list with over 20 varieties. We shared a wonderful bottle of Ponzi Chardonnay....just perfect for the two of us.
We capped the night off with a 20 year tawny port from Spain and a trio of pots d'cream.
What a fantastic celebration! Thanks, Chick for treating me to a special dinner.
WHO: Stacy Dare Brady WHAT: First day of 8th grade WHERE: Back yard at E Street in Springfield, OR WHEN: September 1982 Oh dear me! I've always wanted to be a fashionista, but this clearly is evidence that I was not. Too bad that you can't see my shoes, which were very close to the ones Dorothy wore in the Wizard of Oz, except mine were not sparkly....just red and with a bow!
Last week the family hosted my cousin Taryn and her new husband, Jesse in Portland. They planned a trip out west (they live in Kentucky) to see Portland, explore the craft brewery scene and travel down the Oregon coast to California. We all met for lunch at Deschutes Brewery in Portland and I ordered the steamed manila clams. What's better than sweet Oregon clams steamed in a rich full bodied IPA? Not much! So grateful to Deschutes for putting this recipe on their website. Enjoy! Stacy
Chainbreaker White IPA Steamed Manila Clams
1 lb manila clams
6 oz Chainbreaker White IPA
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
1 tablespoons butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt and pepper
Over high heat, saute garlic and onions in butter for one minute (use medium sized stock pot). Add beer, salt, pepper and clams. Continue to saute until the clams have opened completely (about 5 minutes).
To serve: Remove clams from pot and serve in a large bowl with about a cup of the broth. Top with cheese. Add toasted sliced bread, melted butter and lemon (plus a pint of Chainbreaker White IPA).
Recipe serves 3-4 (yea, right...you've never seen this girl eat clams before).