Tuna and watermelon tartare – Le Pigeon

Tuna and watermelon tartare - Le Pigeon
Watermelon dashi, sweet and spicy pickles, lime aioli, crispy rice. 5 course tasting menu $85
Le Pigeon, Portland OR

This dish was just so fresh, bright, clean, and delicious! I loved the way they made the watermelon and tuna similar in appearance. It was like a surprise to see if you got a piece of watermelon or tuna before you took a bite. Yum!

Bread and salted butter - Le Pigeon
Bread and salted butter.


Japanese deer tartare – Benu

Project 365: Day 17

Had a busy day-before-my-birthday day! Woke up with my lovey, stayed in bed and randomly caught a Streetfighter movie on TV (Legend of Chun Li or something like that, lol), went to the gym, got my hair did, had lunch downtown, picked up my wool and seersucker blazers from the tailor, did computer stuff, then had an AMAZING birthday dinner at Benu!

The dinner had 17 courses and lasted 3.5 hours! That’s pretty good if you ask me. I once had a pre fixe dinner in the Jewel Box at Mistral Kitchen in Seattle that lasted almost 4 hours, too. I honestly LOVE long dinners. They’re super relaxing and the food is almost always spectacular at these nice establishments. I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s birthday dinner. The food was SO delicious and the service was impeccable. (Anybody want to hit up French Laundry next?)

Afterward went to the Castro for some drinks but I didn’t last very long. I was SO frickin’ full and could barely move.

Can’t wait for brunch with T-Head and RSL tomorrow, then getting trashed with even more friends at Badlands!

Japanese deer tartare Benu

Served with artichoke mayonnaise and walnut bread. Pre fixe dinner $180
Benu, San Francisco

When I saw this dish on the menu, I was very intrigued. I’ve had venison before, but never as a tartare. The deer had a surprisingly clean flavor. I expected it be very gamey, dark and tough, but it tasted pretty neutral. Most of the flavor from this dish came from the artichoke mayonnaise, walnut bread, and whatever the freeze dried crumbles were on the plate.

Japanese deer tartare Benu

All the plates duirng dinner were beautiful! They were small poritons, but after 17 courses I was stuffed. The plates looked simple at a glanced but they had a lot of different components.

I’ll post the rest of the dishes soon!

Walnut bread Benu

Walnut bread. Even the bread was fantastic!

Dom Perignon champagne 1993

Moet e Chandon a Epernay, Champagne, Cuvee Dom Perignon, 1993. $40 corkage
Silverfox had this bottle of champagne laying around and he decided to pop the cork for my birthday dinner, aww! That’s a good thing because Benu had bottles of Dom Perignon 1996 and 1995 for $750 and $957, respectively. Ouch! We got away with only paying corkage.

Dom Perignon champagne 1993

The boxed bottle of champagne is just asking to be opened!

Corey Lee signed menu

Menu signed by chef Corey Lee. This was a cute surprise at the end of the meal. We had menus at our table the entire time to keep up with what we were eating, but those were taken away at the end and replaced with a couple signed menus.