PDX: Best Onion Rings at Lincoln Restaurant

Berlioni

Berlioni

Unlike most trips where I research the hell out of the city for the best eats, I played it by ear with Portland. I was in town for Portland Cocktail Week and went wherever my friends wanted to go. On my first night, I found myself at Lincoln Restaurant. I wasn’t unfamiliar with their food as I recently tried a bite at this year’s LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade.

I had the Berlioni (a sort of perfect Cynar Negroni– using both dry and sweet vermouth) to start off my night– my week and it was a good way to go.

 

corn meal encrusted onion rings

cornmeal onion rings

 

My friends and I decided to share a bunch of starters and skip the entrees. We ended up ordering 9 dishes for 3 people. That didn’t seem unreasonable. And Lincoln sent out their fabulous cormeal onion rings along the way.

foie

foie gras, rabbit liver mousse, rabbit terrine, cured duck breast

 

When I saw Lincoln had foie gras, I stopped reading the rest of the description. You can always tell when a foodie is from California. We miss our foie. The collection also included rabbit liver mousse, rabbit terrine and cured duck breast.

bone marrow

roasted bone marrow, crispy sweetbreads, pickled green strawberries

 

There are certain things I like but don’t really order and that includes bone marrow. I feel it’s just too easy but I’m glad we did because I liked the crispy sweetbreads and the pickled green strawberries.

 

tripe

fried gougeres, tripe, fennel, pickled chili aioli

 

I was all for the tripe though. The menu was a bit misleading. When it said fried gourgeres, tripe and fennel, I didn’t realize the tripe was also going to be fried. The reason why I love tripe so much is the texture. Frying it made it chewy. The fried gourgeres and fennel was okay but I was bummed about that tripe.

octopus

grilled octopus with fennel

 

Good thing the grilled octopus made it all better. Yes, that is one of those dishes I usually order whenever I see it and it’s nearly perfect every time. This was tender and the fennel went well with this dish (I realized later at least 4 of the 9 we ordered had fennel included somewhere on the dish).

tartare

short rib tartare with smoked chicken egg yolk

 

One of the best dishes was the short rib tartare with the very interesting smoked chicken egg yolk. I also appreciated the buttered toast that came with the tartare.

salad

nasturtium leaves salad, black figs, fennel, pine nuts, ground cherries

 

Getting a salad of nasturtium leaves turned out to be a challenge for us. While I’ve had it here and there– usually as garnish, it turns out the leaves had a watery almost too raw taste we didn’t quite get into. The halved ground cherries and chewy figs were great because the sweetness balanced out the salad.

pasta

ricotta cavatelli with bacon, tomato, chili

 

The one dish we couldn’t understand was the ricotta cavatelli. We had heard so much about this dish but the sauce was not flavorful. I was a little more forgiving than my tablemates but in the end, we left most of this dish.

quail

soft polenta with fried quail, oil-cured olives, fennel, preserved lemon

For some others, trigger words like polenta meant we had to get this dish. I was interested in the quail but I had my fill of fried foods for the night. We concentrated on the polenta which turned out to be the best polenta I had all week.

Swiss chard with tongue

Swiss chard with tongue

 

I like every night of my life thought we needed veggies. I chose the Swiss chard though I was confused by the addition of tongue. I didn’t look to see what actual vegetarians could eat but this definitely would not be for them. I ate this up like a good vegetables lover.

We were too full for dessert but I knew more liquid calories were forthcoming.

Lincoln Restaurant

3808 N Williams Ave., Ste 127, Portland, OR 97227  —  (503) 288-6200

© The Minty 2013

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