I've been wanting to go to Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen's No Menu Monday for quite some time now. On the last Monday of each month the chefs put out a special four course menu....& they don't tell you what you're eating until it's set down in front of you. It's kind of exhilarating to give myself over & not have control over a meal. I'm game for just about anything really, you name it I'll eat it. Kelly & I reserved a table with our friend Lindsey. Knowing how pork happy Chefs Michael Hudman & Andrew Ticer are I called ahead to inquire if they could do a vegetarian "No Menu". The manager said of course & we were on our way.
After getting a few outstanding cocktails from Shawn the bartender (he mixes one hell of a drink!) we were seated at a comfortable out on the back patio with a view of the garden. His Champagne Cocktail has a hint of sprightly sweetness but it's balanced with a floral characteristic from honey & gin. Quite nice.
Fall was finally happening & we were reveling in it! Our first course was Arancini (fried risotto balls) stuffed with veal cheeks & porcini. Sorry but no pic on this one.
After this course we popped open a bottle I picked up during Oregon Pinot Camp last year
The Shea Vineyard produces some very dark, masculine & brooding wines which was exactly what we were in the mood for.
Up next was a dish that will go down as one of the best dishes I've eaten in 2010.
Fried pig ears, pears, gorgonzola & caramelized radicchio. Oh...my...damn. The ears were crispy, unctuous & gelatinous the cheese was creamy & pungent, the pears were sweet & the radicchio earthy. Good lord, it was fantastic.
Then we got a bowl of housemade meatballs with a gorgonzola bechamel & a rosemary marinara. Very warm with hints of spicy meatiness.
After that were rabbit stuffed cannelloni.
This was my least favorite dish. Both Lindsey & I were confused as to what the protein even was & the sauce was a bit thin & bland. However I will stress that nearly any dish would have a hard time standing up to the fried pig ears.
Dessert was quite nice
Pumpkin panna cotta (probably some pork fat in there too) with pork fat caramel corn, marshmallows & dried cranberries that were finely diced, almost to a dusting, & sprinkled over the top. Very fall & very delicious.
I'm looking forward to the next one.
New Type of Drug-Free Labels for Meat Has U.S.D.A. Blessing - Consumers will soon see the phrase “produced without ractopamine,” which helps add muscle to animals, on packages of some pork products.
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