Sunday, March 6, 2011

Food Crush {taste}

I love food.
I love making it...I especially love eating it.
The different combinations.
The flavor nuances.
The science behind it.
{Food is chemistry. It's all about the reaction of one element to another.}

I adore finding a new {to me} restaurant.
I'll bet you do too.

I want to feature some of my favorite local places - so this blog feature will profit the local readers mostly.
Locals: know you're out there although you don't love to comment...ahem.
You know who you are.
{How's that for a blog call-out?}

taste is in a little space with a menu of small tasting plates - hence the name - but big flavors.
{some of the info you'll find on their website has changed - they've changed their location but its not reflected on the site.}

The brick interiors and chalkboard painted walls - specials scrawled across the surface - is set off by a frilled, bejeweled chandelier and a dim, candlelit bar.

The ambiance was fantastic.
Dinner with friends.
Romantic dinner with The One.
{which was our situation - we went for our Valentine's day date.}
Whomever you're dining with, Taste is the place for it.

One of my favorite aspects of the place was the way it was layed out.
We sat at the bar - the only place to sit, save the long, knobbly table set for groups - and watched as our dishes were prepped right before us on tiny cutting boards and dorm-room style hot plates.
It was charming.
We talked to the chef while he minced and seared;
about our food, about the wines on the menu, about our mutual love for Portland as one of the best food cities in the US.

They have changed locations, as I said before.
You can find them now at
4584 Laclede Avenue

I know many of the things I loved about it will be different in a new building - larger!
But I'm sure the food will still be fantastic and I've heard the feel of the restaurant is still the same.
Simplistic, a bit moody, Parisian bistro.

One of the crowning jewels of Taste is their bar.
The menu is more than half spirits - exciting cocktails like nothing I've ever heard before.
Granted, I'm not much of a drink aficionado, and I didn't try any of their mixed drink offerings (the wine was nice!) but I've heard they're awesome.

We ordered quite a few plates - it was our appetizer stop, we went somewhere else for dinner, which is what I would recommend.
My favorite was the Tuna Two Ways.
A gorgeous dish.
They don't have it on the menu at the moment, but it changes frequently, so maybe they'll bring it back.
The Ricotta Gnocci was creamy and decadent and another favorite.
Their focus seems to be on pork - even in the dessert arena:
pigwiches are little pig-shaped chocolate wafer cookies with bacon creme sandwiched in between.
Cute and a taste-bud adventure.

This mama doesn't get many nights out, but when I do it's a place like Taste that I'm looking for.
Just the right amount of cool-ness factor and a great tasting, diverse menu.

Other local Food Crushes:
Hell's Kitchen (Minneapolis edition!)

1 comment:

Lyndee said...

I live in Reedsburg so Madison is the nearest place with good food though occasionally WI Dells can offer a plate worth talking about. MY culinary delights are mostly found between flops in my own kitchen!