PFA - Acadia
The 3rd season of Portland Food Adventures started out hopping at Acadia, a New Orleans Bistro situated in Northeast Portland. From the moment I walked in the room was filled with energy as we were served our first round of drinks, a spicy cocktail called “Once More Down Pirate Alley”. You know the night is going to go well starting with a drink like that!
As everyone sat down we were offered our first course, rich and creamy pumpkin bisque with green onions and hush puppies, served with a NV Sparkling Brut.
It wasn’t long before our host, Chris Angelus, introduced us to Chef Adam Higgs, the mastermind behind our amazing menu at Acadia for the evening. He talked to us a bit about the menu creation, including the famous porkchop. Chris mentioned that he rarely asks for a specific dish to be on a PFA menu, but the pork chop was a must have. Adam also told us how important authenticity is for Acadia, and that he takes weekly trips out to the airport to pick up fresh ingredients straight from New Orleans to be used in their cuisine.
After a few more words and much applause Adam headed back into the kitchen, and we continued our New Orleans adventure.
Next up was a Louisiana BBQ shrimp, paired with a Riseling Kabinett. The sauce was a perfect blend of spiciness, and although I was not brave enough to eat the full shrimp (head included) many of my tablemates spoke highly of it.
Course three was a hog’s head salad with ricotta salata, toasted pumpkin seeds, pepperoncini frisee and lemon vinaigrette.
This was definitely one of the highest energy Adventures I’ve been to. Something about the atmosphere, the flowing wine and food, the whole ambiance of the place, it really just felt like a gathering of friends and the room was filled with laughing, conversation and smiles all around. A lot of new comers this time around as well, and from what I saw they all embraced the experience wholeheartedly. Portland Food Adventures is where you take some time to just relax and enjoy the company of fellow foodies in a heavenly environment, and this crowd definitely took that to heart.
Next up we had a really interesting dish, bronzed Louisiana Drumfish with blue crab menuire and a sweet potato puree. Paired with a 2011 Christopher Michael Pinot Noir, it was the first time I’d had Drumfish of any sort (which Adam earlier described as being a very mild flavor) and thought it was cooked and prepared quite well. The sweet potato puree was a big hit for me as well.
And then the course of the night, Acadia’s “big pork chop” with roasted apples, cider gastrique and sage-cornbread dressing. Wow! Such a beautifully cooked pork chop, with the perfect amount of moistness and paired with a lovely Syrah. It definitely lived up the hype!
Later Chris and Adam both came back to introduce our desert course, a Peanut Butter pie with whipped cream and cocoa nib truffle. As a peanut butter addict I LOVED this, absolutely amazing. Chris also took the opportunity to introduce a few special guests that night, including Portland’s 100 Best Places to Stuff Your Faces, as well as Cindy Anderson (below, far right), author of the Happy Hour Guidebook. Also in attendance was Meredith Philips (above, far left), local chef, author and television personality. Not a bad turnout for a Tuesday night!
The peanut butter pie was served with a Lustau Sherry, and I loved both parts of this course a LOT, I can’t stress that enough.
Adam came out to socialize with us a little more and explain some of the gift certificates for the evening. This time included Ping PDX, Blue Hour, Ox and Hale Pele. I’m looking forward to hitting up all of these places! And with that the first Portland Food Adventures of the season drew to a close. Such a great night full of energy and fun people, I hope to see a lot of newcomers (and regulars of course) at some of the future events! Check out the upcoming Adventures because they look pretty amazing!
And just because I got so many great portraits of people the other night, here are a few more for fun. Until next time, cheers!