However Le Pigeon found the magical bridge for savory and sweet. Salt. Ah-ha! The very thing that makes me love bacon chocolate, has brought me my first edible sweet foie gras - Foie Gras Profiteroles with caramel sauce and sea salt. Eat it, love it, forgive Aunt Mildred.
Le Pigeon is a small, family style seating restaurant. Try to sit at the bar so you can chat with the 3 chefs preparing your food in the open kitchen. Being our first time, we ordered the 7 course tasting menu, which I highly recommend. Highlights include the butter with salt flakes (so good, although the butter at Beast is still my favorite), the Rabbit & Eel Terrine with peaches, avocado, and foie-miso vinaigrette, and the Pigeon with liver toast, grapes, and white anchovies (pictured below).
My husband and I couldn't stop talking about the anchovy and grape salad. Such a good surprise of unexpected flavors that go so well together. It felt like we were judges at Iron Chef. The pigeon was delicious and the liver toast rivaled the salad, although you can't go wrong with liver mousse on bread.
The only small downside was the uni on the halibut. Uni is a fickle thing, so like Aunt Mildred it deserves forgiveness. It can taste like the deep ocean, which would of sent this dish over the top, or it can taste dirty like it did this time and taint the entire plate.
Great atmosphere and glorious food make Le Pigeon one of my top 3 restaurants. We ended up exchanging phone numbers with some new foodie friends and met a local wine maker (Mahonia Vineyard). I loved the mismatched fine china and real silver utensils (unfussy, refined), and I'm going to try the peach and avocado with mint side dish at home. Sauternes, recommended by our fellow table-mates, is now my new favorite dessert wine for a cheese plate (think honey with cheese).
This is what makes a great restaurant. Unexpected delicious food, interesting conversations, and good wine. Le Pigeon has created that "je ne sais pas" space and food combination that makes me heart Portland. Plus, now I get to say that I've eaten pigeon!