Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Review Of DeCarli Restaurant Plus A Reader Poll

Back in January, The Oregonian wrote a piece on Beaverton's best restaurants.  As a belated birthday gift, my brother and his wife allowed me to choose a restaurant for cocktails and dinner.  My mind rushed back to the article, and I chose the restaurant which touted, "While the menu changes daily, the espresso-braised short ribs are a permanent fixture; one taste and you'll know why. The happy hour menu is a fine display of Decarli favorites at bargain prices: thick polenta fries with rich gorgonzola butter; thin-crust pizzetta with seasonal toppings such as arugula pesto and roasted portobello mushrooms; mussels in a fennel-saffron cream sauce that regulars rarely pass up," DeCarli Restaurant at 4545 SW Watson Ave., Beaverton, OR 97005.

I started with one of their signature cocktails, the name of which I can't remember, containing; orange infused vodka, lime, Sprite, and other ingredients.  (Taking notes at the dinner table is awkward, what can I say?)  The drink had a sweet/tart citrus flavor with a slightly bitter finish reminiscent of an orange's peel.

While sipping, our table opened the meal by sharing three appetizers:
  • Steak Tartare, fresh ground beef with; onions, parsley, and Harissa; topped with a farm fresh egg yolk, served with charred baguettes for $13.00,  
  • Three Topped Toasted Bruschettas, one topped with salmon tartare & creme fraiche, one with balsamic figs & ricotta, and one with herbed ricotta & English peas for $8.00,
  • Mussels in the shell with a creamy saffron-fennel wine sauce served nestled inside a bed of arugula for $14.00.
The Steak Tartare had a fresh taste and was well seasoned with just a hint of spicy heat.  Likewise, the mussels were tender with a pleasant sea flavor of their own in addition to the rich taste of the sauce.  In fact, if one put the mussels & sauce over pasta they'd have a superb meal right there.

My favorite of the crunchy bruschettas was the sweet & salty fig & cheese topped toast, the ingredients of which composed a perfectly balanced bite.  Additionally, the salmon tartare topped toast delivered a mildly salty salmon flavor, reminding me of really good lox.  As for the pea topped toast, it was tasty but just kinda "eh," compared to the other offerings.

My entree was the Long-Grilled Carlton Farm Pork Shoulder for $22.00.   I received three glazed slices of grilled pork atop of a bed of soft polenta, roast garlic & shallots, and arugula all drizzled with pork Jus.  The glaze gave the grill marked pork a burgundy sheen and mildly sweet flavor which complimented the smoky rich taste of the meat.  Meanwhile, the garlic, shallots, and Jus gave the polenta a savory bold flavor.

Nobody had room for dessert at the end of the night, but because the meal was a birthday present I received a small dish of cinnamon Gelato and a shortbread cookie, which served as a pleasant cap to a superb meal.  When all is said and done, I give DeCarli Restaurant 9 out of 10 stars.

Now For A Bit Of Housekeeping:

When I went to DeCarli Restaurant I forgot my camera.  Unfortunately, all the DeCarli Restaurant related pictures I found online were protected by copyright.  I came that close to not writing the piece, but I wasn't sure how important pictures actually are.

Please take a moment to answer the poll question below, so I know what to do next time.

How important are pictures to my food blogs?
pollcode.com free polls 

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