Harvest Time In The Willamette Valley!

At the end of this growing season, Frances Dyer has high hopes for the 2012 vintage of Willamette Valley wineries.

We’ve had an amazing summer here at Little Green Pickle, but when the sunny season comes to a close and the overcast clouds are on their way, Portlanders will transition from throwing backyard BBQs to cozying up indoors with a slow cooker and a good cookbook. And, for the 200+ wineries in the Willamette Valley, October means Harvest time!

The Willamette Valley AVA is Oregon’s largest wine growing region at 5,200 square miles. The region is most well known for its world-class Pinot Noir, but also produces delicious Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay and several other unique varieties. In Portland Monthly’s annual Oregon’s 50 Best Wines, the majority of the list was Willamette Valley wineries.

(Great promo video for Oregon wines, courtesy of Travel Oregon)

As for this year’s vintage, a winery can plan and prepare all they want, but so much of the taste and quality of the wine will ultimately depend on the climate the grapes grow in from year to year. It can’t be too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, harvested too soon or too late  - everything has to come together seamlessly for a good vintage. We have high hopes for 2012’s harvest as The Oregonian’s wine columnist, Katherine Cole, just tweeted “Countdown to harvest in Will. Valley. Some have started; others will next week. Sunny days and cold nights continue. Vintage could be epic.”

Yes, patience is a virtue, but LGP is eager to taste the potentially ‘epic’ Willamette Valley wines of the 2012 harvest!



FEAST PORTLAND! And Then Some!

LGP rounds up some of the best Feast-inspired specials at restaurants around PDX this weekend.

Can you believe it’s Feast Week already?! Of course Team LGP is psyched, but it sounds like the rest of the city is too! Restaurants across Portland are getting into the spirit of Feast by offering specials, Feast-inspired dishes or events throughout the weekend. Below is a roundup of Feast specials happening all over town that Feast revelers can use as a guide for places to visit and continue their celebration of Feast in between official festival events!

Ambonnay
Ambonnay Bar will be offering a featured Feast glass pour of Egly Ouriet Brut Tradition NV for $20 a glass. Egly is hands down the best producer in Ambonnay and his wines are rather hard to get by the bottle, let alone by the glass.  The restaurants that do sell this wine sell it for $150ish, so it’s quite a steal at $20.
107 SE Washington St., Portland, OR; 503-575-4861

Genoa
To kickoff Feast Genoa is giving 10 percent of their profits Wed. and Thurs. to Feast’s charity partner Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry.
2832 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR; 503-238-1464

Morso
Morso’s Pearl District location will be offering a special Feast happy hour Friday and Saturday featuring Spicy Oregon Bay Shrimp on crostini for $5 and $2 off of all house cocktails from 5 to 9 p.m.
25 NW 11th Ave, Portland, OR; 503-226-8002

Olympic Provisions
Olympic Provisions is featuring a “Feast Charcuterie plate” throughout the weekend which includes Chorizo Rioja, manchego, roasted pepper salad and fruit preserve.
1632 NW Thurman St., Portland, OR; 503-894-8136 and 107 SE Washington St., Portland OR; 503-954-3663

Paley’s Place
Paley’s Place will feature a "FEAST Portland" Peach Salad all weekend, showcasing fresh Oregon peaches.
1204 NW 21st Ave., Portland, OR; 503-243-2403

Riffle NW
Riffle NW is serving a Feast Late Night menu Wednesday-Sunday this week from 10:30pm-12:00am. It features fun Feast bites, cocktails and wine selections like Feast and Chips, oysters on the half shell, and a limited release Widmer Brothers Reserve Barrel Aged Brrrbon. 333 NW 13th Ave, Portland, OR, 503.894.8978

Red Ridge Farms
For those visiting the Willamette Valley’s wine country, Red Ridge Farms will be offering free tastings in their new Durant Vineyards tasting room along with free Oregon Olive Mill olive oil tastings in their gift shop.
5510 NE Breyman Orchard Road, Dayton, OR; 503-864-8502

Salt & Straw
During Feast weekend, Salt & Straw is giving $1 per scoop of the Feast Flavor sold to Feast’s charity partner Partners for a Hunger Free America. Their Feast Flavor is made with a combination of the best artisanal products from five regions of Oregon making for a salted chocolate ice cream with whiskey-candied hazelnuts with a Touvelle cheese butter cream.
2035 NE Alberta St.; Portland, OR; 503-208-3867 and
838 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR; 971-271-8168

SE Wine Collective
New urban winery, SE Wine Collective, is opening their tasting bar on Sept. 26 and inviting Feast revelers in for a sneak peek during their Feast Preview Party on Sat. Sept. 22 from 3 to 5 p.m.!  Guests will enjoy small bites and pours from some of the Collective’s resident wineries
Vincent Wine Company, Bow & Arrow Wines, Helioterra Wines  and Division Winemaking Company.
2425 SE 35th Place, Portland, OR; 503-887-8755

St. Honore Boulangerie
St. Honore Boulangerie is featuring two dishes made with fresh, local ingredients: Mushroom and Leek Quiche - Fresh mushrooms prepared with leeks and herbs in the oven. Grillé aux Pommes - Slow-roasting fresh Akane apples from Hood River’s Kiyokawa Orchards for five hours in the brick oven, simply with hard apple cider imported from Normandy to create a delectable filling. No sugar is added; instead the natural sugar from the apples slowly caramelizes in the oven, giving it a unique flavor and deep amber and rose or pink color. The top puff pastry is cut in a lattice pattern, “Grillé” in French, which creates a beautiful, unique look as well as its delicate and crisp texture. 2335 NW Thurman St., Portland, OR; 503-445-4342 and 315 First Street, Lake View Village, Lake Oswego, OR; 503-445-1379

Happy Feasting!

Feast Portland!It’s Comiiiiiinnnnnng!

Have you heard there is a food festival coming next weekend? Well that would just be plain silly. Come check out the line up. We are super stoked for this 4 day event! Learning by day and playing by night. This is not something you want to miss.

Buy your tickets now!

p.s. Guest Chef Ambassador Fergus Henderson is attending High Comfort? Amazing.

Get Ready, PDX, Little Green Pickle Is Manning Up With A New Publicist!

Little Green Pickle is pleased to announce our new publicist, Kyle Mallory!

A local foodie, Kyle Mallory’s love of the Portland culinary scene runs deep. Having worked for 10 years under his father, a co-owner at the famed Higgins Restaurant, Kyle gained skills in all aspects of the restaurant industry from mixing drinks to coordinating events to marketing.

Kyle also brings extensive experience in journalism, having worked at various local media outlets like The Oregonian and KOIN-TV.

We are so excited to welcome Kyle to the LGP team and know he will bring valuable knowledge, new relationships, and a fresh perspective to the office!

Let’s Go Out!

Frances Dyer is in the know on the best food-lover events in PDX this week.

We all know Portland is overflowing with fantastic places to eat, it can be hard to decide where to go when date night comes around. Do you go to a steadfast favorite or try something new? Get the most of your nights out this week by joining some of Portland’s favorite restaurants for these special events coming up!

A Portland fine-dining standard, Genoa restaurant, is having an unprecedented special event this Tuesday, July 24th, hosted by Executive Chef David Anderson, Sommelier Michael Garofola, and guest Lyle Railsback of the famed Kermit Lynch Wines. The evening will commence at 6:30pm with a brief reception of Ligurian sparkling wine and hors d’ourves, followed by a six-course meal delving diners deep into the food and wines of the incredible Genovese region.  Dinner and wine is set at $125 per person. Email Michael at Michael@Genoarestaurant.com for ticket information and read more about the unique event here.

Get all dolled up and Charleston your way over to Besaw’s on NW 23rd this Wednesday, July 25th, where they’re bringing back the roaring 20’s in style! This throwback dinner will be serving classic American staples from the Jazz age and, if you play your cards right, some “prohibited” summer cocktails.  Here’s a peek at Wednesday’s Menu - It’s the bee’s knees!

Looking for a low-key dinning experience? After all the PDX love they got during Dining Month in June, many Portland restaurants have created a special $25 three course menu – whether it’s been on your “to-do” list for ages, or it’s your favorite dinner spot, the three course menu is a great summary of what a restaurant has to offer. Tabla Mediterranean Bistro and The Country Cat are just a couple of the spots continuing the $25 dinning special.

There are plenty of food-centric events in P-Town this weekend, so get out and try something new!

PDX in NYC

LGP’s Frances Dyer tells you why some New Yorkers won’t have to wait for September to FEAST like Portlanders.

City Grit, New York’s “Culinary Salon” where the food-inspired gather to redefine the American dining experience, is hosting four of Portland’s favorite chefs – who, of course, are also all involved in Feast Portland come September—for a 5-course dining event inspired by Oregon bounty!

Chefs Cathy Whims of Nostrana/Oven & Shaker, Devon Chase of Oven & Shaker, Sarah Schafer of Irving St. Kitchen, and Ian Hutchings of LUC will be welcomed into the CITY GRIT kitchen August 14th -16th, giving the Big Apple a taste of the Rose City in a supper-club style dinner with CITY GRIT perennial host Sarah Simmons.

If you’re in New York this August, (or want to be there after hearing about this event!) check out CITY GRIT’s event and ticketing information, and read more about these participating chefs.

Can you believe Feast Portland is only 2 months away?!

Add Some Color to Your Lawn!

Intern William C. Lawson sums up gardening tips and shows how the practice works well for local restaurants.

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Broken Fence Farm photo by Bar Avignon 

Every Portlander has a garden they pour their heart into at home, and if you don’t, you should. Here’s why: gardens are local (as local as it gets), sustainable, and offer both home growers and chefs a greater degree of control over their ingredients. 

Many chefs in Portland are known for their gardens, so how can they help you improve yours? Bar Avignon owners Nancy and Randy Goodman began their Broken Fence Farm, a one-acre space adjacent to the eatery that supplies flowers, herbs, produce, and eggs. Here are some tips they have learned over the past several years:

1. Apply a large farm mentality on a small urban farm. Constantly replant your produce!

2. Plant your garden based on your menu, not the other way around. Think about what you need for your menu, and implement creativity.

3. Learn from trial and error. It doesn’t always turn out first try. Figure out what works and what doesn’t work.

4. Apply sustainable attitude from the garden and expand it to other functions of the restaurant. Don’t waste plot space planting things you’ll never cook!

5. Reap the rewards from your garden! Be proud and take advantage of what comes out of your garden.

Many other restaurants in the Portland area feature gardens, including Besaw’s and Paulée (a new restaurant recently opened in Wine Country), producing fresh seasonal ingredients for their menus. 

There’s nothing better than harvesting your own produce, so get out there and plant some!

Get Savvy on Sauvie Island!


 Intern William C. Lawson spreads the word on Saint Cupcake’s awesome opportunity for a spot at Sauvie Island Center’s Farm Camp. 

Hey Parents! Don’t know how to introduce your kids to sustainable living and cooking? Saint Cupcake is graciously giving away one spot for the Farm Day Camp at Sauvie Island Center July 16th-20th!

The Sauvie Island Center provides hands-on experience for elementary school children to learn healthy and efficient food, farm, and environmental techniques. 

Here are the details:

 
The camp is intended for kids in 3rd-5th grade where each day they will focus on a different aspect of farm life.  Here they will explore and learn all about the dynamics about the different stages of growing and harvesting crops, cooking with healthy ingredients, and the way of life on a local farm. 

To enter: Have your child send in a drawing, essay, diorama, or a video describing their favorite vegetable or fruit, garden or farm experience. Entries can be emailed to farmcamp@saintcupcake.com or dropped off at 1138 SW Morrison St. Submissions are to be in by the end of the day on Sunday, July 7th, and the lucky winner will be announced on Monday, July 8th. 

Your kid is already signed up? No sweat! Enter to win anyway, your tuition will be reimbursed if your child is the winner!

Don’t miss this chance for a great opportunity for your child to get in touch with the land this summer!

The Summer Is Getting Hotter In Portland, But The Beer Always Stays Cold.

As June kicks summer into gear, William C. Lawson rounds up local beer festivals in Portland, Oregon. 

Not only do Portlanders love their local brews, they love to have fun too. That’s why the second annual PDX Beer Week will kickoff this weekend, starting with the Upright Brewing Brewer’s Dinner at Wildwood Restaurant tomorrow evening, June 7th. The dinner is $75 (includes food, beer and tip). Contact Events Director Shelly Jones for reservations. Shelly@wildwoodrestaurant.com — 503.225.0130

Also, the Portland Fruit Beer Festival will be pouring out this weekend on Saturday and Sunday (June 9th and 10th) with a hearty list of festival beers. Entry fee is $20 which includes a takeaway beer glass and 12 tickets, with additional tickets for a top-up drink for $1. The festival is all ages, so minors and/or those not drinking may enter for free. 

The Portland Beer and Cheese Festival will take place on Sunday, June 17th at the Commons Brewery. Tickets are $25 that includes a tasting glass and a punch card for 10 different chosen craft beer and cheese pairings. 

The 8th Annual North American Organic Brewers Festival, the world’s largest organic beer festival, will fill your glasses on June 29th through July 1st in Portland’s Overlook Park. This event is designed to raise awareness about organic beer and sustainable living. 50 different organic beers, ciders, and kombucha from across the nation will be featured. Minors are to be welcomed with guardians. Keep your beer glasses within reach for more festivals later this summer!

Smile, It’s A Boy!

The LGP team welcomes intern William C. Lawson to the office.

William is a Junior Communication/Journalism student at the University of Portland while also concentrating on Digital Publishing and Web Design at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Originally from the heart of the Midwest, William was introduced to the restaurant business in Springfield, Missouri.  After living on the West coast for two years, he has immersed himself in the PDX food culture by writing restaurant reviews and working for Bon Appetit Management Company as a sushi apprentice. William is excited to be part of the LGP team as he loves to read, write and eat!