The Curse Of The Overdressed Salad!

I know you hear it all the time, what an exciting dining town Portland has become over the last few years. We have so many wonderful ways to buy, experience, and even grow great food in this area.IMG_3316 Over the years my members and I have talked about how much fun it would be to go to wine country, have some sips, and eat at one of the interesting sounding restaurants in the valley. Never made it though, largely because of the drive, and the thought of that fun 99W traffic, and because I’ve been too lazy to do the additional work to make it happen. Not to fear, though, this is Portland. You can actually have a French wine country themed dinner at one of the wineries in the gritty SE Industrial area, and be home in 20 minutes. Sometime last year (Fall, I think) the Fausse Piste Winery opened their own restaurant called Sauvage, and although it looks like it’s still relatively lightly patronized, it’s a fun place to grab some drinking snacks, some heartier plates, and some lovely wine sips. And, it’s at SE 6th and Ash, in the same building as the always modest J & M Cafe, just a block or two off Grand Avenue. It’s very indiscreet location, so it helps to know where you are going. They must have seen us coming though, as when Glenda and I approached the door we found it locked on the outside (but not on the inside?) and I had to yell in the window that someone needed to let us in (Glenda said to tell them there was a disabled person outside. Milking her injury, I guess.)

IMG_3305Anyway, for whatever reason, our group seems to be suffering from a reverse-kick again, so there were five of us for this dinner (2012 was up in attendance, so I guess the law of averages for independent dining groups would indicate 2013 could be an “off” year. I DON’T WANT OFF YEARS !!!) I did have my first member ever, Michael, rejoin us for this evening, however, so that was a good thing. Incredibly, he had already been to Sauvage once for happy hour, amazing since almost no one seems to have heard of or know where Sauvage is. David and Shuhong also joined us, so at least we were a bit groupy, even if we looked a bit diminutive huddled around the end of the community table.

IMG_3313Sauvage is sort of daylight basement level, so it’s somewhat dark and cozy. If you look through the doors off to the side you can see giant barrels of wine. The decor is pleasant enough, sort of rustic with dead animals and such hanging from this and that, not a really fancy space, but pleasant for both a glass of wine or a casual meal. The menu is quite interesting, made up of small plates and a tasting menu that is available if everyone participates.The cooking style is billed as French Farmhouse, and is an interesting collection of down home (Smoked Chicken Wings) and fancy (Roast Quail Skillet.) (more…)