Best of 2011: Portland City Grill (Portland, OR)

Best of 2011: Portland City Grill (Portland, OR)

Asian-inflected American cuisine (steaks, seafood and more) is offered, as well as sushi presented on a 30th floor perch that delivers breathtaking city, mountain and river views. Even the Chef’s Table offers a spectacular vista.

Destination Bottles:

Shafer 1997 Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon (Stags Leap)
Château Lynch-Bages 1989 Pauillac
Domaine Serene 1999 Gold Eagle Vineyard Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley)

The expansive, deep wine list focuses on Oregon and Washington.

For more information on this Portland, OR, restaurant, click here.

For another Portland restaurant, visit BEAST.

Hot Chef: Brian Poor

Wine Enthusiast: Are you experimenting with any tools or ingredients?

Brian Poor: We’re using food-grade chemicals to create interesting food [molecular gastronomy]. Sodium alginate is a favorite—we’re getting into spherical cooking. And we’ve moved into sous vide preparations. We use our cotton-candy machine in savory applications. There are so many toys out there now for chefs, it’s hard not to turn it into a playground.

WE: Do you think that people today are pairing wines differently?

BP: People are pairing wines with their own palates— and are confident and brave about it. So if they want a Pinot Noir with a piece of salmon, they choose that and it works. It comes down to “What do you like?”

WE: Have you had any food and wine pairing epiphanies?

BP: About 15 years ago, I was pretty much a novice in terms of wine. Bernard Callebaut [the chocolatier] came on my radio show in Seattle and brought this big, reserve California Cabernet that we matched with his chocolate truffles. It was a match made in heaven.

WE: Any suggestions about wine pairings with fish and other seafood?

BP: Be adventurous. A lot has to do with preparation. If you’re braising halibut in a light tomato sauce, it’s probably going to work with a Pinot, but if the fish is simply grilled, it’ll go better with a Chardonnay or Sémillon. I also tell people— you need to resource. Go to wine shops and ask, “What do you think?”

WE: What’s your best advice for home chefs?

BP: Get a quality chef’s knife, have it professionally sharpened and practice using it. The number one skill when you’re talking about kitchens is slicing and dicing.