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October 15th, 2008 LIZ CRAIN | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Restaurant Guide 2008

     
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Plenty of Portland restaurants tout seasonal, fresh-from-the-farm menus, but few take that ethos to such lengths as the Beaumont neighborhood’s Fife, where local farmers and ranchers deliver the goods daily to chef-owner Marco Shaw and where these deliveries, in turn, dictate the menu. A Fife favorite you can always count on, despite the nightly changing menu, is the cast-iron chicken. In late summer the tender bone-in bird might be served with sautéed runner beans and potatoes and topped with a crush of salty peanuts, while in the fall it might be encrusted in walnuts over a bed of pork-braised chard. Starters often feature seasonal fruits and vegetables, such as a cucumber-tomato puréed soup with chive sour cream or a beet grapefruit salad with toasted bread crumbs, while entrees generally showcase meat and fish such as roasted rabbit, buffalo brisket and sturgeon. Desserts by pastry chef Jessica Howard follow the Fife ethic—simple, delicious preparations loaded with local seasonals.

IDEAL MEAL: Heirloom tomatoes with marinated onions and rosemary oil, Willapa Bay flash-fried oysters, cast-iron chicken, berry crostata.

 
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