Bite Club: Pesto tagliatelle at Ritz-Carlton's Bellpine
Over the weekend, I had lunch at Bellpine, the 20th-floor restaurant inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel named after a type of soil found in Willamette Valley wine country.
- While the decor of the space reflects contemporary minimalism, the menu — put together by Michelin star executive chef Pedro Almeida and Portland-based chef Lauro Romero — doesn't shy away from inventive flavor combinations.
The menu: Curated to just a dozen dishes, the menu includes small plates like a "shrimp and grits" corn dog served with a lemon cajun emulsion and a smoked Chinook salmon on an English muffin with cucumber relish. There is also a classic New York-style strip steak for $62 (accompanied by fluffy warm potatoes, of course).
- I ordered a third of the menu — tagliatelle al pesto, roasted pumpkin bisque, an albacore tataki-style salad, and Dungeness crab avocado toast.
The bite: The two standouts were the tagliatelle and the albacore tataki, paired with a cherry vinaigrette, apples, and peanuts.
- The housemade pasta sat on a bed of creamy cauliflower couscous and was complemented by crunchy seasonal vegetables like eggplant and salted pistachios.
The bottom line: To judge a kitchen in its first week of operation may not be fair, but Bellpine passed with flying colors.
- The spectacular city views accompanied by a finely crafted menu where anyone could find a suitable option among a few selects is a job well done — and could make a memorable outing for out-of-town friends and family.
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