Spints and Tabla Date Night in Downtown Portland

I have a new favorite restaurant…

But before I get into that, let me tell you about a nice place for drinks before you go to my restaurant of choice.  Spints Pub and Restaurant has a great old world feel yet the drinks are modern and are sure to surprise and delight.  Pretzel in Mustard

I tried the total domination IPA by Ninkasi, which went well with pretzel and mustard we shared.  Lesley got a Presecco from Hungry that was cool and refreshing but with a strange acidic aftertaste.  It didn’t matter too much because life was good taking in the summer evening seated at the outdoor sidewalk tables watching the world go by.

Even though Spints is only 2 short blocks to Tabla Restaurant, we hopped in our GEM electric car to begin our anniversary dinner together.  Tabla Restaurant signCocktails to start, we ordered our favorites: a Sapphire martini up with a couple olives for me and a Rue Vingt Huit for Lesley, which is a martini made withfoofoo drinks at Portland restaurant St. Germain, gin, and fresh lemon juice.  Ambrosa.  Tabla has a $28 price-fixed menu where you can choose a appetizer, a pasta and an entree.  We like to share, so we got one fixed price and an extra pasta which worked out perfectly.  For all these courses we paired a wine by the glass of either white or red.

For our appetizer we ordered the egg on vegetablesSous Vide Farm Egg with a mixed veggies, Olympic Provision’s chorizo and goat cheese.  Incredible.  Very innovative, interesting and delicious.  The egg looks like it’s almost raw yet holding its soft-boiled.   Cutting into it the egg has the consistency of pudding.

For the pasta course Lesley enjoyed the purity of flavors of the Tajarin: a fresh bowl of pasta with truffle butter and parmigiano reggiano. Freida, our wonderful waitress who also works at the Portland Art Museum, recommended this dish for its simple flavor that can’t get beat. I had the Squid Ink Tonnarelli.black pasta and seafood  The pasta was black with the squid ink and mixed with marinated manila clams, calabrian chilis,  capers, parsley.  It was incredible and something I plan on ordering as often as I can.

The  New York Steak came with farro and green beans in a light and tangy lemon and balsamic reduction.  The steak was cook perfectly at the medium rare we prefer, juicy and tender eventhough the outside was seared.Steak dinner A friend from our dinner club said it was one of the best steaks he has had in quite a while.  We stuck around for dessert.  Salted caramel gelato and coffee. I loved the combination of the creamy sweetness with a subtle salty flavor.  Delicious and a nice finish to a fantastic meal.

Eating Ice Cream at Tabla ice cream and sugar white cup of coffee with cream