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So, yeah....Due to another complete lapse of fiscal responsibility..(do not read this as regret however) I made a reservation at Atera for last night.  I of course had heard many remarkaable things about this Portland,--right?- chefs "cooking", some from this very blog...!  

Totally cool hidden (sort of) entrance....I guess idea is like going into a enclosed forest cove type thing, def keeping with forage-y food theme...Liked that. Also liked lively music vibe, good for situation that could get too hushed and precious.  Went first to lower level lounge...sort of mega VIP post apocalypse bunker. Could live there if had to I guess.  Had what proved to be an effecting (today that is) cocktail drink to start.  After went with recomended sparkling Huet  First blizzard of dishes, small nutty (as in kooky) things come out...Crunchy Beer foam w caviar, Pickled beet w little greens, wrapped in bees wax new one on me..great tho.  And so...yeah keeps on coming...Little lobster roll...etc...Only item that was not too engaging was Razor clam, garlic and almond...just too much like pile of nuts...Kind of was hoping for the other Razor clam dish I read about...the tromp loi...(sp?) clam painted to look like a shell you can eat.  I fact I dont think we had many, if any, of those fool the eye-- "oh, you cant eat that, looks like a pile of mossy dirt and rocks"---Noma kind of things Id heard about.  However there were plenty of dishes with flavors and textures that put me in the positon of feeling like, "yeah, basically this is like crawling on the ground in the woods and chewing"....Reminded me of going to controversial LA sushi place "Hump" years ago when they flayed a live ell and served it right away, was wiggling on plate I believe...Idea struck me that this how a bear eats in a stream.  So here at Atera too it seems that the ambition for highly refined food these days is to replicate how to eat like an animal...But for more money. Sure Im not first person to make this comparison...but. Im happy to pay, when can.   Lamb thing was awesome, supper slow cooked, like raw almost, Hake fish item fantastic...too many to list dude...!  And then to keep my exploration of Finger Lakes wine going had glass of AMAZING Cab Franc by Element Wines...??? Never heard of...So far been loving Eminence Road Cabs,(thanks Skin). This totally great to compare with, much more Rhone-y than lighter, "pretty" Burg style E Road.  

We also had insanely detailed tutorial on tea...guy gave Michelle tea leaves to take home...nutty...Needless to say we were last to leave.  So we heading out and dudes are like.."Hey so hope we'll see you again Steve....octopus, helicopters, yeah we know.."  WTF??  Guess when you serve 12 people a sitting you got time to Google them.  Cant hide, even in the forest.....


- steve db 12-11-2013 6:55 pm [link] [3 comments]