If you live in Portland you know Le Pigeon, a long time shining star in the local dining scene that is consistent and creatively delicious. So when Gabriel Rucker announced he would be opening a new restaurant next door that would combine American comfort food with his French training and whimsical ideas at a more casual price point I was excited to say the least. We went during happy hour and were pretty blown away.
Dish 1. “Oeufs En mayonnaise”. Trout roe, bacon, Roasted garlic, smoky maple. $5 during happy hour!! $8 during regular hours. One of our favorites of the night. This is like the flavors of an entire breakfast plate in just a few bites. Salty, savory, umami and sweet all at once. I loved this so much I have duplicated it many times at home and it is a great dish to take to pot lucks. Your friends will be impressed.
Dish 2. “Rabbit and Prosciutto terrine” Apricot green pepper relish, frisee, herbs. The terrines change of course and average about $10 ($6 during happy hour). I loved this one, but I never have met a terrine I haven’t liked.
Dish 3. “Steam burger”. Pickles, onion, mustard, American. Since we were visiting Canard during happy hour this burger was only $3. ($6 during regular hours) It will remind you of the most simple fast food type burger from your childhood. They are quite popular. You may want to order more than one at this price and they are about the size of a slider.
Dish 4. “Foie gras dumplings” $18. This dish is not on the happy hour menu so the price is off the regular menu. Peanut sauce, apple, miso roasted shallots. This was another winner. Creative with contrasting flavors that dance well together. This dish is still on the menu but the current version has a different twist. Visit Canard’s website here for the changing menu. (And current prices as they may of course change)
Dish 5 “Duck stack” $15 Pancakes, duck gravy, Tabasco onions, duck egg. This dish also is not on the happy hour menu so the price is the same. Again, I felt almost as if we were having breakfast for dinner.
Dish 6 “Soft Serve” $4 Do not be surprised if there is an interesting flavor of the day. I have very fond memories of “Foie Gras ice cream” next door at Le Pigeon.
There are many positive things to say about how Gabriel Rucker structures his restaurants. Playful takes on food as well as something as simple as a corkage fee. If you bring in your own bottle of wine that is over 15 years of age the corkage fee is waived! Great for people like us who have an extensive collection at home. The wine list they do have however is very worth taking a look at, it is impressive. You can check it out here.
It was a fun and enjoyable experience at a decent price. $51 for 2 people with no corkage fee. Not bad for a 6 course dinner out in Portland.