Hours: Mon-Wed 5-11:30pm, Thurs-Sat 5pm-12am, Sun 4-11:30pm
I was invited last weekend to attend a Chef’s Collaborative Winemaker Dinner to celebrate Ringside Steakhouse’s 70th anniversary. Seriously, 70 years! I think it is pretty darn awesome that in this day and age when new is nearly always the preferred choice in Portland (I am guilty of this myself), that there is a restaurant that has been around for seven decades. Think about that. When Ringside opened, the US was in the midst of World War 2! Ringside has survived economic downturns, fluctuations in eating habits, and of course quite a few changes in the Rose City over the years.
So they definitely deserve a big celebration!
The Executive Chef Beau Carr, who has been at Ringside for an impressive 16 years, hosted Chef John Gorham of the acclaimed Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons and Tasty n Alder restaurants. The two of them prepared an incredible multi-course dinner using Sutton Creek Cattle Company‘s beef and paired with Ken Wright Cellars wines.
As expected, it was a really fantastic and extremely filling meal. It was a whole lot of fun meeting other foodies who were at the event and catching up with Frances of Little Green Pickle. Plus, the dinner was a fundraiser for the local non-profit, New Avenues for Youth. So it was a win-win all around.
Now onto the food I got to enjoy!
We started with a cheese platter that was not even on the menu (does that make it a Negative One Course?). I had to remind myself that while the cheese was delicious, I shouldn’t get full off that since there was WAY more to come. We got our real start on the meal with a “Chef’s Snack Plate.” Chef Beau made some Devils on Horseback, bacon wrapped dates, but these were made with beef bacon. Admittedly I didn’t even know that was a thing. And what did Chef John make? Oh, he just whipped up some homemade Beef Jerky and Slim Jims.
When I first read that on the menu, I was a little confused slash weirded out. I don’t really like jerky and I definitely am not one to pick up a Slim Jim, which I think is only sold at places like the Chevron mini-mart. But of course the Toro Bravo chef totally surprised me. The jerky was made with Oregon Wagyu beef and had a light teriyaki flavoring. It seriously would turn me into a jerky lover. We joked at the table that we should put the leftover pieces of jerky into our pockets like Napoleon Dynamite so we wouldn’t let it go to waste. It was so good that I was strongly considering it.
Next we enjoyed a salad with house cured bresaola, which is somewhat similar to prosciutto, and strawberries, which were handpicked that morning by Chef John himself! The berries were prepared three ways – pickled green strawberries, fresh whole berries and a strawberry salsa.
Then we got onto the steaks. The A-5 Wagyu Ribeye was fantastic. It was served over pickled vegetables and sushi rice to play on the Japanese heritage of this beef. Sutton Creek is based in Eastern Oregon and is one of the only cattle ranches in the US that has fullblood Wagyu beef, which is more famously known as Kobe beef. It has incredible flavor and is extremely tender.
Next up was the Surf & Turf, a Wagyu Consumme topped with Dungeness Crab. On the side was a piece of Bone Marrow Toast that was out of this world. I could have had a loaf of that to myself.
For our last savory course, we enjoyed Petit Bone-In New York Dry Aged steak. Sitting atop the large cuts of steak was a huge slice of foie gras. It was ridiculous. But of course delicious. It was paired with a really beautiful glass of Ken Wright’s Tyrus Evan Syrah.
To complete the night, Pastry Chef Hana Roth made us Foie Gras Panna Cotta. It was creamy and rich, and got an added punch of flavor from the black pepper honey, ribbon of chocolate and fresh Oregon raspberries.
I left Ringside happy and not surprisingly, incredibly full. I definitely did try to detox the next few days after that night’s meal…though if John Gorham handed me more of that beef jerky, I don’t care how full I am I’d eat more of it…
Drop in between now and the end of June, and you can partake in their 70th anniversary also. They are offering a delicious 3-course menu, in addition to their regular menu. For $70, a portion of which will support New Avenues for Youth, you’ll get a salad, a trio of different steak cuts, and a housemade Fromage Blanc Cheesecake for dessert.
*Disclaimer: I was graciously invited to this dinner cost-free but as always these thoughts are all my own and I truly loved it all.