Last weekend my husband and I took a little “staycation” which we say is being on vacation but not actually leaving town. For us, it consists of no computers, no chores, sleeping in (I kind of fail at this, my body still wakes up at 7am but at least I don’t set an alarm!), and lots of delicious meals around town.
We had an amazing dinner a few months back at Beast, which in my opinion is one of the best restaurants in Portland (and it’s not just me who thinks Beast and its chef owner Naomi Pomeroy rock – she was recently selected as a finalist for the Best Chef in the Northwest award by the James Beard Foundation – it’s like the Oscars for the culinary industry). Anyway, we had an incredible 6-course dinner there and have heard all about their just-as-fabulous brunch so we decided to give that a go on our staycation.
Three words to describe our brunch: delicious, delicious, delicious! Ok, that is only one word repeated three times, but it is still accurate in my opinion.
Our great four-course meal consisted of:
Course #1: Rhubarb Clafoutis – a baked French dessert; obviously I was sold on brunch from the get-go when I was given dessert at the beginning of a meal instead of having to wait until the end! The clafoutis was very similar to a bread pudding with warm rhubarb on the bottom and topped with vanilla whipped cream that was basically ice cream. It was served with maple-glazed bacon which was candied and really sugary – I thought this was particularly delightful (those who like salty bacon, like my husband, were not as excited however).
Course #2: Braised rabbit hash – with market potatoes, a poached duck egg, carrots, mushrooms and garlic, topped with a creamy Hollandaise sauce.
Course #3: Salad and cheese – a simple and refreshing green salad with a Sauvignon Blanc vinaigrette dressing and served with a selection of cheeses.
Course #4: Chocolate truffle cake with rosemary caramel – another dessert course! Woo hoo! Rich and decadent flourless cake with a perfect caramel sauce flavored with rosemary. I never would have thought rosemary and caramel would pair so wonderfully together. The cake came with light vanilla cream to offset the richness of the chocolate. It was the perfect ending to a fabulous meal!
A few tidbits of info for when you go (and you really should):
- Don’t eat before: This is a serious brunch of 4 large courses, so come hungry and don’t plan on eating for the rest of the day.
- Sundays only: Brunch is only served on Sundays and only at two times: 10am and 12noon.
- Reservations are required: Due to the small dining room and the limited number of seatings, reservations are required but you can make them easily online at OpenTable.
- Be ready to make friends: Beast has only two large communal tables, so you will be seated next to people you don’t know. Of course, you can still talk to your date but you can also get to know your dining mates, who are there for the same reason as you – to eat amazing food, so you’ve already got that in common!
- It’s reasonably priced: I was pleasantly surprised that a 4-course brunch at a place like Beast was only $35 per person. Add on $20 for a wine pairing with each course.
- Not the best place for vegetarians: Both the dinner and brunch meals at Beast have a lot of meat courses and they don’t do substitutions so be sure to either be open-minded or you might need to take your vegan friends elsewhere.
- Menu changes regularly: So hopefully you aren’t deadset on one particular item, but don’t worry, it will be great regardless. If you are looking for a more detailed idea of what your tasty brunch might be like, check out the menu from our visit: