Our hotspot of the week this week has truly been one of my favorite restaurants in Portland for many, many years now. Acadia Bistro has such consistently wonderful food, drinks, and service that the only explanation I have for why is isn’t perpetually packed is that it’s longevity in a city obsessed with ‘new’ makes it almost like a well-guarded secret between friends.
The menu walks a wonderful balance of maintaining the classic New Orleans dishes that transport you immediately to the bayou, and introducing new innovations and seasonal ingredients from the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. It would constitute a cardinal sin to miss out on the BBQ shrimp as a starter, jumbo head-on Gulf shrimp bathed in a pan-sauce so decadent you will dream about it for weeks afterwards. The Hushpuppies are another wonderful opening, fluffy fried batter of cornbread and seasonings, doused with a spicy-sweet orange and horseradish marmalade.
The beautiful conundrum of the entrees is that I can never figure out which is my favorite, and so have learned that I have to bring at least 3 people with me so we can share everything family-style. On a recent visit we all thoroughly enjoyed the Fried Soft-shell Crab with Crawfish Etouffee, the impossibly tender Hangar Steak, the light and balanced Seabream topped with blue crab and brown butter sauce, and a Pork Chop that was practically the size of my head and juicier than I knew a pork chop could be.
The desserts and cocktails aren’t to be missed either. My Vieux Carre was perfectly rich and boozy, and the housemade ice creams are what Salt and Straw wishes they could be. My recent go-to ‘genius move’ is to get a scoop of the Sea Salt Brown Butter on top of the outstandingly delicious Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding. You can thank me later.
What should our next hot spot be? Let us know in the comments!