This week we are featuring a truly unique hot spot experience with Kann Winter Kitchen. This winter, American Express and Resy teamed up with some amazing chefs around the nation to create pop-up restaurants located in yurt clusters. Luckily, we got one in Portland and the chosen chef was none other than Gregory Gourdet, who created a memorable and transporting menu of traditional and creative takes on Haitian cuisine.
Kann Winter Village is the perfect description for what we walked into. The cluster of quaint and cozy yurts, complete with pine boughs and twinkly lights, delighted us immediately. The yurts are heated and outfitted with spare utensils, plus a lazy Susan so that the wonderful staff can safely deliver your food while remaining properly distanced.
Our first course of the evening was a Ripe Plantain and Squash salad. Full disclosure, I thought this sounded like the least exciting part of the menu. I was SO wrong. I have no idea what the chefs did to make that squash easily the most tender and delicious I have ever tasted, but I certainly want to. There were also wilted greens that were outstanding, bright pops of tart pomegranate, and plantains two ways. I think of salads as being often mundane, but this was a fully conceptualized and balanced vegetable side, and I adored every bite.
Our second course there was a split. For the omnivore menu, a Twice-Cooked Pork Belly and for the pescatarians, a shrimp Creole. Both were delicious, but the tender, crispy, rich, and spicy pork belly had our hearts. Third course was the Soup Joumou, which had a bone-in chicken drumstick for the omnis that was absent in the pescatarian. This soup was incredibly hearty, and could have acted as a filling meal in itself.
As an extra treat to ourselves we did add on the 1/2 Peking duck, which arrived next. We were already starting to feel quite full at this point, so we just had a little taste and took the rest home for an epic leftovers feast the following day. What a taste it was! The duck was meltingly tender and the sauce was highly spiced and complex. It was served with plantain crepes, Haitian cornmeal, and spicy pikliz. Again, I could have eaten an entire meal of just this and been pleased as punch.
Next, we had another division. Braised Beef Short Ribs with Habanero and Thyme for the omnivores and an Epis Marinated Sea Bass for the pescatarians. Once more, while both were lovely dishes, I have to side with the omnivores on this one. I LOVE short ribs and would say I may eat them more regularly than most. These were some of the best I have ever enjoyed. And mind you, at this point I was stuffed, and yet I could not resist eating a slightly excessive amount of these delectable creations.
Finally, somewhat bursting at the seams, we enjoyed dessert. A lovely Upside Down Banana Cake, topped with warm coconut cream and with a caramelized burnt crust. I’m not quite sure how I managed to find the room, but I finished every bite. As a bonus treat (did we need more?) we added a bottle of the first of the wines from the pairings (our favorite!) a pinot noir rose bubbles. We finished every drop of that one too.
If you also would like to make it to Kann, check out more info Here. Where should we go next? Let us know in the comments!