This week I went out to Quaintrelle. I had heard great things from friends and was very excited to visit! Dining outside in the winter isn’t always comfortable with the rain that Portland is so well known for, but Quaintrelle makes it feel comfortable and warm. There is a large white tent on the cobblestone patio with multiple tables, bistro lights, and a large heater to keep the space warm. Regardless of weather, at least one side of the tent is left open to allow for proper air flow.
Quaintrelle makes Pacific Northwestern food sourced from local farms and purveyors. Seasonality is a huge part of their menu so it changes frequently which allows you to return over and over and always have a new experience. We started with green curry mussels with house made pickles. The mussels were plump and buttery. The broth they were served in was rich, full bodied, and had just a hint of spice. Next was the “Whiteout”. As the name suggests everything on the plate was completely white. Parsnip, egg, celeriac, pear, yuzu, and wasabi snow. The dish was playful and imaginative. This paired perfectly with my sparkling wine. They also have a small cocktail menu with some of the classics.
We moved into our second course by ordering the whole striped bass with miso and nuac cham, brussels sprouts with ginger, hoisin, and puffed rice, and beets with Meyer lemon custard, barley, and Roquefort powder. The bass was perfectly cooked, it was moist and fell away from the bones effortlessly. Quaintrelle took just as much care with their vegetable sides as they did with their main entrees. Each dish had the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and bitter notes.
I would highly recommend Quaintrelle to anyone that hasn’t had the chance to try it. If you’re in the mood for some great local Northwest cuisine, you will not be disappointed.