J'adore la cuisine Française. Bistro Agnes is a new-ish restaurant located on the West End of downtown Portland, spearheaded by James Beard Award-winning Chefs Greg and Gabrielle Denton.
I've never seen an absinthe list in a Portland restaurant before, and was presented with a reasonably extensive one here - available to consume in the classic drip style, or as a cocktail. I went for Death in the Afternoon because it sounded refreshing on a near 100 degree day. Yum. The decor of the restaurant is trendy and contemporary, with beautiful tile floors and massive windows, flooding the space with natural light and overlooking the charming courtyard of Portland's First Presbyterian Church.
I had the foie gras torchon to start - it was incredible, rich, and smooth. I am low key obsessed with foie. I also tasted the beet salad with Marion berries, roasted hazelnuts, and a ball of deep fried goat cheese on top. I didn't think goat cheese could get any better, but I have never thought to deep fry it - and wow, that was something special.
I had a difficult time selecting my next course - it was a toss up between the coq au vin or the sole meunière. I recently watched Anthony Bourdain cook a coq au vin on a boat in the dark, in the middle of the Congo River on "Parts Unknown" and was really wanting to try it. In the end, I went for the sole. My friend had the coq au vin though, so I tried a bite of hers. The chicken was tender and flavorful, and in that moment, I wished I had ordered two entrees. The sole was certainly something to write home about as well though, served on a portion of potato purée, accompanied by sautéed green beans, doused in brown butter, with lemon and capers to taste. Mmmm.
Time for dessert. Could I even fathom eating any more food in one sitting? No. Did I order dessert anyway? No. I hate to disappoint my readers, but there was no way I could've eaten anymore at this time. I suppose this means I'll just have to stop by next time I'm in Portland, and sample the dessert.