When people ask me what I’m feeling like for dinner–I don’t normally say Italian. I’ve always had visions of bread sticks and endless amounts of pasta i.e. carbs carbs carbs. Since eliminating much of the bready foods in my diet in college, I find it really hard to sit down to a meal that would be predominantly from one food group. So when I was invited to Serratto and saw it was an Italian restaurant, I would be lying if I said I didn’t think there would be some disappointment on my end. Now, mind you, I was told it was an Italian place by a friend who loves (what I assume is everything I haven’t had that’s actually Italian) the restaurant. Needless, to say–hopes were high, but my guard was up!
The first thing I had questions about was the logo. Italian place–what’s with the snail mascot? Turns out that the restaurant concentrates more on the general Mediterranean feel, and the Serratto snail is a nod to the Slow Food mascot and its appreciation and support for local artisan food. The snail reflects the restaurant’s culinary philosophy that good food should be prepared with loving hands, shared with friends and family, and use the best ingredients from around the region. I could not have summed things up better myself.
Serratto definitely hits my top 10 for the prettiest settings for a meal out in Portland. The restaurant sits on the corner of NW 21st and Kearney, and feels tucked away after night falls. The building has large windows, welcoming light during the day, and in the evening the ambiance is a dimply lit, intimate setting. I was greeted by owner Julie Bond upon my arrival. I sat at a long table next to the bar, which was manned by their senior barkeep. The restaurant is situated in an L-shape, and also includes private rooms to host larger parties.
The dinner was tailored for a select set of bloggers and revolved around approximately eight courses with beer, wine, and coffee pairings. Each course shared what Serratto had to offer and showcased their range and talent. Whether they were serving a delicate, savory sea scallop that melts in your mouth or an off-the-menu Spokane Speedball (Baileys liquor with a double shot espresso), their prowess impressed me.
Take a look at this serious menu!
Serratto Blogger Dinner: The Menu
BONEYARD Pales Session Lager
The White Wine
The Red Wine Flight
Mandrarossa “Bonera” Sicilia ’09 NERO D’AVOLA/CAB/CAB FRANC
Els Guiamets “Isis” Montsant ’06 CARIGNAN/GRENACHE/SYRAH
Fidélitas “M100” Columbia Valley ’11 CABERNET/MERLOT/MALBEC
AHI TUNA TARTARE “NIÇOISE” chopped egg, capers, olives, housemade potato chips, tarragon aioli
KALE SALAD pine nuts, honey crisp apple, sour cherries, Grana Padano, apple cider vinaigrette
SEARED SEA SCALLOP roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, apple butter
Highlighted: Happy Hour
MARGHERITA PIZZA & PIZZA DEL GIORNO
BRAISED TAILS & TROTTERS PORK SHANK RAVIOLI caramelized onion, baby arugula, stone-ground mustard cream sauce
MUSCOVY DUCK fennel risotto, port-soaked cherries, foie gras demi-glacé
PAINTED HILLS BURGER brioche, white cheddar, bacon, aioli, bbq sauce, crispy onions, pommes frites
APPLE TURNOVER served warm with cinnamon gelato, amaretto caramel
THE SPOKANE SPEEDBALL Baileys and double espresso
My favorite dishes of the night were the Painted Hills Burger and the Seared Sea Scallop. The best wine I tried was the Els Guiamets “Isis” Montsant ’06 Carignan/Grenache/Syra, which was perfectly matured; had a nice depth and the aftertaste made want more and more.
In summation, if you’re looking for a romantic evening out or perhaps a great event space for a classy event, I would consider giving Serratto a call. Executive Chef Tony Meyers and owners Julie and Alex Bond will take great care of you.