Sunday, May 1, 2011


Heading south for a weekend getaway? For a good meal outside of P-town, but still in Oregon's borders, Smithfields Restaurant and Bar is big-city food, in small-town Ashland. Some friends and I first discovered this amazing "meat-centric" restaurant during its soft opening period in February. Dinner was recommended by friends of a friend, and the whole experience, from wine pairings to hanging out with the owners after dinner, did not fail!

Chef Neil Clooney knows his stuff, after studying culinary in England, working on one of the world's most elaborate cruise ships, spending time as an executive chef in San Diego, and working to help open the now-closed but once very popular Dragonfly restaurant in Ashland.

We started off with this wonderful charcuterie plate, loaded with delicious cured meats, pâté, pickled veggies, artisan cheeses, and crisp bread.

I dined on Steelhead salmon, perfectly grilled and beautifully presented, with house-made bacon strips as accompaniment.

My co-diners had amazing dishes as well... all beautifully plated...

A lovely meal, followed by a lovely dessert...

...and a super fun night out dancing in Ashland with some of my best friends!

Next time you're exploring Southern Oregon, I would recommend Smithfields Restaurant and Bar over any restaurant in the area. I can't wait to go back to eat next time I'm in town!


Smithfields is located at 36 South 2nd Street in Ashland, Oregon
Open 5pm-9pm Tuesday through Sunday
Reservations recommended

Monday, March 28, 2011


One word, three syllables: a-maz-ing. That's the word I'd use to encapsulate all that is Genoa on Southeast Belmont in Portland. This restaurant hosted what is definitely in the top five meals of my entire life, not only based on the delicious food but also on the gorgeous presentation and the wonderful ambiance. A group of friends and I chose to have dinner at Genoa prior to Pink Martini's New Year's Eve concert downtown, and the dining experience did not fail to impress.

Chef David Anderson put on a fabulous collaborative effort with Sous Chef Daniel Mondok for a seven-course dinner. For $80 per person, (plus stellar wine pairings), my friends and I dined on some of the most beautiful food I've ever seen on a plate. For example, this lovely course hosted rich, creamy risotto with lobster tail.

For my main course I dined on blood orange duck, but got to snack on my neighbor's dishes, too!

And while New Year's Eve was certainly a special occasion, (who can spend this much on dinner otherwise?), I'd spend future special occasions at Genoa just to see how beautiful and tasty a whole new set of options may be, (the menu changes monthly). For example, March offers such culinary delights like the Carpaccio di manzo: antipasti of seared beef tenderloin, finished with horseradish mayo, micro herb salad, capers and beet pickled egg.

Of course, Genoa recently opened up a more affordable cafe right next store, Accanto. Look for future postings on the cafe, as I'm sure I'll be checking it out in the future!

In the meantime, follow Genoa on Facebook for updates on menus, events, and to see more beautiful pictures of eye-catching, mouth-watering artistry.


Genoa is located at 2832 Southeast Belmont Street in Portland, Oregon.
Open 5:30pm-9:30pm Tuesday through Sunday.
Reservations strongly recommended.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Guest Blogger: Melissa Guidry

Melissa, a die-hard foodie, is originally from nearby New Orleans, Louisiana and is my Portland foodie bestie. Many of our dining experiences are together, and she'll be weighing in on awesome spots around town and beyond, too! Look for her upcoming posts on places like Tasty n Sons and Aviary!


Not many of us were alive during prohibition in the United States, and let's be glad for it. Still, prohibition brought us some good things -- like prohibition-era cocktails. That's just what's on the menu at Central, Portland's first secret bar.

Take a walk near Old Town Portland, avoid the meat-market bar scene and homeless people, and you may find yourself wandering into the dark alley that hosts Central. The owner, Dustin Knox, did zero advertising; in fact, there's no sign out front, just a window with dark curtains covering the teeny-tiny kitchen inside.

But here, the booze and food speak for themselves.

Central is the first restaurant opened by Knox, who also runs Perierra Crêperie, a cart in the pod at Southeast 12th and Hawthorne. And just like the tasty food cart, Central has both savory and sweet crepes to curb your dinner-time through late-night food cravings, I hear they're even working on adding lunch and weekend brunch into the mix.

Last night I sipped on my own specialty cocktail. Roll the dice and order a custom drink from the bartender, rather than one of the many drinks on the menu. I had a citrus-vodka-infused-cocktail with a spritz of absinthe.

For dinner, I dined on a butternut squash crepe with tasty kale and crispy bacon on top, while Melissa and P split the salmon with eggs, chevre and avocado, as well as a ham and gruyere version. Yumm!

I gotta say, I liked their crepes better. Mine was too rich for my taste, but what was perfect for all three of us was the banana, Nutella, pear crepe we ordered for dessert! This baby was gone in about, oh, 60 seconds!

All-in-all the food was good, the drinks were great, but the ambiance and cool-factor were the best. This hidden little bar is an absolute gem in downtown P-town.


Central is located at 220 SW Ankeny in Downtown Portland, Oregon.
No reservation needed, but this place gets packed, so expect a wait,
(the later the longer).

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tabla Mediterranean Bistro

Happy Saturday! I've got soooo many fabulous restaurants I've been wanting to write-up; so much so, that I've been feeling overwhelmed about how to go about doing this! Which restaurant? What do I include? Should I go in order of my visits? How long is each write-up going to take? What kind of pictures should I include?

You know what? Who cares? I'm writing this blog because I love food, and I want to share what I think makes food good. So, I'm not going to stress about how or when or where, etc... and just do it!

I want to start off with one of my favorite local restaurants, and I think the first restaurant that I remember really thinking -- "Wow, this is what a great dining experience should be like, and I could really get into this." In fact, I kind of feel like I fell in love with food and the whole concept of being a foodie at Tabla Mediterranean Bistro in Southeast Portland.

Someone gave my husband and I a gift certificate to Tabla as an engagement present several years ago, so we checked it out. Since then, we've had nothing but wonderful meals and wonderful experiences there.

From the restaurant web site: "Tabla Mediterranean Bistro focuses on adding a modern twist to authentic Mediterranean specialties from regions such as Spain, France, Northern Africa and Italy."

The menu is seasonally-focused, meaning the ever-revolving efforts from the kitchen bring to the table local food that's fresh, and it's so much more tasty and beautiful that way. Case in point, earlier this week I had the most beautiful heirloom carrot salad with winter greens, golden raisins, citrus, hazelnuts and fresh asiago. Not only was it delicious, but it was so pretty, too!

One of the things I love most about Tabla is how affordable such a wonderful meal can be. For just $24 dollars, you can choose one item from each section of appetizers, pastas, and entrées. My dinner consisted of that lovely carrot salad, the absolutely-without-a-doubt-not-to-be-missed Tabla ravioli, and the duck confit, (a dinner which was so tender and tasty the meat just slid right off the bone).

I can't stress enough how amazing the Tabla ravioli is... a giant ravioli, (or 2 and make it your entrée), filled with chard, ricotta, egg, and poppy seed butter. My mouth is watering thinking of it, and there are few things more elegant on a plate than this ravioli as the egg inside dribbles yolky goodness all over. Yumm!

The chef at Tabla, Anthony Cafiero, also writes a blog about his travels, inspiration, and cooking. It's fun to read and see how his experiences shape the menu. In the back of the restaurant, there's also an open kitchen bar where you can watch Anthony cook and talk with him about the food.

When you head into Tabla, don't miss the amazing wine selection, either. General manager and sommelier Michael Garofola puts together an excellent list that changes weekly, focusing on French, Italian, and Spanish wines, as well as a Northwest selection.

I can't say enough good things about Tabla, from the ambiance and the friendly staff, to the amazing food and wines, (all at a reasonable price), this restaurant is not to be missed.


Tabla is located at 200 NE 28th Ave. in Portland, Oregon.
Open 7 nights a week for dinner beginning at 5:30pm.
Reservations recommended.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hello Foodie Friends!

My first post on a new blog! Awesome! I've been blogging for years about jewelry, design, and general updates on life... and have been finding myself increasingly experiencing amazing restaurants, taking pictures of my food, and obsessing about where my next tasty meal is going to come from. So, I had an epiphany and felt inspired to create a food blog!

I'll update "Go Stick A Fork In It" with my own restaurant reviews, (and no -- not so much negative reviews, rather places I've tried and loved), in the Portland area mainly, but beyond that, as well. Expect lots of photos and foodie-related-finds and recommended events, dishes, wines, drinks - you name it!

I'm excited to begin this new chapter in blogging, and hope all my readers enjoy what's to come!!



New Years Eve Dinner @ Genoa, January 31st, 2010