Saturday, May 19, 2012

Seizing good weather opportunities

The weather gods have cooperated this spring; we’ve enjoyed some of our best days on the weekends.  Last Saturday was a great Saturday in Portland.  Allyson and I hiked 6 miles in Forest Park.  Then, we replenished our lost calories outdoors at Beesaw’s for brunch.  Later, we enjoyed an evening boat cruise with Ken and Ann. 

Even though we’ve been on that stretch of the Willamette many times in the past, it is always great to go.  Particularly the part between downtown and Lake Oswego, it seems like such a different world with the gracious waterfront yards rising to mansions, rocky cliffs, trees . . . . If we lived at the coast, we would walk the same beach.  So, why not boat the same river.
This weekend, too, I had plenty of sun on Friday, sat outside for dinner at the Country Inn, and walked along Trout Lake Creek this morning. You may ask, why is there water in the creek? Well, I’ll show you. 

Drive up about 8 miles, and the road is blocked by snow. Little Goose Creek, I hear, is truly little during the summer.  But now, with snowmelt, it seems pretty big and powerful as it tumbles through a steep rock gorge toward Trout Lake.    

Eventually, the water flows into Trout Lake Creek and wetlands, which is as close as we have to a lake in Trout Lake, Washington.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review: Carpaccio Trattoria

Carpaccio Trattoria is an example of what I love about Portland: ANOTHER new and terrific restaurant! I arrived with no expectations. Would this be a spaghetti and lasagna joint with red-checkered tablecloths? (A wonderful reminder of my youth.) The answer is a definitive, “No.” Instead, Capraccio’s owner and staff offer the friendly, familia welcome we associate with Italia PLUS sophisticated and delicious food.

Isn’t it great when the menu makes it tough to decide? I struggled between many tantalizing options on the happy hour menu (which runs 4-8 pm) and the dinner menu. I went with sea scallops, celery root sauce, pesto and yellow foot mushrooms on the dinner menu. Free, steaming bread with a side of tapanata made of tomato, garlic, olive oil and who knows what else helped tide me over as I enjoyed one of the specialty cocktails. The scallops were seared to perfection and very flavorful, as were the mushrooms and everything on the plate. 

Carpaccio is in the space formerly used by Belly. There are a few parking spots out back, and management hopes to acquire parking rights to the empty space across the street. But, much like Toro Bravo up the road, IF you have any difficulty with parking, Carpaccio Trattoria is well worth it. I plan to return soon.

Carpaccio Trattoria on Urbanspoon