Southfork (Portland, OR)

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What’s your favorite thing to watch on television when you’re eating your favorite meal?  Personally, I like to flip the station between cartoons and any relevant cooking station that’s on at the moment.  When I was growing up my favorite cartoons were Doug, Hey Arnold, Looney Tunes, and some others, but as an adult my favorite thing to watch is the food network channel.  Nothing makes me feel more complete than cooking dinner and watching food being prepared while I stuff my mouth imaging it to be what’s being cooked on television.


I mention those two things that I enjoyed watching because I was able to eat and watch one of my favorite cartoon characters be prepared by a chef that was on a cooking channel that I often watch.  What are the odds?  I was able to have rabbit prepared by Chef Patrick Mckee, who was a contestant on Iron Chef America.  How fucking cool is that?  During my search for restaurants in Portland, I was able to find a “different” kind of dish that was offered at this establishment.  Southfork is a southern restaurant with an Asian flare, located off of Fremont St.  It’s a restaurant where you can kick back and have a glass of wine, or have an intimate dinner with your loved one.

During my visit I was able to try out four different dishes.  The dishes were drab, but tasteful, and fitting.  The four dishes that were ordered were the Cornmeal Fried Oysters, Butternut Squash Bisque, Braised Oxtail, and Rabbit Roulade.  I’ll start off with the Cornmeal Fried Oysters.  First, let me say, if I could eat oysters all day I would, but my mother believes I would die from them and I don’t question her, no matter how extreme her rational may be.  I was able to try out the Cornmeal Fried Oysters which sat on top of butter lettuce, topped with bourbon pickles, and hot sass.  Think of having a Fried Oyster sandwich, with the bread as lettuce.  I’m sure vegans would be happy about this dish if the Oyster wasn’t some kind of meat.  If you’re into spicy foods then this is the perfect starter for you  The bourbon pickles and the hot sass kicked my ass.  If it weren’t for the lettuce, I’m pretty sure I would’ve asked for milk.  The oysters were fresh and had an amazing taste, but the prosaic feature of this dish was far from expected.


The next dish that was ordered was the Butternut Squash & Caramalized Apple Bisque.  It was topped with shaved Mexican chocolate as well.  I would’ve never thought to add Mexican Chocolate, let alone any other chocolate to this dish, but it worked perfectly.  Would stood out to me was the oil that was used in this dish.  It resembled a truffle oil, but worked well with the Squash and Apple flavor of the soup.  I had to have this dish because it seemed so simple, but the flavors were bold.  Sweet, flavorful, and ripe.  A favorite of mine when you decide to come to this restaurant.


The third dish that was ordered was the Braised Oxtail.  It consisted of Potato Gnocchi, leeks, mushrooms, and oxtail jus.  This dish was hearty, so if you’re in the mood for a dish that’ll fill you up, then this is the perfect dish for you.  The oxtail was a bit fatty, and the potato gnocchi overpowered the dish, but was still good.  The flavors of this dish were identical to a potato stew, and I would’ve loved to see huge chunks of Oxtail presented rather than it being braised.  Although leeks and mushrooms were presented with this dish, I had challenges finding and/or tasting them.  This dish was my least favorite of the night, but what may not be as good to me, may be marvelous to you.


The fourth dish that was ordered was the Rabbit Roulade.  The rabbit was stuffed with Ham & Foie Gras, Mushrooms, Winter Vegetables, and finished with a blanquette sauce.  This was one of the richest dishes I’ve ever tasted, and a little salty.  The rabbit was a little fatty, and I would’ve loved to see it cooked for a little longer.  I think the rabbit needed more of a crunch on the outside, because the Foie Gras stuffing on the inside was soft.  The presentation was spectacular and the vegetables along with the sauce were amazing, but I think with a little more time spent on putting a little crust on the outside of the rabbit, I would’ve loved the dish.  The sauce was buttery and was my favorite thing of the night.  I think having a dish like this would be better suited for a more upscale restaurant.


Overall, I thought this review would turn out to be an enthralling best seller, but I believe my expectations were too high for this establishment.  I believe this restaurant has the creativity and the passion that’s needed to go to the next level, unfortunately it’s not quite there yet.


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