734 E Burnside St, Portland, Oregon
solo, on my very first night in Portland. I was jet-lagged, tired and had sore feet after an afternoon getting lost wandering the city streets. I needed a hearty dinner before I went to bed ridiculously early.
I chose here because… it was a couple of blocks - about a five-minute walk - from my hotel, the Jupiter NEXT in Portland's very hipster Central Eastside neighbourhood. Next door is its sister restaurant, Le Pigeon, a fine-dining restaurant from award-winning chef Gabriel Rucker. Le Pigeon looked too fancy for me, in my bedraggled, post-long-haul state, so I chose the more casual Canard which is a cafe by day, wine bar/restaurant by night.
My first impression was… the place feels relaxed and perfect for a lone diner. The bartender was warm and welcoming and encouraged me to take a seat anywhere. I sat in the window so I could watch the foot traffic outside.
I started with… the kale and roasted apple salad (US$16), which was outstanding. It was full of pecans and grated manchego cheese, with a brown butter ginger dressing I've been craving ever since.
The highlight was… the duck stack (US$15) - three round hotcakes, smothered in a rich, sweet duck gravy, with fried tabasco onions and a perfectly fried duck egg sitting on top. There was an option to add seared foie gras too - I'm glad I didn't as I fear my arteries would have packed their bags and left my body if I did that to them. As it was, the dish was absolute perfection.
Dessert was… available, but I had no room to fit it in. Choices included chocolate banana cream pie, a peanut butter fun cone, and a cheese plate with dates, walnuts, cane syrup and bread.
Come here if… you want to experience one of Portland's best, and most talked about restaurants. Although only open since April, Canard is already topping many critics' best in Portland lists and is one of the hottest tickets in town.
The bill… came to US$42, which included one glass of wine (US$10), and a 20 per cent tip.
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