Former Carlyle chef Jake Martin and formerly freelance pastry chef Kristen D. Murray double-(quadruple?)-handedly took over the kitchen at Pearl District mainstay Fenouil--pronounced either Fenwee or Fenoohee depending on if you're asking--over the last few months, Martin as executive chef and Murray as executive pastry chef, a title not seen too frequently in these here recessed parts.
Last night, the media got to try what they've been up to. Eater Partycrash Team of One slipped in.
Spotted in attendance were former Oregonian editor and, as of April 1, Watershed Communications editorial director Martha Holmberg; Portland Monthly editor-in-chief Randy Gragg; owner Chris Dussin (who also owns the possibly re-opening Lucier and the Old Spaghetti Factory chain); dearly departed Mike Thelin; Jen Stevenson of Under the Table With Jen; Willamette Week's Ben Waterhouse, editor of the just-released Cheap Eats guide; Oregonian columnist Sara Perry; Kim and Carrie from Culinate; freelancer Megan McMorris, who edited the anthology P.S. What I Didn't Say; and Karen Vitt, editor of The Neat Sheet.
Eaten were diver scallops hand-harvested by Wes Greenrose (whose name, yes, was printed on the menu, giving rise to the wonder if the specific harvester is the new purveyor?); roasted halibut with speck emulsion (leading someone to ask if this foam thing was a new trend that might be in soon); rabbit saddle (leading Team Partycrash to eat two possibly three portions in order to help out the few who refused on cuteness grounds); and lamb loin with sweetbreads so crunchy they made Thelin talk about opening up a sweetbreads truck. Martin came out and talked about this being part of the new regime he'd be instituting, a menu focused on seasonality and freshness and general awesome. "I do not like public speaking," he said. Still, they clapped.
Eaten for dessert was rhubarb and celery sorbet; a Spanish tocinillo custard that Yelper Don Bourassa said--accurately--was insanely ridiculously good; and a baked alaska made with chicory, hop-infused ice cream and a cap of beer marshmallow. Because coffee + beer + beer = Portland.
And they went, and talked, and ate, and then they left. And all seemed right, for then.
·All Previous Fenouil Coverage [EaterPDX]
·All Previous Kristen D. Murray Coverage [EaterPDX]
·All Previous Jake Martin Coverage [EaterPDX]
·Fenouil [Official Site]