Photo of din din Supper Club courtesy Avila/EPDX
The Oregonian's David Sarasohn bestows a solid "B+" grade on the always-reinventing din din Supper Club, praising chef Courtney Sproule's "mark of the completeness" with each concept iteration. Sarasohn appears to have just visited din din's August and September theme, curated around artist Holly Andres, and the resulting eight-course dinner highlighted "styles that spoke to tradition yet invoked all the skills and directions of today."
If there's a recurring theme, it's the precision of the meal: canapes are "both rustic and artful," a corn and garlic custard featured an "exact evocation of corn flavor," wines are "carefully chosen." A salmon-fennel consomme gets the highest praise despite its diminutive size, and adjectives like "tiny," "small but intense," and "delicate" are dotted throughout. But ultimately, Sarasohn falls under din din's spell: "It all merges into a single, carefully designed experience, with the side elements on each plate folding into the curios on the table and the pictures on the wall, producing an evening's meditation on memory and reverie." [OregonLive]
WWeek's Matthew Korfhage ventures to a forgotten block of the burgeoning West End to stop into Prehispanica, an "upscale-casual, family Mexican restaurant with aspirations beyond the counter taqueria." The four-month-old restaurant is described as a "work in progress," though the highs are deemed "terrific": pescado empapelado arrives "tender and juicy," bisteces rellenos are "generously decadent," while the tomatillo salsa "is one of the best I've had here or elsewhere." The usually quiet dining room, however, leads to downfalls in the food, including not-so-fresh seafood that "smelled like a wharf" and gummy cactus.
But perhaps Prehispanica's most intriguing dish is the pollo en mole: "It is an ambitious dish with no small amount of decadence, and I'm very affectionate toward it. But bite after bite after bite, it still eludes me whether I like it." The same feelings of affection apply to the restaurant itself: "Prehispanica is a model of family restaurant much missed in these parts. This is reason enough to wish it well." [WW]
And for dessert, WWeek stops into the month-old Sugar Cube brick-and-mortar, where Martin Cizmar declares that the breakfast strata will "best any quiche in town." Baker Kir Jensen's desserts get even bigger praise, as there's not a dud among the $26 worth of pastries taste-tasted by the WW crew: "you couldn't buy two boxes of baked goods from any other place in town and have so many direct hits." [WW]
· All Previous Weeks in Review [Eater PDX]