Does any city get as excited about Halloween as Portland? One of the most creative celebrations is the annual Halloween dinner at acclaimed French-inspired restaurant Le Pigeon. This year, it takes place October 26 (there are still a few tickets available for the 5:30 p.m. seating). The entire kitchen crew will dress up, just like in the pic above, and two-time James Beard Award-winning chef-owner Gabe Rucker will even take the night off, to join in the celebration.
“Halloween is the best night of the year at Le Pigeon,” said Rucker, while preparing the open kitchen for service yesterday evening. “We get to do things we’d never do during a regular night.”
Describing this year’s menu as “Le Pigeon on American steroids,” Rucker is thoroughly indulging his love of low-brow, high-brow Americana. Rucker’s Radical Chicky Dippers turn the humble chicken finger into a gourmet dish: Truffled mousse-stuffed chicken is deep fried and served with black truffle-infused creme fraiche ranch. Then there’s General Tso’s Buffalo Short Rib, which comes with a mac and cheese featuring no fewer than 50 cheeses.
You can bet on American cheese. And there will probably be brie, too.
Rucker has dressed up as everyone from Julia Child to a '50s greaser over the years, and this year’s theme is “paying tribute to everyone’s favorite least favorite Food Network star,” according to the Eventbrite page.
“To be honest,” said Rucker, “if you were to ask me, ‘Which cooking show inspired Le Pigeon more, Chef’s Table on Netflix or Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives?’ Guess which one?”
Rucker dropped next year’s theme, too: medieval times. Can you imagine what Le Pigeon can do with mutton?