Thursday, June 20, 2013

URBANHOUR - an Urbanspoon Event @ Accanto

2838 SE Belmont Street

The school year is officially over. I was back in my classroom on Monday and Tuesday and will be there again today, but it's summer vacation. And this year's summer vacation started off with the most exciting invitation. A fancy food event on a school night would have been difficult to manage, but with no obligations to be up in front of middle schoolers the following day we were able to partake. The three of us, along with my husband, dined with area food bloggers at Urbanhour, an Urbanspoon event.

The event was held at Accanto, the "little sister" of well-known Genoa, located just far enough from the too-hard-to-find-parking section of Belmont. We had a chance to hear from the social community manager from Urbanspoon, the co-founder of Feast--a Portland food event held in the fall that combines flavor with foodie education, and the man in charge of ensuring the wine pairings are perfect at both Genoa and Accanto. We enjoyed signature cocktails, large pours of wine, and a four-course meal. And we had an opportunity to share what we love about Portland and why we feel the need to share it with the world.

Each of us have a different focus when writing. The three of us are dedicated to reviewing Portland's happy hours, the couple across from us reach out to families at, other ladies surrounding the table write about all things Portland at Ubanblisslife, Saltwatercoffee, and Pechluck's Food Adventures. It was a mix of people which not only led to great conversation but also a lot of food photography.

Although it wasn't happy hour, I was sure to get a picture of everything I tasted. The exact four-course meal is still available through the end of the month as Accanto is participating in Portland's Dining Month.

We started with a small plate of marinated olives and marcona almonds. These are available on their regular dinner menu for $3 and could have easily been shared rather than served one to each guest. It's a generous amount and a great snacking start to any meal.

The second course came with a choice of soup or salad. Both my husband and I opted for the salad but I was able to enjoy one spoonful of the chilled potato leek soup (thanks to my co-blogger who isn't afraid to share a few germs). The salad was carefully prepared with arugula, thinly sliced radishes, and snap peas. I loved every bite despite the difficulty I always seem to face when enjoying an arugula salad (it really is embarrassing and I should probably stick to eating long-stemmed salads in the privacy of my own home).

Although the gnocchi was the favored choice for the next course, I sampled the Capellini. It was, of course, the vegetarian option and was prepared with samphire, garlic, chili, and fennel seed. Samphire is something that was new to the majority of us (at least by name) but something that I would love to experiment with in my own kitchen (and perhaps, garden).

Dessert arrived for the whole table and almost immediately every camera present was poised and ready. I'm sure it was a sight to see from afar. The dessert was a panna cotta topped with strawberries and surrounded by a sauce made with the berries and lambrusco (one of my favorite chilled and perfect-for-picnics red wines). My attempt at capturing the plate does not compare with the taste and texture of this summertime treat.

To accompany my four courses, I selected the Guadalajara--a mix of Casadores Reposado Tequila, St. Germain, lime, honey, rocks and salt--to start and a glass of Cabernet Franc to finish.

The service at Accanto was outstanding and something I'm certain will be maintained whether you are there for a celebratory dinner, a quick bite to eat, or--like us--a sponsored event.

Thank you, Accanto and Urbanspoon, for the invitation, the opportunity to meet other Portland-area Bloggers, and to enjoy a delicious feast. It really did make for a great start to summer.

Food: Exceeds
Drinks: Meets
Service: Exceeds
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Meets


Accanto on Urbanspoon

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