Food+Drink

Xiao Ye features standout dishes that change with the seasons.

Xiao Ye

written by Kerry Newberry Every dish at Xiao Ye is an ode to memories—from the mini masa madeleines that arrive perched on a bluff of whipped butter with a sprinkle of jalapeño powder to the savory seasonal toast (on a recent night the chewy slices of sourdough came topped with roasted acorn and kabocha squash and a tangle of fresh herbs). Even the name is steeped in nostalgia. When chef Louis Lin and his partner, Jolyn Chen, were recounting their most meaningful meals over the years, it wasn’t the fancy dinners that resonated most but the twilight dishes shared with family and friends. “I thought about the meals my dad and I had after a late night at work,” said Chen. In Mandarin, these dining moments are called xiao ye, which translates to midnight snack. “It’s always cozy and comforting, and it’s the kind of experience we want to give…

Come for the cerulean blue at the new Bar Rio.

Dining Hot Spots in Bend

written by Kerry Newberry After schussing down the nearby ski slopes, it’s time for a soul-stirring dinner. For this wintry scenario, Bend can’t be beat. Here’s the town’s latest hot spots for the ultimate après-ski feast. For a luxe night out, head to Dear Irene (926 NW Brooks St.; www.dearirenebend.com), beautifully bedecked in gold and jewel tones with a row of luminous chandeliers. Opened by chef Jonny Becklund and his wife, Irene, you’ll find sublime starters like arancini stuffed with Oregon Dungeness crab, an umami-packed grilled cheese with black truffle honey and prawn saganaki. At Bar Rio (915 NW Wall St.; www.barriobend.com), there’s a new concept from longtime restaurateurs Steven and Amy Draheim. In the redesigned bar space, you’ll find interiors in cerulean blue, contemporary pendants and Alhambra-inspired tiles. On the menu, there’s no shortage of festive tapas and cocktails from a zingy shrimp and mango ceviche to spicy chicken…

Dining outdoors at Riverside.

Riverside

written by Kerry Newberry photography by Amy Robb When chef Mark DeResta talks about his restaurant kitchen, he describes it as a culinary incubator. For more than fifteen years, he’s leveraged his all-day dining program to bolster surrounding micro-farmers, makers and producers. “We want to help share their story,” said DeResta. Locals in the know beeline to this under-the-radar Hood River spot: Here you can catch sunsets from an outdoor terrace elegantly tiered above the Columbia River, not to mention spy ospreys swooping for fish. But what really sets this hotel restaurant apart is how it’s so deeply rooted to the surrounding community. On a recent morning, DeResta swapped tales with Rebbecah Winnier, a third-generation tribal fisher from the Yakama Nation, as she delivered glistening Chinook salmon she caught hours before from the Columbia River. Soon after, he mingled with other regulars swinging by with everything from organically grown mushrooms…

The Oregon Truffle Festival, going on twenty years, brings pungency to savory and sweet dishes to great delight

Oregon Truffle Festival

written by Kerry Newberry One of the bright spots of a Northwest winter is the Oregon Truffle Festival. Where else can you romp through misty forests on a guided truffle foray, partake in lectures with renowned mycologists and indulge in exceptional wine and truffle dinners? For almost twenty years, fungi and foraging enthusiasts have flocked to this winter fête to celebrate the state’s native black and white truffles. The luxurious ingredient grows wild in Oregon and is prized around the world for the umami flavor it adds to dishes. Most often found flourishing beneath the roots of Douglas fir trees, the fragrant fungi play an exceptional game of hide and seek. One of the best ways to root out the heady mushrooms is with a truffle dog and the festival includes a popular two-day training for dog owners along with The Joriad North American Truffle Dog Competition, the only event…

Ōkta, a new star in McMinnville’s dining scene, has its own farm nearby.

Ōkta

written by Kerry Newberry Is the most beautiful dish the luminous beautiful dish the luminous ceramic orb cradling Oregon Dungeness crab with silky mushroom custard and stone-ground grits? The whisper thin slices of turnips checkered across rockfish with huckleberry puree and earthy shitake mushrooms—or the sunny meringue snug in a scooped-out lemon sprinkled with lemon thyme leaves? These are but a few of the wonderful and wildly inventive dishes dreamed up by chef Matthew Lightner at Ōkta, the Willamette Valley’s latest epicurean destination. You might know Lightner from Portland’s Castagana, where he built a devoted following with his farm and forage-inspired menu. He then alighted to New York City for a stint at Atera, earning the acclaimed Tribeca restaurant two Michelin stars. His return to Oregon brings this immersive fine-dining experience that taps into all the senses. Each dish resembles a mini work of art—exquisite in presentation with a depth…

Heirloom tomatoes on the vine at Stoneboat Farm.

Heirloom Treasures

Local is always best, but when it comes to eating tomatoes, sourcing is imperative written by Julie Lee | photography by Dan Hawk Locally grown tomatoes are nature’s delicate gift that loyalists wait for each season with held breath. Tomatoes also can be confusing; are they vegetable or fruit? Botanically speaking, tomatoes are fruits, bearing seeds and grown from a flowering plant, however from a culinary point of view, tomatoes are considered vegetables and counted as such by nutritionists as well. The United States Supreme Court even had a say, naming the tomato a vegetable in 1893 for taxation purposes. There is also debate on whether the benefits of tomatoes, which include powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, are best reaped when tomatoes are cooked or eaten raw. The lycopene found in tomatoes is at the center of this debate; a unique and powerful antioxidant plentiful in just a…

A roasted carrot soup with miso butter is carrot comfort food for fall.

A Carrot by Any Other Name

written by Thor Erickson | photography by Tambi Lane It was a bone dry 95 degrees as our 1975 family van rolled into downtown Ashland. I was hot and thirsty, and my three sisters had been asking for hours for dad to turn on the air conditioning. “It uses too much gas.” He hollered back from the driver’s seat as he pulled over to a bank of granite-clad drinking fountains at Lithia Park near the center of town. “Go drink some cool water.” Following his instructions, we piled out of the van and raced to the fountains. As I took my first gulp, I almost gagged at the foul smell and taste of the warm water. Over my shoulder, I heard a laugh. I turned to see a balding middle-aged man in a dress. “Never drink the Lithia water!” he exclaimed in a British accent. He was holding a carrot…

The Egg Drop’s Amy Engelhard.

Re-Nesting

The egg beats its way back into our homes written by Julie Lee Photography by The Egg Drop The egg is peeling back its bad reputation. Once frowned upon as a cholesterol calamity, to the contrary, eggs are one of the best sources of high-quality protein you can find. Rich in vitamins including B2, vitamins B12, D, and A, and a host of minerals, eggs are an essential part of a healthy diet. A bonus? They are low in calories. Shelling out pretty pennies for glowing skin? Try eating eggs instead. Eggs are great for skin; they soften, firm and hydrate all at once, with amino acids helping to generate new skin cells. Studies show that two major antioxidants in eggs, lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to increase protection against UV damage that leads to lines, age spots and cancer, as well as to reduce age-related macular degeneration. Eating one…

A chance encounter in Italy led to this egg yolk and ricotta ravioli recipe.

Uovo the Top

written by Thor Erickson photography by Tambi Lane “What to cook for dinner?” I thought to myself as I arrived home after a long day. I knew my fridge was looking a bit sparse, and I was at a loss as to what to prepare. Walking into the house, I noticed a box on the front step. I opened it to find two dozen fresh eggs from our friend, Darren, who has twelve chickens that he refers to as “the girls.” The eggs were so fresh that they were still warm. I suddenly knew what was on the dinner menu. As I cracked the delicate brown shells on the edge of a cup, I noticed the intense orange of the yolks. Suddenly I was transported back in time to a meal I had at a small hilltop restaurant just outside the northern Italian town of Piacenza. Upon my arrival, I…