I had Veteran’s Day off from work and I enjoyed the (very needed) day off. I slept in and then had a leisurely swim at the pool(empty pool!). I emailed my Dad a big thank you for his service to our country. He was a Marine. Happy Birthday Marines!
Then Michael and I met up with some friends for happy hour. We met them at Lauro Kitchen. I used to live near that restaurant for a few years and I’ve always wanted to try it but never did. It’s always had good reviews and every time I used to drive by it, the restaurant was full. That has to be a good sign, right?
We didn’t end up getting happy hour because happy hour was only at the bar but that was not really conducive to having conversations with our friends. Instead we sat at a table and ordered off the regular menu. The vibe of the restaurant felt more like the Pearl District (downtown Portland, kind of yuppie/artist area). It was a big, open space with high ceilings and an industrial minimalist decor.
I liked the interior of the restaurant and the service was pretty good. The prices on the regular menu were a bit high for my tastes. That was the first “downside” of the place.
Michael and I ordered the Tender Fried Calamari with Piri Piri Sauce appetizer. I’ve never heard of Piri Piri sauce before–it’s a pepper sauce apparently. It was not spicy, however, in fact it was more sweet than spicy. Michael didn’t like the sauce but since I tend to enjoy sweet things I liked the sauce. The calamari was just okay. It wasn’t anything remarkable and honestly there were too much of the little tiny squids and less rings (which creeps me out). If you are in Portland and want exceptional calamari, go to Jake’s.
The other appetizer we ordered was Cataplana Roasted Mussels with Chouriço and Peppers. I love mussels and ever since I had them a few months ago with garlic butter and chorizo I’ve been craving them. These were not those. Bummer. The mussels were okay but the sauce was bland. I was disappointed.
For the entree Michael and I split their burger– the Lauro Burger with Dry Aged Jack, Pommes Frites and Aioli. The burger was actually pretty good. I liked the flavors of the aioli and the cheese. The meat was really tender and moist and cooked well. I had no complaints about the burger other than it was incredibly messy to eat. 🙂 I was glad that we split the burger!
The house wine was a red from Italy and I wish I could remember the name of it because I really enjoyed it. For a “house” wine it was pretty good.
Despite being disappointed with the blandness of the food at Lauro, I had a fantastic time. I liked the atmosphere and the company was stellar and really, that’s all that matters. The four of us decided to walk across the street to Pix for dessert.
Pix is a great little dessert place in SE Portland. I used to go there once in awhile when I lived in that neighborhood. It’s up there with Papa Haydn’s for amazing desserts. The Pix desserts look like amazing works of art–too beautiful to actually eat, right?
I ordered the Shazam dessert to split with Michael.
Rich and creamy caramel mousse, salted almonds, dense chocolate almond cake, and more caramel…Shazam! See that photo above? There’s a tiny little cake inside of it! The chocolate outer shell is thin and delicious. Holy calories, Batman, I don’t even want to know! Here’s another picture of our Shazam:
Pix wasn’t too crowded when we got there and we snagged a good table in the corner. A few minutes later it was standing room only. Pix is apparently the place to be at 8pm on a Friday night. And I don’t blame em, the desserts are amazing. I ordered a glass of milk to go with dessert and it arrived in a wine glass. Mmmm it hit the spot.
The friends we met up with were actually Michael’s friends and old coworkers of his from way back. I’ve meet Chad a bunch of times (usually at Brewfest) and I love talking to him because he’s a fellow writer. In fact, he recently published his first novel and I wanted to hear all about the process. The book looks great! He gave me a copy and signed it. I’m looking forward to reading it. He brought his lovely wife Dawni to dinner and it was great to finally meet her!
It was such a nice evening out. I got to wear my new winter dress, hang out with friends and have good conversation.
QUESTION: When you go to a restaurant and don’t like the food or service, do you tell anyone? Yelp? The Restaurant? The wait staff? Or do you just never go back?