Sunday, November 7, 2010


Naomi Pomeroy's small, unassuming restaurant serves up a beast of a meal, complete with vibrant colors, robust flavors, and balanced counterpoints. Open only from Wednesday through Saturday with two nightly seatings, Beast creates an intimate setting for a communal feast amongst twenty other fellow guests.

The smart lighting and the calm kitchen island suggest you are in someone's, if not your own, home. The food, however, is a quick reminder that you are not in just any home.

Though there are some weekly standards, the menu changes every week.

This meal started with some fresh bread and house-made butter to ease you into the first course: Andaluz & Gypsy Pepper Soup with an Almond, Lemon, and Parsley Pistou. This dish set the mood for the night. The strong flavors from the Andaluz and Gypsy peppers were complimented by the nutty and acidic base of the pistou. The soup had just the right amount of a cayenne kick.

The next course was a charcuterie plate.

The standout, and my favorite bite of the night, was what everyone talks about: the Foie-Gras Bon-Bon with Sauternes Gelée. As suggested by the server, I saved this piece of the plate for last to experience the small bite at its best temperature. The slightly cool exterior of the bon-bon gave way to a creamy center, which tempered the fleur de sel shortbread cookie below the bon-bon, and was sweetened by the subtle gelée.

Another notable part of the charcuterie was the Steak Tartare on Quail Egg Toast. Though not as technically complex, the crispy toast soaked up the quail egg and added to the texture and flavor of the well-seasoned tartare.

As an intermission, there was a Lemon & Rosewater Sorbet. It was a simple and delicious way to cleanse the palate.

Next up was a Cattail Creek Lamb Loin Chop with a Butternut Squash, Cippolini Onion, and Kale Gratin and a Candied Hazelnut Verde & Lamb Demi-Glace. I expected nothing less than a skillfully cooked piece of meat at this meal, considering the name of the restaurant and the pig in its logo. Meant to be the heaviest course on the menu, the lamb loin chop was definitely cooked to perfection. I easily cut into the meat to expose a medium-rare center. Though each component of this dish could easily stand on its own, when eaten together, the tender lamb balanced incredibly with the crunchy candied hazelnut and rustic butternut squash gratin. The kale added a nice hint of bitterness to the sweet and savory.

Where a restaurant could get wrapped up in its love for meat and heavier dishes, Beast does not. The next course was a sweet, yet refreshing, salad. The Arugula & Persimmon Salad with Tomme du Fedou Sheep's Milk Cheese, Crispy Leeks, and an Aged Sherry Vinaigrette was a great combination of creaminess and acidity, accented by a subdued leek flavor from the finely sliced crispy leeks. Overall, it was a great way to follow up the heavy lamb dish.

Next was the cheese course.

Everything was decent, but the best of the plate had to be the return of the Cracked Black Pepper & Fleur de Sel Shortbread. The Red Wine Poached Pear was also notable, adding an intensely sweet note to the plate.

The final course was a light dessert.

The Bruléed Apricot & Vanilla Custard Tart was in no way the star of the night, but was a testament to Beast's ability to balance flavors well. Without becoming overly sweet, the light custard and dollop of fresh whipped cream complimented the strict sweetness of the bruléed apricot. Though not one of the best desserts I've had, I appreciated the fact that I was served a dessert that played to my inability to eat a very sweet dessert after such a well-balanced meal.

Service is, not surprisingly, attentive and casual. Everything about Beast contributes to its overall character of coziness. A six-course meal of this calibre for $68 is tough to beat. Beast offers an optional $35 wine pairing, which is delicious, but not completely necessary. The food speaks for itself.

5425 NE 30th Ave.
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 841-6968

GET: The Menu.


  1. Oh man I want to go here and eat everything. The black pepper fleur de sel shortbread sounds like something I could use a box of.

  2. Seriously, I want a box of them. Dy just went for brunch today (I had to leave PDyX early) and said it was also awesome. Brunch at Beast -- on my list.

  3. Thanks for letting me eat the rest of your palate cleanser. My palate was super cleansed for the lamb. Mmm lamb. I love the fact that we had lamb every day.

  4. haha no prob. i want more of that lamb though...and the gratin...


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