Many thanks to Estes for hosting this meal. As always, all opinions are my own.
Dame Collective, one of the most gorgeous spaces to dine in Portland, recently launched a new chefs-in-residency program inviting chefs to flex their creativity in a collaborative environment. Chef Patrick McKee, formerly of Perlot/SouthFork, is the first to join Dame Collective with Estes, his new restaurant concept based on his Italian heritage. You can find Patrick in the kitchen at Dame from Sundays to Wednesdays starting at 5:30pm.
When developing the menu at Estes, Patrick reached out to his mother for McKee family recipes from his childhood. The result is refined Italian home cooking that celebrates the seasonality of the Pacific Northwest. I was recently invited to experience Estes, and I was thoroughly impressed by the simple elegance of every plate. You may find different dishes on the menu when you visit as Patrick intends to change the menu from time to time, but you can expect plenty of vegetables and excellent pasta… oh, the pasta!
To start, I nibbled my way through the roasted beets with marinated citrus, sweet herbs, and hazelnuts. Next, I moved on to the romaine and braised farro salad with leeks, fennel, green onions, vegan feta, and aged balsamic. The brussels sprouts with calabrian chile-olive relish was especially delicious with the touch of preserved lemon. After the veggies, I happily twirled the semolina pasta on fork. Perfect pasta with romanesco, carrots, and calabrian chile oil. Last, but not least, I enjoyed a refreshing blood orange sorbet for dessert.
To pair with the food, Dame offers a global selection of natural wines (yep, they’re vegan). If you’re not sure which bottle to order, Dame owner Jane Smith can help steer you in the right direction based on your preferences. We enjoyed several skin contact orange/amber wines, which was very fitting for the first warm, sunny day of the year.
Note: This post is in collaboration with Estes. I was invited as a guest to this establishment and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.