There is an old joke about two women complaining about the food at a Catskill hotel and the punchline is "and the portions are so small." After eating this past weekend at Evangeline with my wife and another couple, this punchline also applies to Evangeline. Unlike the joke, the food at Evangeline is delicious - there just is not enough of it. We had 4 appetizers (duck liver pate, duck confit, fennel salad and cod filet) and 3 entrees (poussin for two and duck) plus a bottle of wine ( an excellent Steele Pinot Noir) and the bill came to a total of $174 including tax and tip.
This may in the abstract sound eminently reasonable and it would be for the level of service and ambience at Evangeline if the portions were not so absurdly small. The poussin for two was $38 and smaller than a cornish hen. The cod filet was less than one and one-half inch in diameter. I had the duck liver pate which was so rich the one inch cube was enough but the $25 duck entree I ordered had five breast slices one inch by one half inch and a duck leg the size of one buffalo wing. And you could count on two hands the number of fennel strands in the salad.
What is owner chef Eric thinking? "Keep the prices down and cut the portion size by 50%." That's a real shame because no restaurant in Portland serves food this consistently delicious. Eric has to let the bean counters go and serve portions that satisfy. Then we would be able to stand up and applaud Evangeline as the best in town. All we can do now is repeat "and the portions are so small."