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Restaurants & Bars 5

[PDX] Casanis...

Nick | Sep 27, 2003 01:00 AM

Went to Casanis tonight. First the bad, there's not too much of it. Had to wait about 10 or 15 minutes because they only allow reservations for parties of 5 or more. The place is very noisy. The bar is tremendously noisy, but the dining room is pretty darned noisy as well. They seem understaffed and the waitstaff seemed very hurried. As a result they're were pretty unattentive. Thankfully they give you a carafe of water.

But once they finally take your order, the chefs start pushing out tasty dishes and everything's fine. I like the menu format. You can order ala carte from the bar menu or you can order a fixed price dinner and choose an appetizer, entree, and dessert. They have prices in the $15-20 range depending on the entree. (I was under the impression before going that the price was just over $20 no matter what entree, but apparently not.)

My wife ordered the smoked salmon appetizer, pork tenderloin entree, and rice pudding dessert. I ordered the roasted beet appetizer, the braised veal entree, and the cheese plate.

The smoked salmon was tasty. It had some sort of grapefruit accompaniment, little chopped up onions, and a buttery sauce. Very nicely balanced and tasty.

My roasted beets were nicely cooked, served with microgreens of some sort, and a goat cheese dressing, I think. Tasty. Simple but tasty. More dressing would have been nice, though.

The pork tenderloin was grilled and served with an excellent sauce, I think it was made of celery or celery root, maybe apple, parsley, and mustard. Whatever was in it, it was darned good. The kind of sauce that makes you sop up every bit.

My braised veal was actually a pasta dish. The pasta was fine and braised veal itself was good. The sauce was quite tasty, though not as tasty as the tenderloin's. Good dish, though. Lots of flavor.

The rice pudding came with macerated apricots. My wife liked it. I got the cheese plate which had a small selection of four cheeses and a poached fig with the sauce drizzled over the plate. It was tasty as well.

Our total bill (and the cheese plate supposedly adds $2) was only $39.00 (without drinks). What a deal. The flavors were good, the prices fair. The portions are smallish, but the flavors are big. I very much liked it.

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