CHOW Tour Handmade
2/14 - 2/27
2/28 - 3/13
3/14 - 3/25
See Where We've Eaten!

Laid-Back Fun at Le Pigeon

We went to Gabriel Rucker’s French restaurant Le Pigeon knowing it was going to be a good meal (we were accompanied by Andrea Slonecker, executive director of the Portland Culinary Alliance, who had mentioned it was a favorite of hers). But I didn’t expect it to be so fun and surprising to eat there—perhaps because the menu is written so simply, I was picturing uncomplicated, homey French preparations, but each dish that came out had a twist.

For example, one of my favorite dishes of the evening was simply “Scallop: crab, potato, egg yolk.” It turned out to be a creatively assembled dish with a scallop cooked sous vide in squid ink, turning it black, briny, and really meaty in texture, served with a brûléed, near-raw egg yolk on top, chunks of potato, crab, and some sort of tomato-y sauce. Eaten together, it tasted surprisingly breakfasty. The vibe in the restaurant matches Rucker’s fun cooking style: It’s laid-back, welcoming, and totally accessible, with communal tables and mismatched vintage-looking china and silver. Le Pigeon is a place where you can go and be yourself, whether it’s your fancy date self, or your casual, eating-with-a-friend self.

Le Pigeon
738 E. Burnside Street, Portland

Roxanne Webber is a former editor at CHOW.