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Restaurants & Bars 6

Calendula (PDX) - Review (longish)

Jamesongrrl | Feb 2, 200504:33 PM

Hadn't seen a review recently so thought I'd post my experience. (Thought they were having problems and even closed briefly- anyone know the new story?)
Anyways....stopped by last night.
The atmosphere is nice- intimate enough for a more formal dinner if that is your goal but admittedly everyone there was in jeans, sweat shirts etc, so that brings the atmosphere a step down.
For appetizers we had the sweet potato cakes (3) with ginger and Dolmas (stuffed grape leaves - 5.) The potato cakes we quite good. I thought they might be two sweet for my taste but the more I ate them the more I enjoyed them.
The Dolmas were not the best I've had but better than most. They were a little mushy but not greasy, or overly dry which I find to be the two big problems. Though good I probably wouldn't bother order them again though I would the cakes. (Appetizers run $5 to $7.)
For dinner my friend had the Artichoke & Sun-Dried Tomato Rotelli - pasta with Organic Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Basil, Capers, and Thyme. Served with faux Parmesan. ($9) The dish was good, but not great. The serving size was very generous. Some would probably like this dish very much but I just wasn't bowled over.
I choose the Portabella Tofu Crepe and topped with their own sour cream. ($11) This was one large crepe served with a sautéed chard on the side. It was very hot when I got it (which I like - easier to cool down than heat up.) And was very tasty. My dinning companion and I both thought this was the better of the two entrees. I was particularly in love with the chard. (So much so that I asked for an extra plate of that alone.)
We finished of with some kind of chocolate mouse, whipped cream layered thingy. I only thought it was so so but my friend seemed to really enjoy it. (I don't like sweets so once again just my palate.)
The service was quite good- maybe not 'fine dining' good but our server was very attentive. Explained everything I had a question about on the menu, got a carpet to cover up the vent as it was too cold, obliged all my request and was very friendly.
The cost of the food was about $30 and I would say that the atmosphere, food quality and service was definitely worth the $30. (We added a bottle of organic Cab. for $35 so our cost doubled....)
I don't eat a lot of vegan/vegetarian so maybe someone who is familiar with this cuisine has a different view but I pleasantly suprised and will definately take my out of town vegetarian friends.

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