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Restaurants & Bars 3

Hamersley's Bistro last night (long)

em | Jan 22, 200607:00 AM

I posted a message on here last week asking for opinions on Hamersley's for my 30th birthday dinner. I got a lot of responses and I really appreciated that. I just wanted to follow up and describe the meal we had, which was wonderful from start to finish. We love to eat, and we're always looking for our next "dining destination," and my husband went so far as to declare Hamersley's one of the top 10 meals he'd ever had. Not quite sure I'd go *that* far, but it was pretty great. We stuck with signature dishes, which I think is always a good place to start when trying out a restaurant for the first time - if I went back I'd probably be a little more adventurous.

Our service was good from start to finish. The hostesses were pleasant, and our server was there when we needed her. My husband started with a crown and ginger that he said was quite strong, unlike the watered-down concoctions you get at some places.

We shared the mushroom-garlic sandwich appetizer and it was incredible. I am a huge mushroom fan, and it was a mushroom lover's delight. Crusty country bread slathered with roasted garlic, and numerous varities of grilled mushrooms. Even the slaw on the side was great. Definitely enough for two to share.

I had the roasted chicken, which was everything that everyone says. Juicy, with nicely seasoned skin, flavors of garlic and lemon - definitely the best roast chicken I've ever had. I never order chicken in a restaurant, but I'm glad I listened. My husband had the cassoulet, which was equally impressive. Very traditional preparation, with pork, duck confit, and garlic sausage. Every bit was tasty. He also had a glass of Belle Pente Pinot from Willamette Valley with his meal that was fantastic. We couldn't order a bottle off the wine list because I'm pregnant, so he had to stick with the by the glass selections. Anyone who has ordered Pinot by the glass before knows that it's usually a big gamble, but this one did not disappoint (I snuck a couple of sips).

We ended our meal with coffee (decaf for me!) and what had to be the best dessert on the menu, because I can't imagine anything better. It was the caramel custard tart with wildflower honey poached pears. The tart was like a creme brulee (complete with the sugar crust) in a pastry - what a wonderful combination. The poached pears were addictive and were gone in a flash. That dessert alone is enough reason to go back to Hamersley's.

Our meal ended up being $150 for the two of us after tip. Not cheap, but not outrageous either. We did share some things, but we couldn't have possibly eaten any more! I'm still full this morning. If you haven't been to Hamersley's in a while, maybe it's time to give it another chance.

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