I've been travelling quite a bit lately outside the US and have been missing two things that are very important to me: my friends and a dinner where I am relaxed, happy and not rushed.
I have not been to Hurley's in a while, I am embarrassed to admit. Mainly due to travel, but also because I thought of the restaurant as a "special event" place, like Cafe Des Amis was before it became Hurley's.
So, last night, my wife and I met with another couple who are "foodies" and had dinner at Hurley's. The food was great, the service was efficient and smart and our 3 hour dinner carried me back into the foodie heaven that i've been missing for a long time.
Why do people in Portland need to stuff themselves, eat quickly, then run to their next appointment? Why do Portland people glorify restaurants that have rude service, simple food and long lines just to "see and be seen"? I just don't get it.
My dinner at Hurley's started with a Red Pepper Flan and a bit of dungeness crab meat. Rich/spicy meets sweety/briny. Just wonderful, and just enough food to jumpstart the appetite without being overly filling.
I selected sauteed driver scallops with black truffles for my 2nd course just so I could build on the flavors during the meal and prepare for the meat course.
Next was a selection of roasted duck and duck confit paired with sweet corn and a port reduction. Rich and flavorful without being too heavy.
Each course was just the right amount of food. In fact, as we walked out to the parking lot, I felt "satisfied" but not necessarily "full". Feeling "full" to me is when the stomach is stretched from overeating. Is this why so many American's are overweight?
Never during our dinner did we wonder when the next course would arrive. We set aside the evening for dinner with our friends and had nothing to rush us. The restaurant was not trying to rush us either, which is rare in Portland's restaurant scene.
I remember Cafe Des Amis being very quiet and formal. Hurley's had a great buzz of energy as nearly every table was seated with couples or friends talking, laughing and enjoying their dinners.
It was a great experience and I'm looking forward to our next dinner at Hurley's.