We enjoyed a new-to-us restaurant recently, Decarli. Jason surprised me that afternoon, telling me he made reservations because we were overdue for a date night.
As always, I researched the restaurant prior to our visit. The chef-owner is a longtime Oregonian who has worked in many Portland establishments, including as a sous-chef to John Gorham (Toro Bravo and Tasty n Sons) when they were both at Fratelli. That was all I needed to hear!
We started off with cocktails. We both chose the signature DeCarli, which combines Ketel One vodka, muddled basil and a splash of simple syrup. This will now be my signature cocktail!
We ordered two starters – I picked the polenta fries with gorgonzola butter. Wow. These were crispy crunchy fantastic. I loved the gorgonzola butter, but I also dipped into Jason’s appetizer choice –
Meatballs with marinara, basil, grana padana and garlic toasts. I didn’t taste a meatball, but the marinara was delicious.
Jason chose a Chianti Reserva which went perfectly with dinner.
Difficult to photograph but amazing flavors, my choice was a tagliatelle. I loved it, and shared bites with Jason. He said he will order that next time.
Jason chose the Carlton Farms New York steak with grilled bacon, portobello mushrooms and semolina onion rings. The portobello and onion rings were wonderful, and Jason loved the steak.
We also enjoyed the best dessert on the menu – a salted caramel cheesecake with house-made graham crackers. I will definitely order this again – salted caramel is one of my favorite things, and cheesecake is the other. This was perfect.
Enjoyed with a double espresso, as always!
We were very happy to find a gem on our side of town – an appealing and sophisticated menu and an atmosphere that is comfortable elegantly chic. We will be back, and soon!