The Best Dinner in Portland: Will Preisch’s Holdfast Dining Pop-Up

Sunday night I had the great pleasure of experiencing an impeccable seven course supper (with four paired wines) prepared and presented by Chef Will Preisch, who coincidentally just this week was named by Portland Monthly Magazine as 2013′s Rising Star.

Preisch, only 29 years old has an impressive resume here in Portland: Park Kitchen, Le Pigeon and The Bent Brick. Recently however he spent sometime exploring and expanding his repertoire of skills in Denmark, Iceland and France and decided to return to Portland with a new agenda.

That agenda is Holdfast Dining. Essentially, Holdfast Dining is a “pop-up” event company where Preisch hosts dinners in various restaurants, venues, or commissary kitchens. The dates are released in the month before, are limited in seating and include a 6-11 course supper with 4-5 wine pairings, typically with the price ranging from $55-$75.

What sets this experience apart from simply going to a restaurant to dinner is that you feel like you’re attending a dinner party; the atmosphere is casual and the kitchen is open with Preisch playing all roles from host to sommelier to chef- conversing openly with all the patrons as he works his magic.

Last night’s event was held at Kitchencru on NW Flanders and Broadway with nine other delightful attendees other than myself:

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The Evening’s Itinerary

And…what that all looks like:

Crab, fried green tomato, apple, buttermilk, dill

Crab, fried green tomato, apple, buttermilk, dill

Smoked Trout, cedar, pine, mushrooms, charred leek

Smoked Trout, cedar, pine, mushrooms, charred leek

Egg yolk, assorted lightly fried grains, miso-beer broth

Egg yolk, assorted lightly fried grains, miso-beer broth

Since I am recovering from a slight cold, this was the perfect comforting dish- a warm slightly salty broth and hearty subtle crunch from the grains…oh and of course some egg yolk to infuse a little richness.

Lamb, Lamb Belly, Eggplant, Caramelized Yogurt, Black Olive

Lamb, Lamb Belly, Eggplant, Caramelized Yogurt, Black Olive

Take it from me, you guys: lamb belly is the new pork belly (and I’m not just saying that because I don’t eat pork belly…this is one of the most succulent and rich pieces of meat I have ever tasted).

Cornbread Madeleine, Honeycomb, Lardo, Parmesan

Cornbread Madeleine, Honeycomb, Lardo, Parmesan

Frozen Yogurt, Honey Granita

Frozen Yogurt, Honey Granita

Miso-Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Carrot Cake, Candied Walnuts

Miso-Cream Cheese Ice Cream, Carrot Cake, Candied Walnuts

This deconstructed carrot cake is one of the most delightful desserts I have had in quite a while- the miso-cream cheese ice cream was so luxurious and creamy, a much preferred alternative to cream cheese frosting. And of course with some crunch from walnuts and a tinge of baked goods from the mini carrot cakes it was the ideal all-encompassing texture gasm of a dessert and final course.

Check out Holdfast Dining yourself! I recommend joining their mailing list so you can be the first to find out about the pop-up dates to reserve one of the few coveted seats available.

Also you can learn more from these recent articles from Portland Monthly Magazine:

1) Holdfast Dining’s One Man Show

2) Slideshow: A Night with Holdfast Dining’s Will Preisch

Last of all, I would like to extend a huge thank you to one of Portland’s top foodies, @garythefoodie (as is known on Twitter and Instagram) for offering me this ticket and giving me the opportunity to have this fantastic dining experience!

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One thought on “The Best Dinner in Portland: Will Preisch’s Holdfast Dining Pop-Up

  1. Hi. My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook, also a blog. I just “Liked” his page and came to your site. It’s terrific. I love people who share blogs with each other. Denise

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