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Ariana Restaurant


Ariana Restaurant has been on my list of dining options for a long time. I am sad that it has taken us this long to make it to Ariana's. When the hostess sat us at our table, the Wife mentioned that the last time she'd been in this house was when it was Cup of Magic. The hostess responded, "Gee, its only been four years." The Wife holds grudges. Cup of Magic was her favorite coffee shop and she was hurt when they left. So Ariana was on her shit list for a long time.

But, thankfully I was able to convince her to allow me to take her out to a nice dinner. We took forever trying to make our selections as everything looked great, plus I wasn't that hungry. After looking over the menu again and again, I realized that I need to take one for the team and order more than I wanted.

We started off with appetizers of Beef Carpaccio and Moules Frites:

Seared Beef Carpaccio - ($10)
Thinly Sliced Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Truffle Oil, Horseradish Crème Fraiche, Parmegiano Reggiano, and Scallions

Moules Frites - ($13)
Mussels Steamed in White Wine with Shallots, Garlic, and Herbs Served with Hand Cut Truffled Frites and Roasted Garlic Aioli

I thought that the appetizers would be small as they are in most fine dining restaurants but these were massive. I was getting scared that we wouldn't be able to finish our main courses.

The carpaccio was sooo thin and tender that it was easy to spread on the crustinies which gave the crunchy texture to a very soft dish. After a few bites I ended up scraping off many of the scallions which I thought were over the Wife doesn't like making out with my onion breath.

The mussels where great but the highlight of this app was the Truffled Fries. I call them fries, you can call them frites if you want but a spade is a spade, these are fries. They were soooo good, crispy, salty, and drizzed with truffle oil.

We ate every bite of the apps while we waited for the main courses. I selected the lamb shank and the Wife can't refuse the pork chop.

Lamb Shank - ($26)
Slow Braised for Hours in Cabernet Served Over Creamy
Parmesan Polenta with broccolini

Pork Chop - ($24)
Honey Brined Thick Cut Pork Chop Oven
Roasted and Served Over Fingerling potatoes,
Cipollini Onions, and Bacon with Whole-Grain Dijon Sauce

The lamb was so tender and just fell off the bone. For not being that hungry when I started dinner, I ended up stuffing myself silly. I can't complain about anything. It was all amazing.

The Wife's pork chop was cooked and seasoned perfectly with a little sweetness from the honey. Damn this dinner was the bomb!

Finally the Wife enjoyed the Bananas Foster Cake dessert:
Brown Sugar Banana Cake Drenched in Rum Toffee
Sauce and Served Warm with Vanilla Ice Cream

If you haven't been to Ariana Restaurant yet, you now have my permission to go. I didn't really get the Mediterranean side though. I guess Mediterranean food is a wide range of cuisine but to me, it seemed like new American. Sort of comfort food prepared in a fancy pants way. Either way, it was good.

Ariana Restaurant
1304 NW Galveston Ave
Bend, OR 97701
(541) 330-5539

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Blogger Write up your alley said...

Drool. Their fondu is great, too, as an appetizer.

And they had this seafood risotto with crab and seared scallops on top. Worth every creamy, delicious, get-in-my-belly bite!

February 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ariana has become our favorite "special occassion" restaurant - birthdays, anniversary. We were lucky enough to snag one of the last spots for Christmas Eve (after our families cancelled their visit due to the weather). Look for their special menus (Christmas, New Year, Valentine, etc.) that offer a limited set course menu with optional wine pairing - wonderful. We don't go often, but the food, cozy atmosphere, and service make those occassions special indeed.

February 23, 2009  
Blogger dkgoodman said...

Ariana has been on my list of places to try for years now, but it never seems to come to the top of the list (like those Netflix movies that never have the lift to rise to the top of the queue).

Sadly, some of the places I've been meaning to try are already gone.

Thanks for the update on Ariana. Maybe it'll make it higher on the list now. :)

February 23, 2009  
Blogger Jen F said...

Since RHPB is allergic to mushrooms (I know, sigh...) the fries with truffle sauce were a little "too special" for us. My questions are:

1. Is the guy with the "crumber" gone? That was truly annoying.

2. Have they learned how to cook a steak? (I had a lovely diver scallop over risotto but RHPB's steak was ruined, when we went.)

Other than that, I've heard from more that one person that the quality and service have slid at a certain restaurant on 3rd street (the one that is planning to move downtown). Have you been back lately?

February 23, 2009  
Blogger Pure Ingredients said...

Can't wait to go check it out! Thanks for the review.

February 26, 2009  
Blogger Ally said...

A comment for the Wife: I used to work at A Cup of Magic. I no longer live there, but miss it dearly every time i visit.

June 25, 2009  
Blogger Epicurean Slug said...

I went to the Hamacher Ponzi Elk Cove Winemakers Dinner last night at Ariana. It was wonderful. The young chefs (graduates of COCC's culinary program) had sampled the wines and created wonderful pairings. As a single diner I was lucky enough to sit with the winemakers, three delightful people who were not only fine creators but also good conversationalists.

Every pairing was perfect.

First Course: 2008 Elk cove Pinot Gris. This bright white was served with a White Gazpacho (made with cucumber, garlic, and olive oil) with slices of Marcona Almonds and small balls of Crenshaw melon.

Second Course: 2008 Ponzi Arneis Luisa Ponzi told a story about her Dad going to Italy while she was being educated in France. He came back with a bunch of odd Italian varietals including this one. She said it's very difficult, with the vines bearing fruit at different times and different rates. Nevertheless, this was a super white, with lots of figgy nose. It was served with my favorite food of the evening, a thin slice of Olive Oil Marinated Swordfish (very warm) toped with a terrific Fresh Summer Herb Gremolata (salad -- with currants).

Third Course: 2005 Hamacher Chardonnay. Usually, I hate Chardonnay but this beauty didn't have that heavy thickness so many do. It went perfectly with the Handmade tagliatelle paste with white truffle and sweet summer corn. The pasta smelled terrific and tasted same.

Fourth Course: 2007 Elk Cove Pinot Noir. A sharp and intelligent wine that perfectly accompanied my second favorite dish of the night, the spice rubbed breast of duck with root vegetable puree and slow roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes with 20 yr balsamic. The tiny tomatoes were a sudden burst of absolute deliciousness on my tongue.

Fifth course -- 2006 Hamacher Pinot Noir. A more complex Pinot that did a good job cutting into the verrrry fat hunk of 20 hour roasted pork belly with wilted local chard. This was way more fat than I'm used to eating, but I ate every bite.

Sixth course: 2005 Ponzi Pinot Noir Reserve. My favorite wine of the evening. A big, deep, pinot that balanced off my least favorite dish of the evening, two somewhat undercooked slices of Wayugu beef roasted with Pincess la Ratta Potatoes and steak sauce.

We took two in house made candies home with us, one a truffle (I gave this to my spouse who doesn't like fancy dinners and had stayed home) and the other a very chewy caramel that I enjoyed with a glass of milk.

It was a wonderful dinner served with intelligence and grace and presided over by Nancy, the voice of Ariana.

August 25, 2009  

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