In Portland, Oregon, a city famed for its ingredient-driven restaurants, special credit must be given to Paley’s Place, a shrine to the bounty of the Pacific Northwest housed in a rambling, candlelit Victorian home. Chef Vitaly Paley and his wife, Kimberly, who runs the front of the house, both trained in restaurants in New York and France. Since opening Paley’s Place in 1995, they’ve demonstrated what can happen when classical technique is applied to Oregon’s local ingredients, whether it is morel mushrooms or the stunning produce from nearby Sauvie Island. “We came to Portland to find out where these incredible ingredients we were seeing in kitchens were coming from,” the Russian-born chef says. What we love most about Paley’s food is its quiet confidence, the fact that it’s grounded in the classics but not confined by them. One shining example is a dish of West Coast spot prawns, bursting with roe, baked in sea salt with fresh bay leaves from the Paleys’ yard, cardamom, and star anise (pictured). The gentle cooking method preserves the crustaceans’ meaty texture and sweetness. Like the restaurant itself, the dish is an understated but insanely delicious experience.
1204 Northwest 21st Avenue_
Portland, Oregon 97210