The culinary team of Mellisa and David Root may have PDX’s Pearl District seeing Michelin Stars if their Hairy Lobster’s first month of offerings is any indication of their scope and breadth.
The whimsy in the eatery’s name is counterpoint to focus on fine food. Chef Root espouses and exhibits a commitment to finding the freshest ingredients as close to the kitchen as possible, to deliver guests a field to fork dining experience. All with a dollop of heartfelt care for everything on the menu. And that’s just for starters.
We wandered our way through the three landscapes of “water, garden & barn.” Each foray found us deeper in love with this place. Carrot Misto with fennel and goat cheese set a lofty tone for the evening. The parmesan squash bed gave the shishito peppers something to get blistered about. The Lobster Cubano is a must if not for the weightlessness of the chile spiked aioli, alone. Miso Glazed Halibut with Udon was a non-stop flight to Asia without leaving the booth. With an escort of Parker dinner rolls and whipped honey butter, the pork tenderloin brined and rubbed with a leek/coffee ash and seared to perfection moved us toward the alimentary abyss.
Enter dessert with a lifeline to the safety of lemon chiffon pie and a strawberry extravaganza. Chef Mellisa littered the chiffon with a tiny collection of sweet butterflies, accenting the lemony parade of goodness. Next up, she curated field-fresh strawberries and applied a triumvirate of taste in what some might loosely interpret as a strawberry shortcake. A triple-threat of berry leather, sorbet and syrup, lightly bathing a base built to absorb every ounce of flavor. Exquisite.