I know I have a good chance of getting a free dinner if I mention going to a restaurant that serves poutine. I recently had such a night, where the thought of going home and actually cooking food just seemed dreadful and unbearable. I mentioned Lincoln, where they have poutine on the happy hour menu. Dave needed no further coercing.
I always marvel at at sleek, hyper engineered new restaurants in overwhelmingly giant spaces. I always wonder who has the money to create these ventures. Someone has a vision. But I wonder how they pay the rent.
Everything we put in our mouths at Lincoln was well executed and tasty. The menu is downright dainty. We started with fried fennel fritters with a Meyer lemon sauce. And of course, we ordered poutine, which came with a lamb gravy. We had never seen lamb gravy on poutine before. I normally don’t order lamb if given the choice, so we were curious how this was going to taste.
Oh my. I’m pretty sure this photos doesn’t make it look delicious. But it was. Oh, how it was. There was a lot of ultra-tender bites of meat, with hearty, well bodied, and dare I say soulful gravy. The curds appeared to be cheddar and the fries were up to snuff. It was a delight. The kind of dish you regret having to share. The kind of dish where you wish you could go back in time, to alert your past self to ditch the boyfriend for a night and take yourself out to dinner so you don’t have fend off the poutine with your fork.
We squeegeed up the last bit of gravy with the last bit of our fries. Ultimately, it is better to share such a dish so that you have equal chances clogging your arteries. We continued to nosh, he on a panzanella salad and I on a spaghetti squash gratin. I have lately come to enjoy spaghetti squash quite a lot, and historically have never refused anything made into a gratin. The combination seemed like it might have been virtuous. But it was not. It was utterly decadent. It was heavy and rich and wonderful.
In total, not the healthiest meal I’ve ever had. As the waiter cleared our plates, I joked that I would next order a stick of butter. Instead, (yes, we kept going), we had a slice of orange cake and a “44 Cordial.” This was a house made liquor, starting with rum, and orange and coffee beans. The orange is slit 44 times, and 44 coffee beans inserted into the slits. Then it is left to infuse for 44 days. We liked it. It was sweet, but not sickly. It was citrus, but it was warm and buttery from the coffee beans. We resolved to try making it ourselves. We will let you know in 44 days.
In all, Lincoln had a hip atmosphere, suitable for a date, and interesting, well-crafted food that was a pleasure to eat. And that poutine [Update: happy hour menu only]. Wow. Perhaps our favorite so far in Portland. We will be back.
3808 N Williams No. 127
Portland, Oregon 97227