This week, check out a new picnic-themed ice cream series from Salt & Straw’s Tyler Malek, ranging from fried chicken ice cream to baked brie and fig cheesecake ice cream. Plus, Maurice’s lunch and pastry services have resumed, there’s a new Peruvian pop-up in town from former Andina chef Alex Diestra, and look out for the return of Thai restaurant star Langbaan.
Salt & Straw’s New June Flavors Include….Fried Chicken?
The folks who brought you turkey-flavored Thanksgiving ice cream are back with another poultry-themed variety for the month of June only: Cinnamon & Honey Fried Chicken. It’s a collaboration with Ezell’s Chicken, a Seattle chain beloved by Oprah Winfrey, which also has a location in Washington Square Mall. We talked to Salt & Straw co-owner Tyler Malek in advance of the flavor’s release, who says this flavor took a ton of R&D. “We sent probably 20 iterations of candied fried chicken back and forth,” says Malek, but it turns out that when you throw fried chicken skin into ice cream, it tends to get soggy. Their solution: Bits of croissant dough fried in chicken fat, sprinkled throughout a honey-cinnamon ice cream base. So while you won’t bite into any actual pieces of meat here, the savory notes of chicken still come through. Our verdict? You gotta hand it to Salt & Straw—it's a flavorful combo, if not quite up there with the brie and fig cheesecake. But more of that later.
June’s entire summer picnic series is one of the best ones Salt & Straw has done recently—it’s like a complete multi-course meal, with many flavors containing local ingredients. The pink rosé and watermelon sorbet, made with Sokol Blosser wine, is refreshing and airy and tastes like wine-soaked watermelon Sour Patch kids. The deviled egg ice cream with smoked Smith Teamaker lapsang souchong is sulfury and bizarre with a balsamic marshmallow swirl, though the flavor is true to its inspiration. Two flavors, though, are so superb we think they deserve to be added to the permanent collection: the baked brie and fig cheesecake, a super-creamy flavor with just a hint of salty funk, and the chocolate nocino cherry pie, with boozy walnut liqueur-soaked cherries, bits of flaky pie crust, and a subtle, single-origin chocolate base stealing the show. It’s definitely a must-try (and must stock up) flavor situation.
Maurice Reopens for Pastry Luncheon Once Weekly
In April, we wrote about the last stand of chef Kristen D. Murray, who transformed her beloved French-Scandinavian luncheonette Måurice into a seven-course tasting menu restaurant (seatings Friday-Sunday, reservation only) At stake: survival and sanity. Still, we couldn't hide our sadness at the loss of Måurice's esteemed baking and legendary quiche. Now, the house signatures are back, Thursdays only to start. You don't know what you've got until you lose it. The time is now to taste the kitchen's beautiful rosemary-currant scones, true French quiche (custardy to the core), the famed lemon souffle pudding cake, heavenly black pepper cheesecake, and seasonal smorbrod sandwiches served open-faced and layered with the likes of beets, strawberries, and soft cheese. The limited a la carte menu includes soup, salad, a tea menu, and wines by glass and bottle—walk-ins welcome, inside and out. 921 SW Oak St, mauricepdx.com —Karen Brooks
A New Peruvian-Japanese Pop-Up, Callao, Debuts June 10
Chef Alex Diestra, former head chef at Andina, is now executive chef at waterfront restaurant King Tide Fish & Shell. Soon, he’ll debut a new concept on the restaurant’s patio: Callao, which will serve Nikkei, or Peruvian-Japanese, fare. There’ll be a full menu of anticuchos (skewers) from miso black cod to chili beef heart, plus mains including udon, ceviche, and beef short rib yakisoba. The pop-up runs Wednesday through Sunday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. through October 2; there’ll also be a live DJ Fridays and Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Langbaan Will Reopen July 1
Langbaan has been closed since February 2022, when preparations began to move the restaurant from its old spot on NE 28th to the new space shared by Phuket Cafe (1818 NW 23rd Pl). Phuket Cafe opened in March, and now Langbaan is ready to make its debut, too. Beginning July 1, Langbaan dinner service will be offered on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with two seatings offered per night in a tasting menu format. Langbaan will take over the dining room tables on those nights, while the Phuket Cafe menu will be available at the bar and on the outdoor patio.
Many of the same signature snacks will reappear, like the kanom krok (those delectable crispy rice cups filled with coconut cream and scallop ceviche). The menu will also feature wok stations and grill stations powered by fiery, piping-hot charcoal, plus some of the same dry-aged beef and pork you’ll find at Phuket Cafe. Look for tasting menu add-ons like A5 wagyu beef and oysters, plus rotating themed dinners inspired by childhood memories or street food, or perhaps a vegan menu.