Dessert Tasting at Fenouil (Portland)

fenouil_cheesecakeI mentioned previously that Fenouil tied for top meal this past trip to Portland, and part of the reason was that Pastry Chef Kristen Murray’s black pepper cheesecake was, by far, the best bite of the five days, let alone in recent memory. When she invited us back to sample some more desserts, I simply couldn’t resist – even though it meant crowding the experience in between two big meals. When you meet a master, you don’t decline such an invitation. We have a few fine pastry chefs doing great desserts in Seattle, but I enjoyed Murray’s work even more. Her desserts are imaginative, full of texture and flavor (I especially enjoy the savory elements), and incredibly artistic.

The dessert tasting was amazing, and worthy of its own blog post. I present the dishes here for your pleasure.


Hood strawberry and pea amuse bouche (a gorgeous start)


Cornmeal crepe, Jacob’s Creamery fresh ricotta, heather honey, muscat grape and lemon balm salade (an intriguing favorite)

fenouil_rhubarb vacherin

Rhubarb vacherin with almond biscuit, celery leaf sorbet, pink peppercorn meringue (another favorite)


Champagne mango tarte tatin (made with duck fat puff pastry) with salted butter ice cream, passion fruit caramel sauce


Viridian strawberry tart, fromage blanc mousse, lemon balm anglaise, meyer lemon creme


Chocolate souffle with mint ice cream and peppermint cacao lollipop


Dark chocolate tablet with hop macaron, cherries, nibs and hay-infused caramel stick (rich, and structurally stunning)

And then, believe it or not, it was off to dinner.

I don’t want to go overboard with accolades, so suffice it to say that Fenouil will be one of my first stops next time I go to Portland – and I encourage you to do the same…



2 Responses to “Dessert Tasting at Fenouil (Portland)”

  1. July 26, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    If the desserts taste half as good as that stunning plating and presentation, I might just pass out. Clearly, it’s time for another trip to Portland.

  2. admin
    July 26, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    Yes, Eagranie. And such a trip would surely include a stopover in Seattle, right?

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