Why is Castagna Restaurant of the Year? Simple. It is a genuinely new and exciting dining experience. It’s not in the decor or the ambience. The dining room is subtle and totally unpretentious, so don’t expect to be wowed by Cistine Chapel artwork or “modern” color blocks and dim lights all overthe place, because you won’t get it. It’s all about the food.
What Chef Matthew Lightner and his brigade are doing is something that until now you would only see on TV. He was Ferran Adria’s sous chef at El Bulli in Spain. So basically he knows how to deconstruct and reconstruct ingredients and make them look like masterful artwork.
Every plate is meticulously designed so that every ingredient pairs and intereacts with each other, creating an orgasm of flavor in each bite. It’s like Aphrodite, Calypso, and Helen of Troy having a threesome on your tongue. Yeah that’s right, it’s AWESOME.
Of course you do pay for the quality, a four course flight is now $65 a head, and then you add on wine and gratuity. But it’s worth it, and the cooks in that kitchen work the god damn balls off, even the chicks. And the food is utterly spectacular.
As you may be able to tell each plate is pieced together with tweezers and spectacles so that it is perfect. What’s also astonishing is how herbs are used. There’s no chopped chives here, instead you get whole leaves of beautiful and exotic plants that add exquisite levels of flavor.
If you’re in the mood for something more mellow, hit up Cafe Castagna next door and stuff your face with one of Portland’s best burgers that are made from scratch and sit happily in a housemade brioche bun… fuck yeah.
So basically, if you want your head to explode from something tasting so unique and amazing, go eat at Castagna. But again, who the fuck am I?
Get off your lazy ass and go eat there right now.