Our 5th Anniversary + Dinner at Beast

Happy Monday everyone!
This weekend was kind of an unusual one for us; Cameron was away on a business trip last week (boo), and didn’t get back in to Portland until late on Saturday night. That meant I had all day Saturday to do some “me” things – I went to the farmer’s market, took a spin class, did some furniture shopping, had dinner with a friend, and basically just did whatever I felt like! Sunday was kind of low-key, lots of relaxing and celebrating Father’s Day with family. (BTW: Happy belated Father’s Day Dad!)
So today, I thought I’d share some photos from last weekend when we celebrated our 5th anniversary!
Our anniversary was a really fun day since we finally shared our news on Facebook/Instagram/the blog, and I loved reading all the nice comments. I was also super excited to get a flower delivery – Cameron ordered flowers from Ink & Peat here in Portland because he knows I’m obsessed with their style. It had my favorite flowers (peonies and roses) and lots of pink and green, I loved it!
We didn’t really do any big anniversary gifts this year since the house (and all the things we need to buy for the house) is kind of the gift to each other that keeps on giving (or requiring us to spend money is more like it, ha!) but we always do cards 🙂 And then I did surprise Cam with tickets for us for a show that’s coming to Portland next year, so that was fun. Then it was time to head out for dinner!
Just over 14 weeks pregnant…but luckily most of my dresses still fit 🙂
For our anniversary dinner, we decided to finally try Beast!
We have been wanting to try this restaurant for years, long before we moved to Portland, but we just never got around to it. It’s a place that’s received quite a bit of national acclaim as it’s owned by Chef Naomi Pomeroy who has has competed on Top Chef multiple times, just recently won a James Beard Award for being the Best Chef in the NW, and is kind of a big deal on the Portland food scene. 

For dinner, Beast has two seatings and they only serve a prix-fixe, six-course menu that changes frequently depending on what’s in season. Seating is communal and it’s definitely a very long, drawn-out, food experience. We opted to go to the second of the two nightly seatings, which is at 8:45pm and  so our dinner didn’t get over until after 11pm! Here’s an idea of what was on the menu for us:

There was also a dessert course (which I didn’t get in this menu photo) to round out the meal, and as you can see, the menu is definitely incorporating a lot of fresh, summer-y ingredients. Because you’re being served whatever is on the menu, I wouldn’t suggest going to Beast if you’re a picky eater or have a lot of food aversions/allergies. Cam and I are pretty adventurous though, and we enjoyed pretty much everything on the menu. (The only course we weren’t too crazy about was the chilled asparagus salad) Also, because we went to the second seating, it was super dark inside the restaurant during dinner and so I wasn’t able to get any good food photos during our meal. The only picture I managed to take was a crappy one with my phone of our second course, the charcuterie plate:
Each person got their own individual plate with all these little bites, and I loved all the artistry that went into the presentation/plating. The only thing I did not eat was the steak tartare bite in the bottom right corner – since that’s essentially raw meat topped with a raw quail egg, I decided I should probably pass on that and let Cam eat mine instead! He also did the wine pairing with his meal, but wasn’t a huge fan of some of the wines as the styles were a little more offbeat and not really his cup of tea.
Overall, we enjoyed our experience at Beast, however, given that it is kind of a lengthy experience and  a fairly pricey meal, I can’t necessarily say we’ll be going back any time soon. But it’s definitely worth trying at least once as I do think it’s one of the best representations of the exciting things that are happening in the food scene here in Portland. Also, it’s important to note that because you’re seated at communal tables, it makes it kind of difficult to have a private conversation. We ended up chatting with the people at our table for most of the meal, which was fine, but if you’re trying to have a romantic, intimate dinner than it’s not really the right setting. And that’s kind of ironic because given that it’s a more expensive restaurant, it seemed like most people there were celebrating some sort of special occasion, like a birthday or anniversary. Finally, if you do want to try and take photos of the food, I’d definitely recommend going to the earlier seating as it would likely allow for much better lighting! Or go for the brunch they have on the weekends, which I’d love to try sometime in the future 🙂
Beast on Urbanspoon

The rest of our anniversary weekend was spent getting things done around the house, and so we missed out on any of the festivities for the Rose Parade here in Portland. However, we did venture out to grab a quick dinner in the Pearl District on Sunday night and I snapped a few photos of the colorful display in Pioneer Square for the Festival of Flowers – it was really beautiful!
After a somewhat gloomy weekend here weather-wise, (I think) the sunshine is supposed to return to Portland this week, so YAY for that! Hope everyone’s having a great week so far!