Thursday, September 11, 2008
Mr. Gibson Will Serve You Now...
I've always thought that a personal chef was only for the rich and famous, the pompous or the puffed-up. Not that some nights it wouldn't be nice to have dinner all figured out, or a liveried butler proffering a cocktail on a silver platter.
But now, for lunch and afternoon snacks at least, you can have former Castagna chef Kevin Gibson preparing and serving his creations just for you at Pastaworks' new restaurant, Evoe. In the space vacated by Bar Pastiche, right next to the Hawthorne store, he'll be test-driving Pastaworks products, including fresh produce, on eager diners seated at the big butcher-block table across from the open prep area.
For lunch there was a large basket of pimientos de padron from Viridian Farms, which Mr. Gibson was happy to fry up as he prepped some of his legendary deviled eggs, which he topped with the thinnest of bacon slices that shattered like glass when I bit into the egg. (And for those of you who, like my dining partner K-, are not fans of deviled eggs, you'll be changing your mind when you try his. Believe me.)
Next up was a salad of glacier lettuce (again from Viridian Farms), peach and prosciutto. Glacier lettuce was something new to me, with its thick, almost succulent-like stems and leaves and fuzzy-looking (but not tasting) texture. The taste is of citrus, almost like sorrel, but when you bite into it there's an initial crisp crunch and then it melts away. (Interestingly, Google comes up with no hits. Does anyone have any guesses as to what it may be?)
We also tried the "pork and beans" and, in a typical Gibson twist, there was just a touch of molasses in the crust on the pork, but the beans were fresh shell beans and nothing like B&M. The rabbit rillette was superb, as well, with a nice brushing of fat, salt and pepper to top it off. Look for the meats and patés to be house-made in the near future, as Kevin's done already with the pickled products he serves.
The hours right now are from 11 till 6 Wednesday through Sunday, but expect those to expand as the menu and (I guarantee) the crowds develop.
Details: Evoe, 3731 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Phone 503-232-1010.