Chef Matt and his team are constantly on the lookout for higher quality meat. Farm visits, cattle comparisons and, yes, tastings are an important part of their job. As such, our cooks are not only experts at preparing food and choosing quality ingredients but at knowing what it takes to foster a healthy animal’s growth as well as the sustainability of the industry. Because of this it’s always an exciting day in the kitchen when a new animal comes in from a new rancher. This happened recently when we received a rare 100% Wagyu raised by a local. Wagyu cattle, infamously massaged and fed beer in the Kobe region of Japan, are now common in the US but breeding and import laws make it very difficult to find a pure bred. Here at Urban Farmer we’re always experimenting with various levels of cross breeds but Chef Matt can count on one hand how many times he’s gotten to butcher a specimen like this. The marbling is unprecedented as well as the tenderness and flavor. Not only does this amount to better tasting steak, but it allows us to offer cuts of beef that are usually too tough to eat medium rare. Instead of having to relegate shank meat to be braised or ground, we’re serving a perfectly marbled cut that has a texture unlike anything we’ve ever tasted! Since discovering this rancher and his extraordinary cattle, we’re excited to consistently offer this beef on our menu.
We’re lucky enough in this city to have a plethora of fresh, local produce. There’s a farmer’s market in almost every neighborhood and some have two or three! Our closest markets are the big, tourist-friendly PSU Market on Saturdays and the smaller, more intimate Shemanski Market that’s open during limited hours on Wednesdays. Because we try to pick up as many fruits and vegetables as possible during these trips (usually leaving with hundreds of pounds loaded chin high in our rugged wagon) it’s become a tradition for the chefs and anyone else to head out on Wednesdays to shop.
We have our favorite vendors, of course, which we always pick up peaches, apricots and berries from. Unger Farms has been supplying us with late season strawberries that somehow retain that full summer flavor well into September. Baird’s peaches and nectarines are probably our heaviest pick up, especially recently as we’ve been making and canning peach jam as fast as possible so we can keep it on the menu during the rainy months. However, the best farmer’s market moments are when we stumble across a farmer whose stand we’ve somehow overlooked in past trips, and it turns out he’s got some wild veggie or herb that our cooks can’t wait to experiment with.
Most recently Chef Jessica has helmed the market trips and just today threw together this salad for our lunch tasting menu based almost entirely off yesterday’s finds: roasted peppers with Portland Creamery chèvre, zucchini and pine nuts. We highly suggest coming in for lunch on the days following Wednesday to experience something particularly unique and fresh!
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
Our butchery program has always been a source of pride not only here at Urban Farmer but for Departure, on the roof, and the Nines Hotel’s banquets program right above Macy’s. Chef Matt and his team, including recently promoted Head Butcher Ben Lerner, receive over one and a half whole cows, 156 whole chickens and two whole pigs every week – utilizing every part for all three kitchens. In doing so we hope to participate and encourage sustainability of the meat industry. Now, outside our restaurant we’re trying to increase beef knowledge by installing a visual guide to show you where all of our awesome cuts come from. Stop by next time you’re walking around downtown Portland!
chuck pot roast
pastrami & bbq brisket
grind for The Farm Burger
crispy fried braised beef
Matt’s Mom’s meatloaf
tartare of tenderloin
bone-in aged New York
tenderloin, bone-in & boneless
slow roasted leg
braised beef shank
bay-leaf marinated bavette
skirt steak skewers
24 hour sous vide short rib beef
crispy fried braised
broiled pipe marrow bones
Urban Farmer steak sauce
rich onion soup
sous vide beef heart
brandy beef liver pâté
pastrami beef tongue
tallow for candles
tallow for soap
Over the past weekend, in our post BBQ, beer and illegal fireworks haze we celebrated another American holiday: National Fried Chicken Day. Though it may have less patriotic roots, July 6th is a date well celebrated in the waning phases of Independence Day. In exalting a dish that was brought by immigrants and perfected by the South, we are continuing to honor the similarities that make us uniquely American. Here at the Farm, we were delighted to serve variations on the classic fried chicken all day.
For brunch we used buttermilk batter to create a benedict that that provided a nice salty crunch to counteract the tangy béarnaise.
For lunch and dinner Chef de Cuisine, Chris Starkus, played with the idea of chicken and waffles by utilizing fresh, local blueberries and a homemade truffle honey.
National Egg Day was first declared a day of celebration due to a severe poultry plague that devastated Europe at the beginning of the first millennium. Three years after the plague had begun, Emperor Claudius Nero Germanicus challenged nobles to eat eggs to prove to the peasants that it was indeed now safe to do so. One finally accepted the challenge and invited all to witness his meal of boiled eggs. Showing no ill effects, the Romans once again embraced eggs and poultry. As a result, Claudius issued a royal proclamation dedicating the third day of June as the Holy Roman Day of Eggs and we couldn’t agree more. Urban Farmer goes through dozens of eggs daily, from scrambles and benedicts in the morning to deviled delights and sunny side up, we love eggs!
With spring starting unseasonably warm, Pastry Chef Carrie Merrill can’t wait for strawberry season. She’s been using a Californian varietal to perfect her shortcake and ice cream recipes and has settled on a nice balance of vanilla, cream, and sweet strawberry syrup. However, Oregon strawberries are one of the state’s oldest and best loved agricultural crops and Chef Carrie wouldn’t dream of using anything but the best. If apple pie is the icon of the good life for America, then strawberry shortcake highlights the heritage of Oregonians. It wouldn’t be summer in Oregon without a bowl of red, ripe strawberries or the luscious dessert of strawberry shortcake. Our climate includes lots of rain, cool nights and warm sunny days. These conditions are perfect for growing the sweetest strawberries as the berries stay on the vine and ripen slowly, allowing the sugars to increase before harvest.
Look for this perfect local dessert to hit our menu as the warm weather continues!
Portland’s Steakhouse Urban Farmer Is Off to the Races Again!
2nd Annual Kentucky Derby Party featuring Woodford Reserve
May 4, 2013
We are very thrilled to host a special viewing party again for this year’s 139th Kentucky Derby! Everyone had such a great time last year (as you can see from the photos), we just had to partner with Woodford Reserve again for racing, hats, food and fun! Join us for live viewing of the day’s races with multiple screens in our Georgian Room and enjoy delicious Derby Happy Hour treats such as the Kentucky famous “Hot Brown” while sipping on specially priced Woodford Reserve cocktails – the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby! We will be awarding the best hat seen in the crowd with a special gift from Urban Farmer. The party starts at 12pm, and the final “post” is 3:24pm. See you there!
Three Pacific Oysters, champagne mignonette $6
Shrimp Dip, Caper Crackers $6
Farmer “Hot Brown”, Chicken Confit, House Bacon $6
Cajun Candied Pecans $5
Marinated Spring Beets, Andouille Dressing $6
BBQ Pork Slider, Brussels slaw $6
Pork Belly Pastrami, killer rye, Chou croute $8
House-made Kennebec Chips with seasonal spice $3
Farm Fries, pimento, lemon $4
Chocolate Pecan Derby Pie $3
Bourbon Banana Pudding Parfait $3
DERBY COCKTAILS $5
Woodford Reserve Mint Julep – bourbon, mint and simple syrup
Woodford Lily – bourbon, lemonade, pomegranate juice, lemon twist
The Big Horse (Winner of Portland’s Manhattan Competition) Woodford Reserve bourbon, chinato, combier, old fashioned bitters, garnished with skewered cranberry
This year we welcome a new pastry chef into our kitchen. Carrie Merrill, born in Portugal but raised in Tennessee, has always had the heart of a cook. Raised by a single mother, Carrie began baking at a young age. She stuck with the hobby, taking cake decorating classes in England while she pursued a more corporate career, and doing so well she gained the nickname Cake Lady. At age 28, Carrie decided to commit to her passion and enrolled in the culinary school at The Art Institute of Las Vegas. After graduating she began working at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT where she quickly rose through the ranks to become lead pastry chef. At this point Carrie struck out to learn what should could from other talented chefs and spent time at L’Auberge de Sedona, The Greenbrier and Postrio Restaurant. Last summer Carrie married her fiancée and took a long vacation, ending up in Portland and, we’re happy to announce, at Urban Farmer! We asked Carrie a few questions to get to know her:
What is your idea of happiness? The perfect warm chocolate chip cookie!
Who is your real life hero? My mother, who raised three daughters on her own.
Biggest surprise in Portland so far? How green everything is and how nice people are. They even thank the bus drivers! Welcome to the Team Carrie!
This year’s brunch service will include nine interactive food stations including eggs benedict and waffles made to order. Other stations include an organic egg omelette station, an “untraditional” deviled egg station, dessert station and the infamous Urban Farmer grill and charcuterie station.
Urban Farmer’s signature Bloody Mary Bar will offer special a la carte selections including a wide range of house-made garnishes. Younger guests will be delighted by the “Little Ones” buffet, which will be configured to a kid-friendly height for ease of serving. At this special buffet, small guests will be treated to childhood favorites such as a selection of sandwiches and chicken fingers, as well as Easter eggs, jelly beans and brownies.
Menu price is $54 per person and $19 for children under 10 years of age. Book your reservations today!
BREAKFAST AREA COLD
Sliced Tropical Fruits and Berries, toasted coconut
Tahitian Vanilla Yogurt Parfait with Berries, House Made Granola and Biscotti
Citrus Cured Smoked Salmon with Traditional Condiments
Assorted Breakfast Breads, Danish & Muffins
BREAKFAST AREA HOT
Mini French toast, banana, Hazelnut, Rum Raisins
Applewood Smoked Bacon, Chicken Cherry Sausage
Crispy Hash Browns
Country Ham Eggs Benedict
Warm Apple cinnamon rolls
SOUP & SALAD STATION
Confit Duck, Wheat Berry Salad, Spring Stone Fruit
Roasted Beets, Fingerling Potato, Arugula, Malt Vinaigrette
Spring Pea Salad, Radish, Shallot and Citrus Vinaigrette
Asparagus and Wild Rice Soup, Pecorino and truffle
DEVILED EGG STATON
Traditional, Candied Bacon, Espelette
Tuna Tartar, Black Olive, Pine nuts
Wild mushroom and melted Leek
URBAN FARMER GRILL
Cedar Plank Salmon and Pickled Potato
Slow Roasted Prime Rib, garlic and thyme
Portland Popovers, Oregon truffle Butter
CHARCUTERIE & CHEESE STATION
House Charcuterie Sliced to Order
Assorted Cheese & Accompaniments
Chicken Fingers and Fries
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Macaroni and Cheese
Easter Eggs & Jelly Beans
Lavender Crème Brulee
Lemon and Blackberry Macaroon
Honey Apricot Tarts
Urban Farmer presents Laney Classic Beef
Chef Matt’s dedication to serve only the highest quality beef has led to meaningful relationships with many of Oregon’s ranchers and small operation farmers. However, one relationship in particular has blossomed into real friendship and culinary collaboration. Scot Laney, of Laney Family Farms and Eat Oregon First, has been working closely with Chef for nearly three years and their influence on each other is apparent in the United States’ first new cattle breed in almost fifty years. Scot bred the Cascade Red to show positive qualities such as marbling, tenderness and structure while Chef Matt’s knowledge of beef and dry-aging aided in the grain-finishing process. The “Laney Classic” is grass-fed up until the last few months where it is finished on brewers mash from Rogue Brewery (the grain of which Scot provides to Rogue for their beer). In working so closely with the farmer, Chef is able to fine tune the qualities he appreciates most in beef and Urban Farmer can proudly say it serves the only Laney Classic cows in the world.
Chef Matt Christianson and Urban Farmer Restaurant invite guests to join them for a special New Year’s Eve dinner and party with a menu to please all palates. With ingredients sourced from some of the Northwest’s finest producers and a rich, luxurious menu that celebrates this holiday’s culinary traditions, Urban Farmer’s New Year’s Eve offerings are not to be missed.
Urban Farmer will also offer a full a la carte dinner menu available with guest favorites like the 24 oz. Painted Hills rib eye steak and Anderson Ranch lamb shoulder. With DJ Rev Shines spinning in the Atrium Lobby starting at 9pm, guests will want to stay until last call at the bar at 1:45am. The party in the Atrium will be free for all hotel and restaurant guests; other revelers looking to dance the night away will have a $10 cover charge.
$80 4 Course Tasting Menu From 5 pm – 12 am, Special Lounge Menu From 3pm – 12:45 am
New Year’s Eve Prix Fixe Dinner (includes one choice from each course below):
Hama Hama Oyster Hang Town Fry, Caviar and Spiced Bacon
Grass-fed Beef Bresaola, Salsify, Wagyu Emulsion and Sea Urchin
Seared Tuna, Pickled Matsutake Salad, Oregon Wasabi
Lobster Tamale, Summer 2012 Tomato, Sweet and Spicy Celery, Cocoa
Dungeness Crab, Angel Hair Pasta, Fennel Cream and Meyer Lemon
Caramelized Onion Soup and Oregon Truffles, Beef Short Rib Gougéres
Butterfish Encroute, Foie Gras, Winter Apple and Wild Mushroom
Roast Duck, Sausage, Pear, Pistachio, Grilled Bread
Wagyu Short Rib, Root Vegetable Gratin, Blood Orange Glaze
Meyer Lemon Roulade, Thyme, Kumquats, Honey Meringue, Champagne Sorbet
Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine, Candied Beets, Chocolate Streusel, Mascarpone Ice Cream
Mignardise Platter: Blood Orange Pate de Fruit, Chocolate Praline Bonbon, Rosemary Diamant Cookie, Chocolate Beet Macaroon, Pistachio Chestnut Nougat
Portland is known for utilizing fresh ingredients, sourcing food locally, and bringing the farm to the table. However, nobody brings the farm to the table as well as us. Urban Farmer partnered with Scot Laney and Eat Oregon First to bring something new to the table this September. You may know Scot Laney, the infamous producer at Basque Ranch who sources Cascade Red beef, the first new cattle breed in the US in nearly 50 years. Chef Matt partnered with him for Cascade Red and has now partnered exclusively with him for Oregon Classic Beef, which is very limited; so much in fact, that we were only able to get half a cow.
Laney Family Farms Beef is pasture raised, then 120 day corn fed. In true Urban Farmer style, Chef Matt utilized every inch of the cow, boasting beautiful tomahawk rib chops, among other cuts, which sold out in the course of a single weekend.
Matt Christianson likes working with his hands, hanging out with his sons and, of course, cooking. He is the Executive at Urban Farmer—downtown Portland’s modern steakhouse in downtown—and he’s proud to participate in the Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair, an exclusive International Food Bloggers Conference tasting session put on by the online culinary encyclopedia, Foodista.com, and by Zephyr Adventures, trip planners for the nation’s intrepid travelers, hikers, bikers, inline skaters and eaters.
But what’s he like, really? Meaning who is he and what inspires him?
Read on to find out.
What is your favorite ingredient? Flour.
If you were to make a bumper sticker, what would it say? “REALLY?!”
Beatles or Stones? Beatles.
What is your favorite Portland food truck? The Brunch Box.
Automobile, bike, bus or foot? Car.
Which genre of music would score your life, and why? Bluegrass, reggae and rock.
What is your secret talent? Juggling.
What do you put on hotdogs? Ketchup. That’s it.
On his IFBC menu: gluten-free Summer Tomato Gazpacho (seasoned with lime salt and with shrimp) and House Bacon with Maque Choux (a sort of Cajun summer salad comprised of corn, green peppers, onions and tomatoes), all drizzled with a bourbon caramel sauce
The Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair takes place from 7-9pm on Friday, August 24, at the Portland DoubleTree.