Q & A with Executive Chef Matt Christianson
What fall produce are you most excited about?
Chestnuts, quince and canning the 300 pounds of peaches from Baird Family Orchards in Dayton, Oregon we picked up at the Portland Farmer’s Market this week
Favorite dish on the fall menu?
My favorite west coast fish, Alaskan halibut and as the short season ends in October get it while you can! Also our perfectly caramelized grilled cheese sandwich.
Favorite drink on the fall menu?
The addition of Dry Fly Gin to our extensive spirit selection has been long awaited. Dry Fly + a quality tonic water = a happy chef.
What was your best Halloween costume?
The stuffed monkey I wore on my back during service labeled Bradley Ogden, my longtime mentor and Chef/Owner of Lark Creek Inn in Lakespur, CA.
Help us #86AIDS with (RED)
For the month of June we are partnering with Mario Batali and (RED) to help #86AIDS. During the month we will be offering special cocktails whose proceeds will go towards the United Nations global fund that fights against AIDS. By choosing where to eat lunch or have a cocktail you can help end the suffering caused by AIDS. For more information on participating restaurants or to donate to the UN Fund directly, click here.
Newly appointed Executive Sous Chef of The Nines Hotel, Chris Starkus, is not one to rest on his laurels. After starting our rooftop garden and beekeeping operation last year, he is ready this year to expand its output and effect on the hotel. We’re doubling the number of hives and, with a year of study under his belt, Chef Chris is ready for the title of fulltime beekeeper. (As if he doesn’t already do enough!) We’re also expanding the garden under his direction and should be able to incorporate more delicate herbs and vegetables into the dishes here at Urban Farmer. The new bee colony and expanded garden boxes will be unveiled on April, 22nd, Earth Day so stay tuned for more!
Spring Menu Changes
Chefs Matt and Chris are ready to share a few of their latest menu changes with the world! They’ve worked hard to maintain our commitment to sustainable practices by continuing to work closely Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch and sourcing fun springtime vegetables from local farms. One of our favorite new menu items is the wild Pacific salmon. The chefs delicately place the seared fish on a bed of broccolini, charred grape, olive and salsify puree
We proudly feature some of Oregon and Washington’s best farmers and ranchers on our menu because of the quality of their product. Sometimes this means working with a farm seasonally, to get the region’s best tomatoes, for example, while other times it means working on breeding and feeding methods of cattle, as Chef Matt has done with Scott Laney of Eat Oregon First. One of our most fun relationships has been working with Bob La De Route and his 100% Wagyu. Bob raises only eight animals at a time to ensure each one is nurtured properly. He processes and sells only four every year! That means once a year we get a whole cow in to butcher and work our magic. This Valentine’s Day we’ll offer a special ribeye for two and you’ll see some choice cuts offered on our special’s card for the next couple of weeks! If you want a one-of-a-kind experience come in soon!
Daily Menu Additions & Butcher’s Cuts
Guests of Urban Farmer can never complain about a boring menu! Not only does our menu change seasonally to feature fresh, local products but we also feature daily menu additions and butcher’s cuts. The menu additions and butcher’s cuts allow the kitchen to utilize the whole animal to result in less waste. It also allows for our chefs to showcase their creativity on a daily basis! If you stopped in over during the Christmas week, you may have seen a PB&J Duck on the menu additions card; which was inspired by the classic childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! This seared duck features fermented chestnut pesto (the “peanut butter”), drunken cherry gastrique (the “jelly”), finished with a sage crumble (the “bread”), and garnished with micro greens. Be sure to check the daily card each time you stop in for lunch or dinner to see what creative dishes our chefs have developed!
It’s been an amazing year here at Urban Farmer! With our new location in Cleveland we’ve seen a lot of our staff grow their careers and not just take on new roles but excel at them. We couldn’t be prouder of the team we’ve built! Next year looks to be just as exciting, not that we’re quite ready to share any of that news yet… But 2014 isn’t quite over and we’ve still got a wonderful Christmas feast to share with you and your loved ones. Chef Matt has prepared a menu of classics and new favorites. We hope to see you before the New Year!
Being a hotel restaurant we have the advantage of opening for three meal periods every day of the year. Through rain, sleet and snow we follow the intrepid postman in our perseverance, providing hospitality to everyone walking in our front doors. Because we’re available everyday we look forward to the holiday season knowing that it’s an opportunity to go above and beyond the usual expectations of a restaurant. From decorating to inventing playful new dishes that riff on family favorites, our entire staff takes pride in hosting families that are looking for a less stressful dining experience as well as weary travelers who aren’t able to be with their loved ones on a special day. If you find yourself in need of a little warmth, hospitality, or just a glass of wine and home cooked meal, we’re here for you. Happy holidays
Last month, Chef de Cuisine Chris Starkus hosted the first meal in his dinner Under the Antlers series. Chef Starkus conceptualized this dinner series after we got a wooden tabletop made to fit over the pool table that sits in the middle of our library. This transforms the upscale casual lounge space into a private dining affair that offers a unique experience. In his first dinner, Chris partnered with local seafood purveyor Flying Fish Co. to highlight sustainably caught fish. He put uncommon delicacies on the menu such as escargot caviar and monkey-faced eel – both of which were highly regarded. Look forward to a new dinner Under the Antlers at least once a month for the foreseeable future!
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