Aside from my family, two of my life-loves are writing and food. To be awarded the “Feed-a-Foodie” dinner from the Silver Grille (Chef Jeff Nizlek) and Extreme Chocolates (Chef Carrie Wong) for writing an essay about food equates to pure exultation. When I found out I won I had to lay down on the floor and kick my feet in the air… then just count the days leading up to dinner.
Chef Nizlek and Chef Wong welcome us into the Silver Grille where we are about to embark on truly the most amazing food journey I’ve ever experienced.
Jeff Nizlek, Silver Grille - Rosi Green - Ben Green - Carrie Wong, Extreme Chocolates
The promise of the “Feed-a-Foodie” dinner was a three course meal and dessert for two. Chef Nizlek and Chef Wong transform this into an 8 course extravaganza of flavors, discovery, and education.
To be “fed” – that is to completely surrender to the whims of the chefs is a treat reserved for true foodies. We arrive open and ready to experience the journey through the eyes of passionate and experienced chefs.
We are seated in a front window of the beautiful Silverton bistro, two giddy lovers of food ready for the voyage. I’m so happy I get to experience this with my sweet love Ben who grows our garden and frequently cooks for me.
The act of discovery begins with the first plate where we are served something I would never order. We are presented with a crudités trio of Foie Gras, Chorizo, & one more cured meat that I neglected to jot down.
Chef Nizlek creates these in-house with an obvious attention to detail. So this, my first experience with Foie Gras was a smooth, buttery decadence that will have to be enjoyed again. This starter plate was served with a French hard cider with gentle bubbles. A glass full of rich, amber hued, orchard champagne.
The Left Coast Cellars Chardonnay is a perfect pairing to compliment a bowl of Mushroom Bisque with White Truffle Oil and Fresh Herbs. A side of bread arrives with the most divine oil. They add fresh herbs and garlic and whole peppercorns to the oil and it becomes completely infused with these flavors. I am tempted to drink it right out of the little cup but Ben stops me.
A bit of Smoked Salmon Bruschetta graces our presence to hold us over until we receive an exquisite plate of Salmon with Truffled Rice and a Dill Buerre Blanc Sauce plus a side of fresh, tender asparagus. Buerre blanc sauce translates to “white butter” and also to holy yum. Such a simple thing balances the whole plate to perfection.
You may think dessert is on the way at this point but we are just getting started. The engines have been revved and we’re moving up a level in the richness and flavor profiles.
Chef Wong – dear, sweet Carrie, raided her personal wine cellar to share one of her favorites with us. Are you kidding me?! I am sure we have died and gone to heaven and tears of gratitude nearly spill. I want Jeff and Carrie to sit down with us and drink the whole bottle and just speak food words to us.
“Privé Vineyard near Newberg is perhaps Oregon's smallest winery at 250 cases, and it's quickly becoming one of the states most exclusive. Under the direction of wife-husband team winemaker Tina Hammond and viticulturists Mark Hammond, Privé Pinot Noir is gaining high acclaim.” Privé Vineyard
Thanks to Chef Wong, we are able to experience a treasured wine that is currently sold on futures.
This special glass of red wine beautifully pairs with a Stew of Lamb with Chèvre, Gnocci, and Preserved Lemon. I have not had preserved lemon and the bright and salty notes of this perfectly compliment the rich lamb. I have plans to preserve some lemons myself and can’t wait to cook with them.
Next up – yes, more food… a Coriander Rubbed Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Pommes Fondants and Red Wine Jus. No, you can’t call this steak and potatoes. The most tender, flavorful, lovingly presented plate of joy; we eat every bite and stop just shy of licking our plates.
We are allowed to rest for a moment with some strawberries and fresh whipped cream to hold us over until dessert arrives. It’s interesting how food equates to memories. Something as simple as fresh whipped cream that is done right – that is with minimal sugar, sent Ben and I off on recollections of birthday cakes made by his Mom.
Crème Brulée with Vanilla Shortbread and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake parade out to join us along with my next discovery… sherry. I have always been sure that I don’t like sherry and I’m so happy to be wrong about this. Its warm digestif quality perfectly compliments our divine desserts and sooths our sensory overload.
I am so excited about the sherry I insist on some education. Chef Nizlek has an entire curriculum of information in his head on the subject and then shares a flight of sherry for us to further educate ourselves. My favorite is full of honey, vanilla, comfort notes. I’ll be heading to Grand Vines to explore and purchase some for home consumption.
As if this generous expedition wasn’t enough, Chef Carrie sends us off with a hug and gifts to take home from Extreme Chocolates. (Post event note... I've been beating my children off of this bag of goodness proclaiming it is "for grown-ups.")
Truffles from Extreme Chocolates
Chocolate covered toffee from Extreme Chocolates
There is nothing more divine than to be fed by people who are passionate about food. Chef Nizlek and Chef Wong spoiled us to the point of feeling like movie stars or royalty.
There is the foodie and then the upper echelon of knowledge and passion. Jeff and Carrie shared their passion in the most giving and unassuming manner. I felt nearly riddled with guilt as we explored the most thoughtfully laid out journey of food beginning with light and air that culminated into the richest crescendo of culinary delight. We ate for two hours. Two hours of perfectly timed and well thought out creations made from the freshest ingredients possible.
Deep appreciation and gratitude to Chef Nizlek, Chef Wong, The Silver Grille, and Extreme Chocolates for sharing your gift and providing an experience neither of us will ever forget. Nor will we have to because the Silver Grille provides this level of loveliness right here in Silverton at shockingly affordable prices. We’ll be seeing you again soon… for the love of food.
The current main course line-up at the Silver Grille.
This changes frequently to utilize the freshest ingredients of the season.