Smallwares meets Xico on August 6
Smallwares meets Xico on August 6

In a city where most chefs are friends and flavor trends spread faster than the flu on a crowded bus, we're pretty used to seeing culinary collaborations between like-minded cooks.

In Portland, barbecue pitmasters often go head-to-head for a smoke-off, modernist chefs regularly battle it out for the best use of spherification, and countless "New American" restaurants host guest chefs to turn the farmers' market bounty into expressions of the Pacific Northwest on a plate—but it's not too often that we see restaurant owners with two wildly different flavor palates mashing up their dinner ideas.

So if you're anything like me, this collaborative dinner will catch your eye for its off-the-beaten-path approach to each course: Johanna Ware of Smallwares and Kelly Myers of Xico are coming together for a four-course Mexican-Asian fusion dinner on August 6 at Xico. Yep, you read that correctly—this evening will offer a full range of inventive dishes embracing the culinary f word, from carnitas-topped Japanese egg custard to carne asada served with peach and radish kimchi and red chile peanut sauce.

Here's the full menu:

  • Three Ceviches: Albacore with nori, avocado, yuzu koshu, and lychee; Spot prawns with salsa verde, Thai basil, and cherry tomatoes; and Octopus with legumas in chileajo, hijiki and mizuna
  • Chawanmushi: Japanese style egg custard with carnitas style pork belly fried in chile
  • Fresh Masa Chalupa and Crispy Duck Carnitas with miso-mole sauce and cured cucumber
  • Carne Asada Platter: Grass fed beef marinated in guajillo, avocado leaf and allspice with Oaxacan black beans, peach and radish kimchee, and red chile peanut sauce
  • Dessert: Ginger cake, peanut curry butter cream, coconut flan, and white chocolate-chile-ginger crunch
More good stuff: A la carte vegetable dishes will be also be available, including Ecuadoran tomato salad, roasted potatoes with crème frâiche and horseradish, fried corn on the cob with miso butter and togarashi, and a fresh melon salad with queso fresco and pickled onion. Optional sake and mezcal pairings by Liz Davis of Xico, and Taylor Gehrts and Conrad Vollmer of Smallwares will be offered for $40. Pairings will also be offered a la carte, per course.

Tables at the $45, four-course collaborative dinner are available by reservation only, with seatings offered between 5:30 and 10 pm. To reserve your spot, call 503-548-6343 or snag a seat online. See you there!

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