Leland, my 29-year-old son, tosses pizza dough at Nostrana Saturday evening.
Our friend Danielle heads back to California tomorrow. We've certainly enjoyed having her with us as she completed her field work towards her occupational therapy degree. She herself enjoyed very much getting reacquainted with Portland and friends here. She'd lived here for several years before going to school in Oakland.
To say thanks to us for being her hostesses, she wanted to take us out to dinner last night. We decided to go to Nostrana over at SE 14th and Morrison--that's where Lindsay tends bar and Leland cooks, sometimes pizza, sometimes other stations in the kitchen. When we walked in and toward the bar where we wanted to sit, Leland saw us, smiling and waving. I thought to myself that he must be working the wood-burning oven so just maybe I could get a photo of him tossing the pizza dough--hooray! The three of us didn't opt for pizza, though, since we'd had one delivered from a nearby pizzeria earlier in the week.
After a delightful appetizer I shared with Mama about which I cannot remember the name or the ingredients other than paper-thin slices of a delicate mushroom and wild greens, my pasta dish arrived.
I found the details at Nostrana's Web site: House-made fettuccine with chive oil, true and snow morels and fava beans. Fantastic! As I ate my third or fourth bite, I remarked, "This tastes like summer time!" I happily devoured the entire dish.
Danielle started with the Summer Minestrone with Arborio rice and basil pesto, chilled, followed by the Warm carpaccio of Highland Oak Beef Tenderloin with cremini mushrooms, shaved Parmigiano and arugula. She kept saying, "This is so good!"
Mama got sand dabs, but I was too busy eating by the time that Lindsay got the backbone out of each fish. Like Danielle and me, Mama repeatedly said that it was delicious.
For our shared dessert, Lindsay thought we'd enjoy the Warm Chester blackberry jam crostada with mascarpone. We had a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead of the mascarpone. Yummy, yummy.
Mama and I are so blessed to be here with these two young men who love to cook, aren't we?
Finally, we wish Danielle and her mom a safe drive home--Pat is flying up Monday to make the return trip with her which I find comforting since the forest fires are so bad in California. Let's all remember the firefighters in our prayers, as well as those who live in the endangered areas.