Wood-fired pizza pleases kids, parents and grandparents alike.
Although I’d enjoyed Tastebud’s wood-fired bagels and pizza from their booth at the PSU Farmers Market, I was a little taken aback when we walked into the new Tastebud restaurant in Multnomah Village. The restaurant had more of a fine-dining atmosphere than I had anticipated with low lights and a cool purposely half-finished ceiling. But my family and in-laws were immediately welcomed and provided with two high chairs for my 1-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. Although it was a Sunday and we had arrived at 4:30 pm, the place was crowded. Pro tip: Get there when they open at 4 pm.
There was a slight delay with getting our drinks, but the service was impressively quick for the rest of the evening. My husband was excited that Tastebud offered a limited-release Chefs Week PDX beer collaboration on tap: Everybody’s Brewing Biscuit Shooter Sourdough RyePA, which was fermented with a wild yeast strain that pastry chef Eve Kuttemann uses to leaven her sourdough bread. It was delicious, with a hint of tartness, rich grain taste and light floral aroma.
We picked a few kid-friendly starters: bread and olive oil, and roasted potatoes with salsa verde. These sound straightforward, but any time you bake simple dishes in a wood-fired oven, they become exponentially more complex. The bread had a lovely char and was accompanied by green and fruity olive oil, and big, snowy flakes of sea salt. The potatoes (with salsa verde requested on the side) also had that great smoky taste and my 3-year-old liked them so much she politely requested to finish the last one on the plate. The salads were standouts, too. My husband and I liked their twist on a Caesar salad, featuring kale, bagel chips and roasted lemons. My father-in-law loved his winter lettuce salad with roasted winter squash, manchego cheese, pumpkin seeds and a punchy cranberry vinaigrette.
We ordered a Nausicaä pizza because my daughter wanted plain cheese, and we were able to easily do half cheese for that pie. The other half held tender chunks of sausage the size of meatballs, bits of salty olives and shaved fennel. This pizza could actually inspire your children to willing eat fennel. My 1 year-old gobbled up the little bits I fed him. The crust was excellent with little blackened spots and a nice chew. The pizza was tasty enough to test our loyalty to Apizza Scholls. And my daughter who’d insisted on cheese pizza charmed her granddad out of the last half-slice of sausage.
Tastebud also has other entrée options — roasted in that same wood-burning oven. My mother-in-law tried the trout with Brussels sprouts and root vegetables, which was cooked perfectly. However, she wasn’t a fan of the liberal rubbing of smoked paprika. But she traded with my husband who loved it, especially the roasted lemons.
Finally we finished off with an apple galette, a free-form pie with ricotta and whipped cream. It was one of the best desserts I’ve had in a while. Tastebud’s tagline probably sums up our meal best: Wood. Fire. Good.
7783 SW Capitol Hwy. Open daily 4pm-10 pm. 503-234-0330, tastebudpdx.com
Tommy Habetz, the force behind Bunk sandwiches, brings top-notch pizza to the Cully neighborhood
at his fam-friendly dining establishment, Pizza Jerk. Pizzajerkpdx.com
P.R.E.A.M. has moved from Monday nights at Ned Ludd to the old Tennessee Red’s location in Southeast. The hip-hop theme continues and you and the kids can enjoy your wood-fired pizza under the watchful gaze of Tupac Shakur. Preampizza.com
Roseway families have been flocking to Pizzeria Otto for Neapolitan-style pies. Pizzeriaotto.com