Last week we hosted Shawn's parents, Norm and Karen, during their annual summer visit from upstate NY. Since Shawn, Karen, and I all celebrate birthdays in August, they were kind enough to treat us to a lovely dinner out. The original plan was to go to our neighborhood restaurant Roux, however, it closed about a month ago (sad). After some discussion, we decided to try out Lovely Hula Hands on North Mississippi.
After a week of intolerably hot temperatures, Portland finally started to cool down--enough to even sit on their lovely patio out back for a late supper. In fact, our table is pictured (photo care of their Web site).
I started with a cocktail, a fact I later regretted just a bit since it didn't fit very well with my meal. However, the drink was delightful, slightly tart, and nice for the weather. Shawn ordered these tasty little grilled padron peppers as an appetizer. They weren't spicy, but slightly sweet and given a generous sprinkling of sea salt.
I had to follow Karen's lead on ordering the rib eye. It's my favorite cut of meat, and it came with butter lettuce dressed in homemade ranch, and crispy onion rings. The onion rings could have really made this meal too heavy, but they did a nice job not drowning them in batter and grease. They complemented the meat very well.
Shawn opted for the chicken, which had a crispy skin and was served on polenta, asparagus, and mushrooms in a sauce. I wish I could remember what the sauce was exactly, but I didn't write it down, and the menu changes weekly.
For dessert, I had my eye set on the buttermilk panna cotta. I was slightly disappointed that they weren't serving it with fresh berries, like what I had seen on the menu the previous week, but the plum granita proved to be almost as delicious. My one (small) criticism is in regards to the service. It wasn't bad, per se, just frantic. For example, after tasting my steak in combination with the lemonade cocktail I had ordered, I decided I should probably get a glass of wine. Unfortunately, by the time our waitress even looked at us again, I was pretty much done. It wasn't the end of the world, and overall the service was ok, it was just too hard to get anyone's attention since they seemed to be scrambling. I'm not sure what the source of this problem was, maybe just an off night. That small factor won't stop me from going again, though.