Katherine Blake's husband, William Blake, shares his name with a famous poet who wrote about angry tigers and God, placid sheep, and angels. Her work is slightly more impermanent than his poems, but even one bite will put you in a similarly philosophical mood. We think her husband's namesake would agree.
What sort of food could inspire such spiritual leanings? Blake describes her cuisine as, "American food [with] European roots, locally sourced." But that might just undersell the work of this badass chef who's been nominated for James Beard Awards twice and has been a fierce advocate of farm-to-table dining since way before it was cool. Want a taste of her kitchen before you visit? Take a look inside with this clip from Robert Earl's Be My Guest.
Speaking of spirits, the libations are serious here. The Rusty Spoon has a short (as these things go), approachable wine list, a solid selection of beers that run the gamut from Budweiser to small-batch local ales, and the cocktail list is no slouch either. Worship at the altar of alcohol, but, like, responsibly, with a Smokey Old Tom (featuring a Laphroaig rinse, Old Tom gin, honey syrup, Dolin Blanc, fresh lemon, and a housemade rosemary tincture) or a Crisp Cucumber Martini (with Effen cucumber vodka, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juice)
Blake has lived all over the country, and while it shows in her food, it's also obvious that she has a particular affection for the cuisine of the South and the gastronomy of France and Italy. Get into it with an order of Red Devil deviled eggs and "Dirty South", Blake's take on shrimp and grits, or get really French with a culotte steak served with a creamy potato Gratin, vegetables of the moment, and salsa verde.
Cover Photo Credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr