The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar

Written by on March 24, 2014 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

( – Montavilla neighborhood in SE Portland, Oregon

Country Cat

How I heard of this place: In Portland, it is best to ask the locals where to dine. We did just that the entire week of our stay, and sampled this little establishment first!

Country Cat Entry

Type of cuisine: “At The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar, American craft cooking is truly at its prime. Adam and Jackie Sappington have masterfully created their unique interpretation of the country’s ever-evolving culinary heritage yielding a conversation-starting menu that highlights flavor profiles from Adam’s southern upbringing balanced out by classic Northwest styles.

Country Cat Bustling Diner

The seasonally-focused menu represents the best local offerings from surrounding markets; in fact, 65 percent of their produce is hand-picked from the farmer’s market – it’s no wonder Adam can often be seen winding through the restaurant providing guests with a sample of the season’s first strawberries that then appear in various ways throughout their menus.

Country Cat Dining Table & Kitchen

Cured for four months, The Country Cat’s popular country ham is made from the traditional process known from the days of Thomas Jefferson. Each year, they make five tons of house-cured bacon and over 1,000 pounds of beef jerky (better known there as “meat candy”) used in many ways including to garnish Bloody Mary’s. Even the ketchup is made from scratch at 10 gallons a week while 350 of the most perfect buttermilk biscuits are handmade, handcut and baked daily. Well-known for his artful butchery, Adam purchases and respectfully carves a whole 160-pound heritage pig on-site weekly utilizing everything available to create a carnivore’s dream menu. Perfectly punctuating this unique aspect of the restaurant is the popular Whole Hog plate featuring a brined chop, a pinwheel of pork belly, smoked shoulder meat and head cheese croquette, served over white corn grits with a seasonal fruit sauce. Simultaneously, the restaurant is well known for its exquisite fish entrees and wide-ranging vegetarian options.

Country Cat Kitchen & Seating

Ambiance: “The cozy and soulful restaurant is nestled in southeast Portland’s rather unexpected Montavilla area, a family neighborhood reminiscent of Adam’s hometown in Missouri allowing the duo to foster a restaurant environment that serves the community first.

Country Cat Bar

What I ordered: Our party of six indulged on this culinary adventure, starting with two orders of the Deviled Eggs ($3 for each plate of three),

Country Cat Deviled Eggs

a plate of six Honey Mustard Chicken Wings ($8),

Country Cat Chicken Wings

and the Wedge of Butter Lettuce salad with Poached Egg & Green Goddess Dressing ($9).

Country Cat Wedge Salad

For our main entrees, three at our table ordered the Skuna Bay Salmon with Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Pecans Tossed in Balsamic Mustard with a Crispy Soft-Poached Egg ($20 each),

Country Cat Skuna Bay Salmon

and one order of the Cast-Iron Skillet Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Country Gravy ($15).

Country Cat Fried Chicken Entree

My husband and I shared the Portland Dining Month’s Three-Course Fixed Price Menu ($29) which included, as its first course, a Juniper & Black Pepper Crusted Beef Carpaccio with Truffle, Leek & Chopped Egg,

Country Cat Beef Carpaccio

two pieces of Cat-Iron Skillet Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy for the main entree,

Country Cat Fried Chicken & Mashed Potatoes

and Mom’s Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Candied Walnuts and Pineapple Sauce for dessert.

Country Cat Carrot Cake

My husband also indulged in the Virgil’s Root Beer Float ($5).

Country Cat Root Beer Float

What I loved: The salmon. Whoa.

Why I loved it: You can feel the sweet energy, the family-owned spirit and the true love and passion for good food at every turn and with every bite at the Country Cat.

Most every night, Portland’s well-known husband-and-wife culinary team Adam and Jackie Sappington can be found buzzing about The Country Cat Dinner House & Bar, their dream restaurant they opened in April 2007. Adam serves as the Executive Chef while Jackie plays the role of Pastry Chef, seamlessly blending their talents into a family-driven and community-focused eatery centered on American craft cooking taking the farm-to-table concept to admirable heights. The duo first met in 1995 while working together for three years at Portland’s Wildwood Restaurant, which laid a solid foundation of friendship and professional respect between the pair. Falling in love over the stove, they married in 2000 and always remain focused on camaraderie, not competition, supporting each other as well as balancing out their individual strengths and weaknesses. Active members of the community especially when it comes to educating area children about seasonal and local food, the Sappingtons have two sons of their own, Atticus and Quinn, whom they simply adore.

Cost: Average ($10 – $23 per dinner entree)

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