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Restaurant Letter

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1Restaurant Letter Empty Restaurant Letter on Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:21 am

I am at the end of part 2 and am working on the Restaurant Letter assignment!

For those that have already completed this exercise, may I see your letters that you wrote please!

I will let you see mine once it is written.

Thank You

Kevin Iggens

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2Restaurant Letter Empty Re: Restaurant Letter on Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:02 pm

OK, Kevin. . .

“New York City Has a Monopoly on the Best Pizza in America”: An Invitation for You to Challenge THAT Myth.
Hi, Elizabeth!
I can’t believe you’re coming to Portland next week. Four years without seeing you (and New York) is way too long! Of course, some things never change-- such as our mutual love for pizza.

What if I told you that I found a place practically in my own backyard that makes a pizza that will blow your mind? It’s Ken’s Artisan Pizza.  I do owe you, you know. After all, it was you who indulged my (unspoken) craving for authentic by-the-slice New York pizza.  La Traviata, in your neighborhood, makes some truly fabulous classic plain cheese pizza.  Ever since then, I’d been searching for comparable pizza in Portland. Even the so-called “New York-Style” stuff here misses the mark.  

For months I walked my dog past Ken’s on the way to Laurelhurst Park. Usually around 4:30PM—especially on Friday or Saturday--  there was a line of people a whole block long! My epiphany: Might this place be worth trying?  Intrigued, Larry and I and our friends, Paula and Brian checked it out last Wednesday—a potential “off day” for dining out.  

We were seated immediately.  Inside was warm and airy, softly lit, and filled with an irresistible yeasty, tomato-y aroma. The behemoth wood-fired oven stood at “center stage.”  The Douglas fir beams that characterize the place, tables, and bar-- it turns out-- were built from wood salvaged from what was once the Beachroller ride at the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park, which operated from 1928 until 1970 near the Columbia River.  As he handed us menus, our friendly waiter pointed to a back wall where art prints of this vintage attraction hung. 
The menu impressed with its long list of 12” individually baked pizzas that could each probably feed two people—or at least one very hungry one:  Margherita, Arugula, Soppressata, Fennel Sausage and Onion, Bacon, Prosciutto, Anchovy, and Olive—to name just a few.  For $2, you can add parmesan, arugula, anchovies, or Calabrian (chile) to any pizza. Ken’s offers 15-20 different wines by the glass and something like 60-70 bottles of sparkling, rosé, white, and red wines from the Pacific Northwest and Italy. (I ordered a bottle of Italian Asti Spumante for the table.) They also offer four local microbrews on tap.

I’d definitely start with an appetizer. We all shared an amazing Roasted Vegetable Plate. All the produce is freshly sourced and seasonal, so it’s not always going to be the same. Ours had eggplant, sweet potatoes, and corn. I know it sounds a little improbable, but it was YUM!  Then Larry and I shared the (huge) Caesar Salad, and I can honestly say that it’s as good—or better than any I’ve had before--  with the best croutons (Grana Padano cheese-infused) ever!  Paula and Brian shared the Local Greens Salad, which had spinach, other greens, pumpkin seeds, some kind of dried fruit, and other goodies.

But it was the wood-fired brick oven pizza that we came for! So I ordered the Margherita with arugula. Quickly fired, each pizza is completely cooked after about two minutes in the oven, and each arrived with a perfect blistery crust topped with the best-tasting ingredients you could imagine. To mine was added a generous topping of fresh arugula.  Larry ordered the Prosciutto, Paula got the Bacon, and Brian decided on Fennel Sausage and Onions.  Redolent of the best virgin olive oil but not at all greasy, our pizzas were perfect. This was definitely not our last visit to Ken’s Artisan Pizza.

None of us were able to finish our individual pizzas, so in spite of a very tempting dessert menu, we scooped up our foil-wrapped leftovers. Our tab was very reasonable.

We’re not the only fans of Ken’s. It turns out that Ken’s Artisan Pizza ranks #1 in The Oregonian’s “Best Pizzeria in Portland 2015” and has been awarded TripAdvisor’s “Certificate of Excellence,” which recognizes “restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers.”

Bobby S of Portland wrote: “As a former New York City East Coaster, I’m tired of hearing about “authentic NYC pizza being the best there is. In Portland, OR, Ken’s has figured out how to make delicious pizzas that will make foodies from anywhere smile.” (Yelp)

Furious G. of Portland comments: “Best pizza in town. Fennel Sausage with Onions and the Prosciutto pizza are simply stunning. (Yelp)

I absolutely cannot wait to see you again! Finally!  I’m bummed that you’ll only be here from Monday through Thursday. So I will be totally disconsolate if you won’t join me for dinner at Ken’s next week on Tuesday or Wednesday.  (I’ll let you choose which day.) It’s my treat, of course.
Lots of Love,

P.S. You even get to pick out the wine!

Last edited by Jill Arnel on Mon Dec 28, 2015 4:17 pm; edited 1 time in total

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3Restaurant Letter Empty My Restaurant Letter on Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:45 pm

Here is my letter that I have just finished. Let me know your thoughts and critique please!

Fine Dining for Only $35

Hey Stan,

When was the last time you had Filet Mignon that melts in your mouth like butter. Or Alaskan King Crab Legs with huge chunks of meat, so juicy and flavorful. Well your wait is over!

Can you order these at any Steakhouse? Sure you could. But the quality and flavor will not be the same as when you order them at the Ciera Steak + Chophouse, Tahoe’s only Four Diamond Restaurant!

When you first walk into the Ciera Steak + Chophouse, the aroma of steaks and seafood, garlic mashed potatoes, and fresh bread fill the room. You are greeted by the lovely hostess who greets you and takes to seat you either at a table or if you are with a special someone, a booth with privacy curtains. The Maitre D’, either Chris or Tommy, will check on you and see that everything is to your satisfaction. Your Waiter or Waitress will come and take your drink order. You can order one of their specialty cocktails, your favorite cocktail or choose from an International selection of 300 wines and champagnes.

As you are deciding what you want to order from the menu that has items like, the appetizer Seafood Platter that is loaded with Jumbo Prawns, split King Crab, Rock Lobster, Oysters with Caviar or Escargot Bourguignon or maybe you want to try the Carpaccio of Bison Tenderloin; while you are deciding, the wait staff comes to your table with fresh warm breads to choose from and three kinds of butter.

You look over the menu and everything is so appealing! Do you want to start with a bowl of Lobster Bisque, French Onion Soup, or a Salad? Are you craving a great Steak, Chicken, some kind of Chop, or Seafood for your entree? Decisions…..decisions…..decisions, oh my! And then what to have with it…Your choices have you drooling. Blistered Asparagus, White Truffle Mac and Cheese, Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or a Colossal Baked Potato. Whew! What a menu!

Save room for dessert! You will want to try their delicious Chocolate Lava Cake. Or maybe have some fresh seasonal berries with Chantilly cream, or a slice of Pina Colada Cheese Cake!
No matter what you order you will be stuffed from a great meal!

Here is what other satisfied customers have said about this fantastic restaurant:

Ciera has a great 3 course special
OpenTable Diner Since 2012
Dined on December 10, 2015
On Wednesday, Thursday & Sunday they have a 3 course dinner menu for $35 per person. The choices available are great and the food was delicious. Service is top notch, as well. I'm usually wary of these types of offers, but this place was very nice. Worthy of their 4 Diamond rating.

Always exceptional
Dined on November 22, 2015
Great food and service. We went on a Sunday evening for their Prix Fixe Menu. $35 was a great value. Try the lobster bisque. We also had the filet mignon and the desserts were wonderful, if you have the room! We also had a quiet toddler with us. That was no problem. Great wine list. For romantic dinner ask for a booth with a curtain. Highly recommended.

Wonderful experience
Dined on November 21, 2015
The service was great, paying attraction to every detail. The food was cooked perfectly and the presentation was like a page from Bon Appétit. We ordered filet mignon and the pork chop. The chop was giant and tasty. The filet melted in my mouth. This was a birthday dinner and the staff signed a birthday card and presented a molten lava cake with berries and cream. You must order the coffee after. They bring delicious java with an assortment of flavored whipped creams, chocolate shavings, cinnamon sticks and rock sugar sticks. Then they bring chocolate dipped strawberries with dry ice underneath billowing out the sides for an eccentrics show. You want a nice fancy meal with classy, romantic ambience, then Ciera is the place. Book ahead. Ask for a booth for a romantic dinner. I can't wait to go back for my birthday

This is what makes The Ciera Steak + Chophouse Tahoe’s only Four Diamond Restaurant. In fact, it has received this honor for 7 of the last 8 years running. It has also been voted Tahoe’s Best Restaurant for Dinner and the Best Steakhouse!

The Prix Fixe Dinner for $35 is a three course dinner that includes soup or salad, the entrée, and dessert of your choice. No matter what you order, you can’t go wrong and definitely won’t walk away hungry!

I have made reservations for us on Sunday, January 10th at 6:00 pm. Bring your appetite! I will see you then!

Bon Appetit!

Your Friend Always,

p.s. Don’t forget this is my treat so get ready to order whatever your taste buds are in the mood for! See you on Sunday, January 10th at 6 pm.

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4Restaurant Letter Empty Re: Restaurant Letter on Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:51 pm


Do you want input in a Word doc sent privately? No time today but will definitely get around to it soon. Deadline for critique?


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5Restaurant Letter Empty Critique on Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:55 pm

Yes Jill, privately please.

Deadline is by this weekend so I can revise and submit to AWAI.

I know it is a busy time of year with the holidays!

Hope yours is filled with much joy!

Happy Holidays!

Kevin Iggens

p.s. You want me to email to you my word doc?

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6Restaurant Letter Empty Re: Restaurant Letter on Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:00 pm

Not necessary, Kevin.Only if you would prefer that.  I have copied and pasted it into Word in the meantime.
Happy Holidays, Mr. IggEns!


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