Photo by Rabbit Hole Photography
Dining at Nomad PDX is an experience like no other. It’s a delightful sensory explosion – everything from the plating, the ambiance, the freshly foraged ingredients, the menu, the presentation – they are all meticulously thought out and executed excellently, with the greatest of attention to every tiny detail. Nomad PDX is so much more than just phenomenal food. Owner and Chef Ryan Fox goes to great lengths at every dinner service to ensure guests have a unique and unforgettable dining experience from start to finish.
I first met Chef Fox in January of 2015 after stalking him and his pop-up brainchild, Nomad PDX, for a few months on Instagram. It was the quintessential Portland pop-up at the time. I had been in the Pacific Northwest just a year and was falling in love fast with the food world; the restaurant scene in Portland particularly enchanted me and Chef Fox was doing some hella’ exciting things in the kitchen. My first time dining at Nomad was the incredible experience I had hoped for and more. At the time, Chef Fox and crew were in a semi-permanent space, KitchenCru, after previously being a true pop-up and holding dinners at different venues for each spectacular meal. KitchenCru was home for a bit before moving to Shift Drinks and finally, after long last, opening his own, much anticipated, brick and mortar earlier this year.
17 plus course meals with the most intricate and locally focused dishes and deliciously paired wines is what await when you dine at Nomad. Here, your menu tells a story, instead of a list of ingredients. The best way to share Nomad is through the food, so please allow my exquisite meal do the talking.
Shigoku Oysters, Satsuma Granita and Chicken Jus
Lamb Tartare with Rosemary Flowers and Smoked Beef Fat
Beet Leather, Blood Orange Fluid Gel, Trout Roux
Chicken Liver Pâté with Amaranth Cracker with popped Amaranth
A play on the Chicharrón: Beef Tendon with House Made Fish Sauce, Shaved Cured Egg Yolks Cured
Dungeness Crab dressed in a Crab Head Emulsion, Frozen Horseradish and Charcoal
Pink Scallop marinated in a pickled Jalapeno Relish atop a Coconut and Lemon Gel Cloud
Roasted Potato Stock, Chicken Bouillon and Miso
Yuba Dumpling with Halibut Mousseline and Ponzu Brown Butter Sauce
Milk Skin Duck Dumpling
Salted Halibut Soup with Garlic Chips and Grilled Halibut
Salmon poached in Olive Oil and finished over Japanese Charcoal, Charred Leak, Ramp Leaves, Dill Oil Sauce and Wild Onion Aioli
Chinese To Go: White Rice, Crispy Squid and XO Sauce
Sous Vide Lamb seared in a Cast Iron Pan with a Miso Veil, Carrots Three Ways & Pea Tendrils
Classic French Omelette with Hollandaise and Asparagus
Birch Custard, Oxalis, Angel Food Cake and Charcoal Oil
Rhubarb Gelee, Olive Oil Cake, Black Olive and Buttermilk Ice Cream
Pine Ice Cream, Lemon Curd, Crispy Butter and Crispy Milk
Dining at Nomad was a truly awesome experience and by that I mean I was truly filled with awe as I sat in the open kitchen and watched Chef Fox and team prepare and execute this incredible feast. I’m lucky to call Ryan not only a colleague, but also a friend and he was nice enough to sit down with me the week after I dined and talk Portland food scene and answer all my questions about his career and Nomad. For the record, at the age of only 30, Chef Fox has been nominated for James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year, named an Eater Young Gun and last year Nomad was named Rising Star Restaurant by Portland Monthly. (These are just a few of his many accolades.) Where did the young chef and I go for drinks and apps on his night off? Tusk – and it was fabulous.