Portland: Visions of Sugarplums

October 11, 2017

I might move to Portland just to start every day at Maurice.  Yes, it’s that good.

You know, as soon as you walk in and find yourself surrounded by that cozy aroma –  all butter and sugar and sugarplum fairies – that you’ve come to a very special place.  Look up and you find delicate garlands of dried fruit, flowers and herbs dancing above your head.  Sit down- in the window seat if possible- and prepare to be deliriously happy.

This is – I have to say it – one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten.  A citrus cloud, it whispers lemon, lemon, lemon as it slowly evaporates, leaving a trail of delicious memories in its wake.

(Want the recipe for lemon souffle pudding?  Here it is. )

Have you ever seen a more adorable dessert than this chocolate capuchin? Don’t miss those tiny berries in that puddle of cream: they contribute a little zing of wildness.

This bird seed coconut tea cake looks so mild and innocent.  That is entirely  deceiving.  The slim slice is a wonder of crunch and crackle, and as the butter slowly melts each bite astonishes you with unexpected flavors.  I can’t think of a more perfect way to wake up.

Proprietress Kristen Murray is famous for her black pepper cheesecake.  And rightfully so.  Topped with a single ground cherry and tiny slices of plum, this is the cheesecake of your dreams: the cloying richness of ordinary cheesecake has magically vanished. The most mature cheesecake on earth.

We finished breakfast with this wonderful quiche. Kirsten pulls it from the oven while it’s still slightly floppy; a brave move.  Airy and light, it seems held together with a wish.  After this other quiches start to seem clumsy. 

Kirsten’s cookies.  Of course.

I sat there in a sweet daze, considering staying to lunch. But by now I was so happy all I wanted to do was walk around Portland, thinking how lucky I am to be here.

Maurice is, for me, the quintessential Portland restaurant.  Quirky, passionate and personal, the restaurant is named for Kirsten’s rabbit.  Does he, I wonder, wear a little waistcoat and peer at a pocket watch?

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  • Arlene Cotler says:

    The lemon pudding soufflé recipe is for 1 large one.
    The picture shows an individual serving.
    How should the recipe be modified to make individual portions?

    • Annie Hutchinson says:

      Oregon! It’s one of my favorite places and right down the street from Powell’s bookstore, another must see in Portland. You should also check out the drinking chocolate at Cacao on 13th. They do a pour over with Salt and Straw’s olive oil ice cream. It’s divine.

    • Such an honor to have you join us! We are simply over the moon for your kind post + lovely visit! Merci.

  • kathi says:

    Lovely write up, but one question, Maine or Oregon? Even the link doesn’t answer the question, but I live in New England and am traveling to Oregon next month so I want to know which direction to head in for this yumminess. Thanks

  • Giovanna Zivny says:

    I hope you went back for lunch–her smørrebrød and salads are always just perfect!

  • Anne Munch says:

    Yes, we are lucky to have this delicious, exquisite Maurice in Portland, Oregon. Kristen’s quiche is indeed the best, but the lemon souffle cake stole my heart from day one – terrific warm or cold. Kristen has a delicate, sure touch. Everything is lovely from the decor to staff to the food.

  • Amalie Robers says:

    In a world of increasing struggle and strife, Portland has Maurice. When this lovely slice of serenity was born, not so long ago, Miss Murray was a one woman powerhouse, building and creating her dream. She now tends her petit monde with devotion, curiosity, and transports us all to another place that is gentle and kind and delicious. Thank you, Maurice.

  • Karen Samson (Midori's mom) says:

    Sorry I missed you this trip to town. Were you here for another book promo? Love hearing about the restaurants you end up going to. Really enjoyed discovering Coquine after you were here last time. Please keep coming back Ruth.

  • PDXER1 says:

    This was a hidden gem…..from the beginning Kristen has shown her light touch is all her presentations, diverse and delicious. Lovely breakfast radishes with butter and salt transport me back to France. Maurice has the best scones in Portland (Oregon) and her Champagne evenings were a delight.

  • PDXER1 says:

    P.S. Thanks for the lemony soufflé recipe-now if only you would give us her lovely light quiche recipe.