Back in 2003 when we moved into the neighborhood there weren’t nearly as many places to eat. Sure, Popeye’s has been on MLK for a while now. Billy Reed’s was also serving up good food, but was just about ready to start the dreadful transition that had it change styles, ownership and names over and over again. Then in 2004 the level of cuisine in Eliot changed…starting with Echo.
My wife and I would visit Echo for almost every special occasion. You know the ones….birthdays, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries. We went to Echo because it was great food, a great atmosphere and we could walk. Admittedly as the restaurant scene changed in Eliot we may have frequented a little less often, but it has always been high on the list for special occasions.
Recently we have rediscovered Echo. What a great place! The menu caters to a sophisticated pallet as well as to those who prefer comfort foods. If you’re in the mood for a Sirloin Salad, Pork Tenderloin or a hamburger, Echo has it. Sometimes Mac N’ Cheese with the Andouille Sausage or the Flat Bread Pizza make the perfect meal. I have yet to be disappointed by the Fish of the Day so I always ask before I order just to see what it is. To match your meal of choice, Echo has a decent beer selection, thorough wine list and full-service bar. When you’re done eating, something from the desert menu coupled with an after dinner drink nicely rounds out the evening.
A few Fridays ago we ventured down to Echo to find a packed house. After a few short minutes we settled at the bar. There is something nice about sitting at the bar socializing with nearby patrons and watching the bartender work his magic. After a brief conversation with Adam, the owner of Echo, about who the Portland Trailblazers should draft, he showed me the tucked away patio. We wanted to sit outside but the weather just didn’t cooperate. Next time.
A night of eating at Echo cannot start without the Stuffed Piquillo Peppers. We ordered them and they were fabulous! Once tried you will want to go back just for the Peppers. I had the Grilled New York Steak au Poivre. It arrived properly prepared encrusted in green peppercorns with a port and veal demi glaze served with fingerling potatoes. My wife ordered the Herbed Ricotta Gnocchi, which has become a favorite and I have to admit I like when she orders it because she often leaves a few bites for me! As always, it was great. For dessert we were torn between the Cheesecake of the Day, or the Trio of Crème’ Brulee. We opted for the Trio which included cinnamon, espresso and chocolate. Matched with the dessert, we ordered a very nice Port. Yum!