Accanto is a lovely little brunch spot on the corner of Belmont and southeast 29th. The cafe is light and airy and serves fresh and tasty food infused with Italian roots and a fresh Northwest flair. Accanto actually means ‘alongside’ in Italian so it was the perfect name for the more casual sister restaurant to Genoa that has thrived even after the Portland institution closed its doors last year.
My friend Lauren and I met on a Saturday a month or so ago and sat in the back corner basking in the bright sunshine we enjoyed throughout February. The staff is always gracious and our waitress that day was attentive and knowledgeable.
If you go to Accanto, you must start with the Ricotta doughnuts (pictured above) that are served with a side of tart lemon curd. I am working my way through all the sweet treats served at brunch in our fair city and I have to say these crispy and fluffy doughnuts do not disappoint. Note: they are dusted with a generous portion of powdered sugar but I have not mastered how to capture powdered sugar in watercolor. I’m working on it. I promise. Research will help.
I have listed a few places on this blog as being on my best Portland ‘hash’ list. Their duck hash definitely belongs on that list. If you weren’t a fan of duck before you eat this hash, (as Lauren wasn’t ) you will be a convert after the first bite. The hash is always full of seasonal ingredients and this time was no exception. We had bites of savory winter vegetables, kale, apples, potatoes, poached eggs, bacon & onion soubise as well as the tender, perfectly cooked duck. Lauren converted.
We were encouraged to linger in the sunny corner over our oft refilled cups of steaming coffee and so we did. Although I have never seen a line, Accanto takes reservations so it is perfect for that Mother’s Day brunch coming up. I’m not sure why the Portland crowds haven’t discovered Accanto, but I’ll let them hash it out.