This eclectic little gem presents a series of contradictions.

First, the location is very unique for a fine dinner house that also serves lunch. Fortunately a sign dispute with the City has been resolved and patrons will now be able to see a sign for this restaurant, which is tucked behind the doctor’s clinic off the intersection of Kuebler and Skyline.

Second, the décor is unique, sort of a combination European/Tuscan feel with beautiful artwork and what my dining companion referred to as “Salem-edgy.”

And third, the food. The inherent contradiction with the food came from the mouths of nearby, fully sated customers: “This is real comfort food.”

The menu has a variety of foods, many of which we refer to as “comfort foods” — those our mamas made that we associate with home, love, epicurean therapy, and recipes handed down for years: beef stroganoff, spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and chicken pot pie. But this is comfort food with an upscale twist — lamb meatballs with spaghettini (the menu says “this ain’t baaaaddddd”), vegetable lasagna and stroganoff with the tenderest of beef and a richness that puts Bill Gates to shame. My only suggestion to enhance this dish is to reduce the sour cream accent to a smaller dollop.
We ordered an appetizer of hummus, which was tangy, with lots of garlic. Our hostess told us that it is an old family recipe that started as ground garlic with a hint of garbanzo beans.

Try it!

What: Amadeus Café
Where: Inside the First PacificCorp Building,
5121 Skyline Village Loop, Ste 90
Info: (503) 362-8830
When: Tues. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Wed. – Fri. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. -9 p.m.; Sat. 5 – 9 p.m. “And we’ve only slightly adjusted that over time,” she said.

A crowd favorite is the Beggar’s Purse ($12.95).

It has sautéed portabella and crimini mushrooms, onions, dried cranberries, pecans, jack cheese, and is enveloped in a buttery, flaky phyllo dough, served in a stellar Port wine reduction. It was rich and the flavor was incredible. A small sampling of some late fall or early winter vegetables for variety and color would have made a nice addition.

The freshly made crème brulee was how we like it: very eggy, not too sweet, with a nice mildly burnt and crisp sugary top.

The service was friendly and although it suffered from a slow start (remember, the earlier the first drink the better the odds for a second), it could improve to be first class.

Our dining experience was very good, and certainly one to recommend. As my companion put it, “Lucky is the daughter to have grown up with such comfort food.”