Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Portobello Restaurant - An Amazing Vegan Trattoria In South East Portland, Oregon

Portobello - Italian vegan restaurant in Portland, OR.
1125 SE Division Street       (503) 754-5993

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Portland Restaurants
As I'm sure I've mentioned before, Portland, Oregon has some of the best vegetarian restaurants I've ever enjoyed anywhere! This weekend's visit to Portobello, a vegan Italian restaurant in south east Portland, only confirmed this. And my high opinion of this restaurant is shared by many others. Portobello has a 94% rating on Urban Spoon and a 4.5 star rating on Yelp, TripAdvisor and Open Table. Besides the tables in the front of the restaurant, they have a little private dining room in the back that accommodates around 10 to 12 people.

The Menu
You can enjoy a very casual dinner with burgers or pizza or a much more formal, multi-course dinner of appetizers, salads, main course dishes and desserts at fairly reasonable prices. They also have a full bar.
The restaurant also offers a chef's 5 course tasting menu for $40 with wine pairings for an additional $25. With 9 of us, we decided to order from the menu so that we could try more dishes. 
Many of the dishes contain mushrooms - after all the name of the restaurant is "Portobello" so if you are not a mushroom lover, you will have fewer menu choices. Many also use nuts to make vegan cheeses so if you have nut allergies, you will also have to avoid those dishes.
There are many gluten free options on the menu that are clearly marked as such.

The appetizers were amazing and you could certainly be happy just going there for drinks and some small plates. Here are some of the ones we enjoyed.

Sweety-Peps (gluten free)
Peppers stuffed with cashew cheese 
Beet Tartare - (gluten free)
Beets, carrot aioli, and capers with cashew cheese & baguette.
Mushroom Fries
White trumpet mushrooms fries with tomato-basil sauce.
House Pickled Vegetables (gluten free)
Fennel, carrots & beets

They also offer a cheese plate with a sampling of four artisan vegan cheeses.

Main Courses
The main courses varied from simple burgers or pizza to hearty entrees. 

They offered several burgers:
Housemade beet burger on a rosemary bun and
Portobello burger on a gluten free bun with tomato-basil sauce, braised greens and cashew cheese.
Portobello Pepper Steak (gluten free)
with fall vegetable ragout, spinach, balsamic steak sauce & fried onions.

Molasses-Mustard Glazed Seitan
with sweet potato mash, corn on the cob & braised kale.
Pan Crisped Potato Gnocchi
with baby broccoli, tomato-basil sauce, garlic & basil.
Open Faced Mushroom Ravioli
sauteed shitake, hon shimeji & cremini mushrooms with spinach & walnut-parsley pesto

They also offered 4 different pizzas (Cheesey Pie, Last Chance Heirloom Tomato Pie, Spicy Arrabiata and Mushroom Pesto Pie), several salads (Side Arugula, Caesar Novus, Beet, Fennel & Hazelnut Salad and Butternut Confit with Brussels, Grilled Grapes and Walnuts). and some side dishes (Pommes Frites, Braised Kale, Sweet Potato Mash and others). Many of these dishes are seasonal so this menu is just a snap shot of their offerings.

After stuffing ourselves with these amazing offerings, we managed to try a few desserts.

Autumnal Sundae (gluten free)
salted caramel ice cream topped with hot fudge, coconut whipped cream & chocolate meringue.
Tiramisu "Ole Faithful"
rum and coffee soaked cake, vegan mascarpone, chocolate.

Other desserts include a Chocolate Ginger Berry Bombe, Financier with Chai Ice Cream and a selection of vegan and gluten free ice cream and sorbet. 
They also offer a nice selection of dessert wines, digestifs and liqueurs and, of course, coffee and tea.

A big thanks to my daughter-in-law, Karina, for knowing what foods I love and for finding this wonderful restaurant. It was a delicious and memorable dining experience and I will definitely return! If you enjoy vegan cuisine, this restaurant should be high on your list when visiting Portland. 

You can also read my review of the Blossoming Lotus, another wonderful vegan restaurant in Portland. 

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