Friday, September 2, 2011

Portobello in Portland

While in the lovely city of Portland, we ate at many places, but I'm starting with the best. Not only was this hands down my favorite meal of the trip, it was one of the best meals I've had pretty much ever.
I'd heard good things about Portobello, and about the gnocchi in particular, but I really was not prepared for just how happy my taste buds would be. First up, the mushroom rillette:

I'm pretty sure rillette is just a fancy word for pate, but it's fitting in this case because this is some fancy-ass pate! Earthy mushrooms combine with herbs and spices (and probably magic) to make this delectable spread, and the spicy mustard and tangy cornichons are the most wonderful complimentary flavors to all that savory, smooth goodness. I would definitely order this again and again - but not if I was dining alone. The portion is HUGE! Still, we had room for entrees, of course. Up first, the cashew cream pizza:

This was one tasty pie, I must say, but honestly I've had better. I've been spoiled by the insanely good cashew cheese at Gather and the amazing sauce at Beretta I guess. In any case, it was still very good.... but let's cut to the real deal, shall we? Check out the best gnocchi in the universe:

I will be dreaming of these puffy potato clouds for some time. The way they melt slowly on the tongue, the ever so slightly crispy exterior (they're pan-fried after all), and the way they soak up all that beautiful sauce..... heaven. This is a close-your-eyes-and-go-slowly kind of dish, as you'll want to make it last as long as possible. The vegetables are cooked to perfection and the sauce (which varies depending on the season) was an orgasmic combination of pesto and olive oil and herbs and lord knows what else. Truly a dish worth traveling for... and I WILL be back!

Of course, we still had room for dessert (or at least we pretended we did), and in no time we had tiramisu with salted caramel ice cream on our table:

The tiramisu consisted of light and fluffy layers with the most creamy sweet filling and is dusted with cocoa powder and served on a zigzag of chocolate sauce. I don't remember ever eating tiramisu before going vegan, so I have no idea if this is anything like the original, but I do know that it's delicious! And that salted caramel ice cream? It tasted EXACTLY like a salted caramel, only cold and ridiculously smooth. Other ice cream can only dream of being that good.

Because, for me, dessert must always mean chocolate, I opted for the rosemary chocolate tart, and boy am I glad I did. I was a little fearful that the rosemary flavor would be overwhelming, but it balanced the decadent chocolate nicely, freshening it up a bit by providing a slight kick of lightness in an otherwise rich dessert. The silky layers of deep dark chocolate, crunchy cocoa nibs, and caramel drizzle, make this a study in texture as well as a true chocoholic's delight. This was honestly one of the best desserts I've had in a long time.

I can't tell you how sad I am that Portobello is not closer to me. I guess I need to start coming up with excuses to visit Portland more often!

Up next: More Portland eats, plus I'm on my way to Austin, TX soon and will surely be eating well there as well, so stay tuned!

No comments: