Monday, December 9, 2013

Dining Out in Portland - Departure Restaurant + Lounge

BBQ Tempeh Buns - Departure Restaurant + Lounge

I heard about Departure from a few other vegan bloggers and also from Chef Chloe Coscarelli, who responded via Facebook to my question of where to dine in Portland. This year it made the list of 100 hottest restaurants rated by OpenTable diners. When I arrived in Portland I knew I had to try it. I am so glad I did! What I didn't know about this place that makes it so special, is its gorgeous view of the city! It's located within the Nines Hotel on the 15th floor, with outdoor space that would fantastic in the summer months. The entrance is very chic and modern and you feel like you're walking into a club, but have no fear it's a relaxed atmosphere. This is a great spot to enjoy a few drinks and they do offer a happy hour, though I highly recommend staying for a meal. It's a little pricey, but now living in New York City the prices here don't even compare, and it's well worth it for the overall dining experience.

Vegan Fried Rice - Veega - Portland
Kimchee Fried Rice - Departure Restaurant + Lounge

Vegan Menu Departure Restaurant + Lounge

They have a separate vegan menu (also available online to view) so it's easy to see the options; choosing becomes its own challenge. I decided on the Edamame for a starter, Sweet Potato Tempura Roll, BBQ Tempeh Buns, and Kimchee Fried Rice. Others I had my eye on were the Salt and Pepper Tempeh and the Brussels Sprouts that were highly recommended by our waitress. Everything was delicious. I really enjoyed the Sweet Potato Tempura roll prepared with spinach, ginger, and sweet soy.  I only wish it was served with brown rice instead of white. The large helping of Kimchee Fried Rice was good, but a tad too spicy for my liking. The standout of the night were the BBQ Tempeh Buns. I had had nothing like it before. The Korean barbecue sauce was just right, but the steamed bun was my favorite part! There weren't particularly easy to eat, stuffed with spicy slaw and oozing barbecue sauce, but that didn't stop me.

Vegan Menu Departure Restaurant + Lounge

Vegan Sweet Potato Tempura Roll
Sweet Potato Tempura Roll 
Departure Restaurant + Lounge

Sweet Potato Tempura Roll at Departure Restaurant + Lounge

I apologize for the low quality photos for this post. The restaurant was dimly light and I didn't come prepared with a camera, hence the iPhone shots. Take my word for it, this is a spot worth visiting!

Departure Restaurant + Lounge
525 SW Morrison St.
15th Floor
Portland, OR 97204

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