Upscale Vegan Dining at Portobello

I’m totally the girl that extends a birthday into a birth-week {or in this case, a birth-weekend}, so naturally, Friday night was a continuation of Thursday’s birthday festivities. My boyfriend Joe decided to take me out for a nice dinner, just the two of us, which required me to actually find somewhere nice for us to go.

I’d heard a lot about Portobello Vegan Trattoria through the vegan scene, and had come close to going a few times before, but never actually followed through. However, since I’d heard it was one of the more upscale vegan locales in the area, and serves Italian food which is traditional “nice dinner” fare, I figured it would be perfect for our post-birthday date night.

Though small, the restaurant is super cute – it has a very natural, woodsy but classy feel. We ended up sitting at the bar to avoid a 20 minute wait, but despite the wait, it wasn’t crowded or loud. The bar ended up being the best seat in the house; we got the constant attention of the bartender, who was extremely helpful in the decision-making process. The menu is just a page, about 1/3 or so of the items were gluten free, but we soon found that quality over quantity is Portobello’s MO.

We opted to start with the Sweety-Peps, sweet red peppers filled with cashew “cheese” and topped with basil, per the bartender’s suggestion. They were even better than I’d hoped, and apparently easy to make! I’m definitely planning on making my own soon!

{{Sweety-Peps…beyond delicious}}

I also ordered their hard cider, while Joe chose red wine.

The entree decision was tough for me, but I ended up settling on the Portobello Steak, a marinated, sliced portobello mushroom over greens and pan-fried polenta, topped with a kale pesto-like sauce and grilled tomatoes. It was absolutely delicious, but after seeing the Deep Dish Cornmeal Crust Pie, I knew I’d have to try that on our next visit. Joe, as always, had to try the pizza, which unfortunately is not gluten-free. But he enjoyed it thoroughly!

{{We got a little excited about our food, so I didn’t get a photo of mine, and was only able to capture half of Joe’s pizza…but you get the idea :)}}

While the first and second courses were absolutely to die for, the dessert we chose was postively unbeatable. We ordered their Salted Caramel Hazelnut Sundae, which I was thrilled to see on the menu since I never get to partake in Jamie’s weekly excursions to Salt and Straw. The sundae came with their homemade salted caramel ice cream, topped with caramel and chocolate, vegan whipped cream, and chunks of hazelnut praline toffee. It was absolutely to die for. Best vegan dessert I’ve ever had, no joke. Again, we demolished it before I even thought to take photos, but we loved it so much we ordered an extra scoop of salted caramel ice cream afterward:

{{Only $2 per scoop! Eat that Salt and Straw!}}

Our server also brought me a plate of New Cascadia seeded bread with a side of marinara – on the house! So we munched on that throughout the course of our meal as well. The service was amazing, the staff was knowledgable and attentive, and unafraid to boldly make suggestions, which I always appreciate! I’d highly recommend this place to anyone {not just vegans!} looking for a nice, albiet out-of-the-box, Italian dinner spot. It was fab.

The Skinny – Portobello Vegan Trattoria

  • Location: 1125 SE Division St. Portland, Oregon, 97202
  • Hours: DinnerTuesday through Saturday 5:30pm to 10:00pm, Brunch – Sundays 10:00am to 2:00pm
  • Phone: (503) 754-5993 (reservations recommended if visiting during peak dinner hours – although sitting at the bar is awesome too :). You can make reservations online.)
  • Fun Facts: Everything is vegan, with a number of gluten free options as well. They also feature organic veggies from local farms.

Check it out – I know I’ll be back very soon. For brunch maybe?

Stay happy, healthy and hot!

❤ Sarah



One thought on “Upscale Vegan Dining at Portobello

  1. Pingback: Blossoming Lotus | liveskinnybliss

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