I realized on our trip that Portland is one of the only cities (that I've been to, at least) where you can consume Cheez Whiz and beet tartare in the same day. The Beet Tartare ($9) we had at Portobello Vegan Trattoria...the Cheez Whiz I'll explain in a future post.
Portobello is an intimate, elegant-yet-casual restaurant that serves innovative vegan dishes (it actually reminded me a lot of True Bistro in Somerville). Z and I opted to sit at the small, cozy bar on this particular evening, and we just had to start our meal with the Beet Tartare. This vibrant dish consisted of diced, roasted beets with carrot aioli, fines herbes, and capers atop a cashew puree - all served with a ton of crusty bread to spread it on.
The Beet Tartare was incredibly fresh and borderline rich thanks to the cashew cream. I loved the salty capers in each bite, too.
Portobello offers a variety of pizzas, burgers, pasta dishes, and salads, but I opted for the Beet Burger Royale ($14). I must have been on a beet kick that night.
The Beet Burger Royale is a homemade beet burger topped with cashew cheddar, caramelized onions, smoked portobello, carrot aioli, ketchup, lettuce, red onion, and tomato on a focaccia bun. The restaurant was out of cashew cream when we went, so I opted for the Vtopian Peppercorn Cashew Brie instead. This was a massive burger that was slightly hard to eat thanks to the beet patty's enormous size, but the flavors were still spot-on - and I [surprisingly] loved the vegan Brie cheese. (You honestly wouldn't be able to tell that it was vegan!). The accompanying fries were also well-seasoned and delightfully crispy.
Although I didn't snap a photo, Z ended up ordering the Mushroom Cavatelli ($18) for his meal, which was comprised of housemade cavatelli, roasted leeks, mushrooms, fines herbes, and porcini truffle "butter." It was divine, and [almost] made me wish I had ordered a pasta dish.
All in all, we had a fabulous meal at Portobello, and I highly recommend checking them out if you find yourself in Portland. Although it's a vegan restaurant, there are a ton of creative and well-done dishes here that I think any omnivore would enjoy. (It also doesn't hurt that Portobello is right across the street from Apex, a fun craft beer bar with 50 beers on tap and tons of outdoor seating).
Have you ever been to an all-vegan restaurant before?