Friday, November 19

Restaurant review: Portobello

Really, this post isn't fair. I didn't take my camera and I didn't take any photos with my phone. That, and I've been to Portobello, a vegan trattoria just at the end of my street, quite a few times. Tonight we were there to celebrate Ann's birthday, and if I were going to be around for mine, we'd be eating there again.

Portobello is amazing-- the menu changes constantly, you can get small or large portions to facilitate sharing, and gluten-free (and soy-free and nut-free) options are clearly marked on the menu. They have a few pasta dishes, but emphasis is often on seasonal and unique vegetables, and other types of Italian cuisine. Tonight we had a pan-fried polenta appetizer with an amazingly fresh tomato sauce, and Erik had a gluten-free pizza, while I went gluten-y and got the pumpkin rustic ravioli in cashew cream sauce with hazelnuts and sage. It's difficult to not just always get the gnocchi, because theirs is tender, pan-fried, and obviously handmade with love and care. In fact, I can't remember a single dish I've eaten there where the love of the ingredients and final product doesn't shine through.

Save room for dessert, though. A stand out is their toasted pound cake with cherry ice cream and marcona almonds. Hot and cold, soft and crunchy, this dish has everything. I order it every time it's on the menu. The wine list is also good, and the alternative drinks are quite inventive. Really, you can't go to Portobello and come away unhappy. It should be a first and frequent stop if you visit Portland, and especially if you live here.

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Photos, original recipes and text © Susan Kelley 2012. All rights reserved. Please credit me and link back to this site, or ask first.

Always read ingredient labels carefully (and re-read periodically) to make sure that products actually are vegan and/or gluten-free.