By Katie Acheff
This Tuesday the Portland Food Adventures took off from Departure Restaurant and Lounge for another awesome culinary experience. Nestled upon the 15th floor of The Nines, the super hip lounge couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to look upon our fine city of Portland.
While the great staff of Departure got us started with a crisp spritzer and many delicious appetizers, we Adventurers mingled and enjoyed the atmosphere.
As the courses began, the wine began to flow, starting off with a fantastic Machio Prosecco.
After a hearty “cheers!” the first course was brought out.
A Tuna Poke with big eye tuna, chili, sesame and white ponzu, garnished with rice crisps that paired with a seasonally appropriate asian pear and apple salad.
host Chris Angelus then introduced us to the man behind the menu, Gregory Gourdet. A very eloquent and soft-spoken chef, he explained a bit about the menu and his process before taking off back to the kitchen. Next up, an amazing second course.
The crispy pork belly (left) was extremely rich with a sweet hint, cooked with pickled cherries, ginger and pumpkin seeds. Along side was a smoked salmon roll (right) with asparagus tempura and black sesame, paired with a Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc. As our excited Adventurers quickly consumed these delectable plates, we moved on to the third course.
This was a great combination of dishes, sweet soy chicken, chili prawns and brussels sprouts. The chili prawns were packed with a spicy kick, and the soy chicken again had a dichotomy of sweet and spicy, created with plums, ginger, takuwan and shiso.
Good wine, eats and conversing continued as the sun went down and Departure began to glow with the lights of the city. Gregory returned to bring us a coconut pearl tapioca dessert, and to help Chris present us with our PFA gift certificates. Included this time were Double Dragon, Boke Bowl, Prasad and Petunia Pastries.
Applause all around!
The night wound to a close and the Adventurers departed (pun intended) with happy food and happy memories. I took one last look over the great Portland skyline before taking off myself. Another very successful Portland Food Adventure has come to an end! Until next time!