Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Natural Birthday Dinner

One of our top restaurants in Portland is Natural Selection, which is a restaurant "....built on vegetables, fruits, and grains...served in a warm European-style setting". The cooking style and techniques are rustic and modern and "....highlighting the flavors of France, Italy, and Spain". We have blogged about Natural Selection before and stated we'd be happy to return at least 4-times a year to taste their seasonal menu. But after this last visit, which was for another celebratory birthday dinner, we'd be perfectly happy to return every week to taste their weekly changing menu. Natural Selection is that good. Thank you to our friends Robert & Tim for being vegans and introducing us to one of our favorite restaurants in all of Portland.
Water Glass
Robert's Shirt He Made
Antique Lighting
Natural Selection Interiors
Dining Area
Bar Cart
Natural Selection serves a coursed menu for a bargain price of $35 for four courses, with only two different course options, or you can select individual dishes. Wine pairings are for an additional $25 and are well thought out and well worth the extra splurge. Due to Course No. 2's salad containing watermelon, which Mike is allergic to, we selected everything except for the salad courses, which looked fantastic and our friends were generous enough to share one of their figs with us. We did not opt for the wine pairing this time, but had Sazerac cocktails instead, which were excellent. Reservations are highly recommended due to the limited number of tables and paced courses. The calm, cozy and comfortable setting is a complete treat.
Our meal started with an amuse bouche of heirloom tomatoes and yellow cucumbers.
Course No. 1 - Roasted Beets with Pears. Sweet Corn Soup with lobster mushrooms and lemon oil.
Course No1 - Sweet Corn Soup with Lobster Mushroom, parsnip, fennel, lemon oil
Then came Course No.2 with wine no. 2!
Rose to go with the Course No.2
Course No.2 - Heirloom Tomato Salad with watermelon, radish, arugula, balsamic, mint
Final Fig
The summer squash risotto was our favorite of the two Course No.3. We thought the Potato Hash was one dimensional and wasn't nearly as impressive.
Course No.3 - Summer Squash Risotto
Seasonal Potato Hash
Then came a palate cleanser that tasted of cardamon and anise, and as with everything else that evening, was exquisite.
We rarely order dessert, but Natural Selection's Squash Cake with Pistachios and a Berry Cobbler was something we had to indulge in and they tasted as good as they looked.
Squash Cake with pistachios
Berry Cobbler
All finished
Not all of Natural Selection's menu is vegan, but always vegetarian. This week happened to be vegan and gluten free. The portions are perfect and for the price well worth the splurge for one of our favorite restaurants in the city.

No comments: