I wanted a special dinner since it was my birthday and our Uber driver recommended Natural Select (among many other recommendations). I immediately made reservations before even really looking up this place. He just said it was one of his favorite vegan restaurants and he mentioned a nice 4 course meal with the option of wine pairing with it, I was sold. But the earliest reservation I could make on Open Table was at 9pm (they close at 10pm).
I’m not vegan and probably won’t be vegetarian or vegan in the near future because I like the option of eating meat. But I do enjoy my vegetables and found that vegan and vegetarian options are often some of my favorites. With the excuse of it being my birthday, I dragged BH, V, and Sebas with me.
I was super excited for this, but I wish I was a little more hungry. After a heavy lunch a few beers, my stomach wasn’t empty. But we still ordered a full 4 course dinner and pairing (BH and V didn’t get the pairing).
It’s a small restaurant with an open kitchen and with no more then 10 tables. I noticed that they also have chef’s table for 2 (that would make an awesome date).
It’s actually been a couple month since this dinner. So I’m going to just share what we ordered.
Before our food arrived, we were each served a little metal cup. I can’t remember what it was but we had this start our meal to cleanse our palate.
There are 2 options for each course, and you can mix and match your dinner. With that, we pretty much got to try everything on the menu since we each ordered a slightly different combination of things on the menu.
Course No. 1
Roasted Matsutake with Lentils II: red roots, garlic, citrus, stewed greens (G,V). Ordered by BH. I tried a little bit of this and really liked the crunchy roasted vegetables.
Fall Squash Bisque II: fennel, tomato, wild rice, spicy cress oil (Glutton Free). Me, V, and Sebas ordered this.
This was a cold soup, which surprised us since it was a kind of cold and raining outside. The sweet creamy fall squash soup was really refreshing and a nice way to start our dinner.
The Fall Squash Bisque II was paired with the APERITIVO COCCHI AMERICANO is a wine “intended to enliven the palate while whetting the appetite”. I was actually surprised that this wine was quite sweet. I wasn’t expecting that.
Sebas and I were the only ones doing the wine tasting, and since we ordered the same thing for the first course we only got to try 1 of the 2 wines they have for the first course. I like drinking wine, but I don’t know much about wine but here is my best way of describing my wines (thanks to our servers telling us a little about our meal and wines and of course the internet).
Course No. 2
Endives, Radish & Wild Cress Salad II: asian pear, dates, grapefruit, shiso (G, V). BH
Radicchio with Meyer Lemon Salad II: olives, currants, manchego, pickled strawberries (G).
Syncline 2014 Boushey Vineyard Picpoul is a wine from Yakima Valley in Washington.
Course No. 3
Crispy Polenta with Root Vegetables: sunchokes, turnips, celeriac, harissa cream (Glutton Free, Vegan) (BH and Sebas).
Cavatelli Pasta with Spinach: acorn squash, red onion, pomegranate, cream. (Me and V). By the time we got to this course, we were stuffed! I had a few bites and knew that I didn’t want to waste it by forcing myself to eat it immediately. V and I packed it up and at at for supper and breakfast the next day. We did make sure to save a little bit of room for dessert.
Although it was a little oily in the to go box after heating it up in the microwave (should I have eaten it cold?) The flavors were amazing!
Course No. 4
Before dessert, we were served with this little class cup of something. Once again, I can’t remember what it was but this was prepared for us to cleanse our palate for dessert.
Pumpkin Tapioca Parfait: red huckleberries, blackberries, orange sorbe (G,V)
Persimmon & Apricot Cake: banana mousse, blood orange, marcona almonds
We ended up taking food back to our airbnb.
3033 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR 97211