the lowdown: Portobello Vegan Tratoria | 2001 SE 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97214 | 503.754.5993 | Website | Dinner only | Entrees $7 – $12 | ***

All vegan Italian!

Work is busy, school is busy, people’s kid’s are busy, and pets have dental appointments. As a result, over the last several years my friendships have largely involved occasional emails, dinner dates, and maybe a movie. Unfortunately, everyone’s busy schedule has a way of obfuscating strong friendships. It isn’t until something significant occurs in one’s life does the dividing line between supportive friends and those you simply dine with become obvious. Throughout the fog of excitement and stress of wedding planning, I have re-discovered some amazing people in my life. How I found them or they found me, I can’t explain. I only hope I can express my appreciation in the short amount of time we do have.

Part of wedding planning always involves choosing very important dates, especially the bridal shower. A great friend and bridesmaid graciously offered to throw the party so we met at the new Portobello to discuss preliminary details! The best way to describe Portobello is tapas style Italian. All main dishes are offered in two sizes, but even the larger size is disappointingly small. We were both quite hungry and had difficulty deciding so we ordered several dishes. To begin we shared the Bagna Cauda ($6), an antipasti with bread, veggies, and garlic/olive oil dip.  Round two included the Roast Brussels Sprouts ($4), Saltimboca alla Vegana ($8), “hearts” wrapped seitan, and Pumpkin Cappeliacci ($10), dumplings stuffed with pumpkin and layered with cashew sauce. The food is good, but not terribly exciting. However, like the Portobello mushroom, the restaurant has a variety of offerings and brings a much needed element to the currently contracting vegan dining landscape. Not to mention it is a great place to dine with the friends you want to see more often.

5 Comments to "Portobello – The Versatile Kind"

  • Denny said:

    “I have re-discovered some amazing people in my life. How I found them or they found me, I can’t explain. I only hope I can express my appreciation in the short amount of time we do have.”

    OMG I can sooooooooooo relate to this…..you and I…same same…same same – high 5!

    Yea this place screams my name…dammnit! More places….I ought to just move to stumpheaven at this point..but before that fill my bank account…it’s gonna get expensive eating out like this…lollers!

    ps: I love that you are surrounded by supportive friends and family. You are a good woman:D

  • Denny said:

    pss: thanks for teaching me a new word – obfuscating
    love ya!

  • Maren said:

    I had a nice dinner at Portobello the other day; it was my first time there. Megan, the menu must have changed again in the few days between our visits. My friend and I enjoyed a pesto gnocchi, and a zucchini pasta dish. The lasagna I ordered, unfortunately, tasted really sweet – in fact, like cherry pie. I ate it all, and it wasn’t bad, but the flavor was unexpected and disconcerting. We also had garlic broccolini, which was really good. And I couldn’t resist trying the chocolate ganache tart for dessert – delicious!! Really rich, flaky crust, silky chocolate ganache with walnuts (I think) and a touch of fresh rosemary and kosher salt.

    I’m glad I finally made it to Portobello, and I plan to return!

    ~Maren

  • VeganFabulous said:

    Hey Denny! Obfuscating is a great word! I use it often!

    Hi Maren – We avoided the lasagna because we didn’t want something too comforting and I am glad we did! The one thing that did disappointment with Portobello, and I should have mention it in the post, was the ambiance. I had considered going for Valentine’s day and was happy the ended up being booked because the dining room is anything but romantic. Bright cafeteria lighting and the artwork, oversized portraits, made me feel like people were watching me!

  • Denny said:

    and i love your site because it’s done by fabulous you filled with fabulous eats from stumpheaven and beyond.

    xoxoxoxo

    stay warm;)