Una Bella Cena

I don’t speak Italian, but reliable sources tell me that the above words translate to: One Fine Dinner. And indeed, Tim and I ate a delicious meal at the new vegan restaurant that opened here in Portland, Portobello Trattoria. We are lucky to live within a few miles of the restaurant which will make eating out very tempting…

portobello-trattoria1

The interior is extremely cozy with tables spaced comfortably enough apart for some seclusion and also the ability to pick out snippets of other peoples’ conversations (What? You don’t do that?!). There was even live accordion music for entertainment. It’s a small space, but I prefer that. We were seated very quickly (even though it was busy) and our server was super sweet. 

The menu is set up for sharing. You choose an appetizer, vegetable sides, and main entrees. The main entrees can be ordered in a small plate or large plate size. The idea is to choose a variety of small plates so that you can taste more of the menu. We opted for two large plates to share, plus two sides, and of course, a dessert. I think when dining with a larger group, the small plates option would be fun because it would almost guarantee that you would taste everything on the menu. The food is affordable, much less than we expected for such incredible quality/presentation/service. I think our bill was $35, which is not bad at all for a four-course vegan meal for two people. The portions were just right; we left feeling full, but not overly so. Ready for the food?

Antipasti:

bread

Focaccia – Chewy, soft, and crusty served with probably the best olive oil we’ve ever tasted. There was a sprinkling of coarse sea salt in the olive oil which I really enjoyed, a lot.

Vegetables:

braised-kale

Braised Kale – Simple and addictive, served in a wee saucepan, it doesn’t look like much, but it was the perfect amount for two people.

sauteed-broccolini

Sauteed Broccolini – Tender-crisp with big chunks of yummy garlic for added zip.

Main Entrees:

pumpkin-ravioli

Pumpkin Ravioli with a Cashew Cream Sauce – Topped with chopped hazelnuts and some fresh herbs, it wasn’t overly rich, but light with a nice mix of textures.

spaghetti-meatball

Spaghetti with Meatball – A massive mound of spaghetti squash with a tomato basil sauce and a lentil-mushroom-onion-herb-based meatball (monstrous in size). Wow. This was awesome. I kept reaching over the table and swiping forkfuls from Tim’s plate.

Dessert:

tira-misu

Tira Misu –  Layers of chocolate, vegan mascarpone, and homemade ladyfinger cookies. This was more pudding-like than the tira misu I have eaten in the past, but delicious nonetheless. It was fun to eat out of a jar, but it prevents licking a plate or bowl clean (not that I would lick my plate in a restaurant… well, maybe).

We really enjoyed our meal, and we will undoubtedly return for a second visit (and a third, fourth, fifth…). I’m off to bake Tim’s birthday cake now! Keep a watch out for the celebratory post!!