On a weekend in Portland, I sought out the best vegan dining experience, and was hugely impressed with the whole experience of dining at Natural Selection – the flavorful regional fare, the welcoming waitstaff, and the cozy ambiance. When I travel, I try the gourmet vegan restaurants in every city I visit, surprisingly Natural Selection in Portland was by far the best meal I’ve had.
Since we were two, we opted for the “chef’s table” which you cannot book online, but can by reserve by phoning the restaurant directly. This table for two is set apart from the regular dining area, with a better view of the chef and prep cooks doing their orchestrated dance behind the counter. Walking thru the main restaurant at the end of the evening, I realized the “chef’s table” was a lot quieter and more private, and gave us more personal space than the main seating, so I was lucky we had that experience.
As one carnivore and one vegan, we opted for the fixed price 4-course meal, and were surprised to receive 7 plates and tastes during the 2 and a half hours we enjoyed there. The menu was about half vegan by default, and the waitstaff offered to put the cheese on the side of the non-vegan dishes so the vegan could taste them, and the carnivore could get the full effect of the flavors. The wine pairing was divine – a thoughtful selection to compliment the flavors of the dishes.
I’ll definitely be back! I look forward to my next trip to Portland and I’ll book the “chef’s table” again and relish trying their 4-course meal again during another season.
I’ve uploaded the menu from April and 9 photos of the courses we had, into the Photos section on HappyCow.