A little late with this but Portland's Dining Month is not over with yet. I had the good fortune of my favorite dining companion visiting me so we went to Departure to see what Chef Gourdet dreamed up for the month. I stared with an Indochine mixed drink which includes Grey Goose Aa Poire vodka, Clear Creek pear brandy, lime, blackberry, and prosecco.
One of the nice things about Departure's Dining Month menu is there were two choices in each of the three courses and they were not regular menu items. So we tried everything except for dessert because we both wanted that Chocolate Curry Tart.
Even though we were told everything would come out when it was done and not held, the pacing of the dishes was great. First up was the Green Papaya and Shrimp dish. I would say this was a salad which was flavored with bright mango, mint, chili with peanuts sprinkled over it. Lots of sweet with a little tart and spice. Really great dish to start with.
I've been wanting to try the dumplings so we ordered the Chicken and Mushroom Dumplings too.
Inside the steamer were three delicious dumplings seasoned with chili and Thai basil and topped with crispy shallot. Also a very enjoyable dish.
First dish of the second course arrives and it's the Chicken Tonkatsu. Nice cripsy outside, tender chicken inside. Underneath were tasty sweet vinegar potatoes and an amazing lemony sauce that brought back memories of the Avgolemono Seafood Chowder that I had at their Compass Dinner. That dish was the best thing I have ever eaten at Departure and so I really enjoyed tasting that same flavor with the Chicken Tonkatsu. If there had been less chili pepper sprinkled over this it probably would have been my favorite dish of the night.
Second dish of the second course was the Stir Fried Rockfish. Really appetizing, this was my companion's favorite dish. With the Rockfish was cabbage, jicama, shitake mushrooms and chives.
Finally we each had the Chocolate Curry Tart with Banana Sorbet. I believe that was a coconut milk crumble topping it and olive oil was drizzled over it. This was my favorite dish and I love the creative desserts that Chef Gourdet creates without using processed foods or dairy.
I think this was a really nice menu that was put together for Dining Month and it was fun to be able to share too. I'm glad we tried it. If you go you might get lucky because they have been opening the decks when the weather is good.
Departure is located at Departure Restaurant is located at 525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204
Now I just have to get to a couple more places before the month is up.