In Northeast Portland lives a chic, rustic, beautiful restaurant serving up local, seasonal farm to table fare in wildly inventive culinary masterpieces worthy of a vegan hall of fame. Harvest at the Bindery showcases the abundance and variety of plant foods in the lovely Pacific Northwest.
I first knew I would love the food when I was blown away by a single slice of bread. Oh yeah. Their freshly made cornbread was a delight for the senses! Intensely aromatic, sweet, light and nutty. I could eat a loaf of it.
There is a full bar stocked with local draft beers, kombuchas, and some really great local red and white wines to pair with any dish.
They also make a selection of inventive specialty cocktails, like the zesty cynar manhattan, with rye, cynar and angostura bitters and a fresh orange peel. Citrusy smooth.
Everything is delicious, but the last supper dish really stood out. Turns out it was the last dish that Prince (who was vegan) was served by his personal chef. It was a spicy red pepper bisque and a kale salad with a purple beet dressing, and purple flowers on top.
Purple Rain. Nice touch. Both dishes together compliment each other so well, the spicy, savory, hearty soup and the light, sweet, crisp salad.
Another favorite was a poblano fundito that was creamy and savory, served with more delicious blue corn fry bread. The mushroom pate was served with cognac red currents and grilled radicchio with a surprisingly buttery olive oil.
The akras with chickpea jus had a delicious nutty, crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth texture, served with with a side of tasty collard greens. It shines on its own but was complimented by a zesty moat of preserved lemon sauce.
Other delicacies were an orange saffron poached burdock with miso butter and baby bok choy on a bed of buckwheat-barley risotto. The heirloom carrots with braised radicchio and tekka (ground root vegetables) was a stunningly beautiful dish.
And I loved the savory potato cakes with forest floor mushrooms, kale, and caraway creme. The ingredients are paired so well that all you can do is marvel at the flavor combinations as you happily chew away.
The piece de resistance was definitely the dessert, a pot de creme that tasted of velvety chocolate and caramel, served with the sweetest of sweet creams and lightly roasted nuts on top. Wow.
The menu is constantly changing with seasonal fare and new creations popping up almost weekly. You can't harness creativity!
The sheer passion of the chef shines through in these exquisitely executed meals. I can't help but wonder, maybe passion is just like another form of energy; it cannot be created or destroyed. It's just changes form from one to another. If so, it definitely shows in these lovely meals.
Hats off to Harvest at the Bindery for highlighting plants as delicious and substantial meals and also for being culinary geniuses and artisans as well.
*Harvest at the Bindery is closed. Check out more foodie eats in Portland.