If you haven't been to Departure, you are missing out! Portland isn't known for their rooftop bars (although this is changing), but Departure is located high above the city and offers amazing views of Portland. With two outdoor decks (one for dinner service, the other a designated bar with a delicious happy hour), as well as a full indoor restaurant, the views cannot be missed.
Executive Chef Gregory Gourdet is incredibly talented and cooks fantastic modern Asian small plates, ranging from brussels sprouts to chicken wings. He also specializes in cooking for those with dietary restrictions, which is evidenced by their separate vegan and gluten free menus.
David and I went for date night and had mostly vegan food, but he also got the Departure Wings with the sweet chili glaze. We loved absolutely everything and can't wait to go back!
No dinner is complete without drinks! David got the Crazy 88, a spicy vodka cocktail, while I had a glass of sparkling rose.
Everything is served family style at Departure, and brought out as things are prepared. Our first dish were the brussels sprouts, which are made with chili, lime and mint. They were so good that I have since looked up a copycat recipe online and am planning on making them soon! I'm not sure that the mint flavor came out much, but we loved the citrusy vinaigrette paired with the flavor of the sprouts.
The famous Departure Wings, which David was easily able to eat to himself! I dipped my fork in the sauce, which was quite tasty with a bit of a kick. David was a big fan, but said that sadly they don't compare to the wings at Pok Pok!
The Golden Curry is what made me fall in love with Departure a few years ago, only having gone for drinks before that. It is creamy and rich, with a complex, slightly sweet flavor that finishes with a kick. It is only on the vegan menu so make sure to find it there!
I love the texture and flavor of tempeh, and the Salt & Pepper Tempeh at Departure was fantastic. The tempeh was cooked perfectly, and the nutritional yeast blended well with the flavors of the chili and ginger.
Not pictured are the BBQ Tempeh Buns, for the sole reason that we devoured them before David was able to get a picture! The buns were so soft and fluffy, and the tempeh so rich and delicious, that I would go back for just these.