This post is in collaboration with Travel Portland.
In Portland, there’s no shortage of vegan options, but the truth is a lot of them have started to blur together in my mind. Harvest at the Bindery is not your typical PDX vegan joint. For starters, it’s not a vegan dive bar or a vegan lunch bowl spot. Harvest at the Bindery is a sit down vegan dining establishment with charming ambiance that’s perfect for date night. On top of that, the food skews upscale, while remaining approachable and relatively wallet-friendly.
I’ve been meaning to visit for some time, so when Travel Portland invited me to dine at a Portland Dining Month restaurant of my choosing, I jumped at the opportunity once I realized that Harvest at the Bindery was a participating restaurant. For those of you who aren’t familiar, Portland Dining Month comes around once a year and features 3-course dinners for $29 at select restaurants. For you NYC readers, this is the PDX version of Restaurant Week.
Our meal started with some mini cornbread muffins before the first course. Tasty little starter bites with vegan butter. I don’t know if the Portland Dining Month portion sizes at Harvest at the Bindery are smaller than the regular menu. However, everything seemed appropriately sized, and I left the restaurant full, but not stuffed.
The first course was basically springtime on a plate. Thinly sliced smoked kohlrabi carpaccio with leafy greens, citrus, mint, sesame seeds, and a delicate vinaigrette. The slices were not as thin as I expected for carpaccio, but it had a nice crunch to it. Bright flavors, super refreshing. Clean, healthy start to the meal before we move on to the richer courses.
The second course was a sweet potato cake with nori and kale pesto, glazed kabocha squash, caramelized carrot horseradish puree, braised radishes, and sesame crusted shallots. Delicious, rich flavors and caramelization throughout this dish, especially the squash. While the pesto didn’t exactly have the most appealing color, it was tasty enough.
The main attraction was a stunning beet-infused gnocchi dish with marinated grilled mushrooms, walnut pesto, toasted farro, crisped sage, and spring micro greens. Vibrant coloring from the beets and an enjoyable earthy flavor. The gnocchi is bouncy, while also melting in your mouth. There’s a different kind of pesto here, which complements the beet flavor. Harvest at the Bindery has done the impossible: they’ve prepared mushrooms in a way that John enjoyed. Much to my dismay (because I wanted to have his ‘shrooms), John willingly, but cautiously ate all the mushrooms on his plate with no complaints.
As a bonus, they’ve included dessert with the Portland Dining Month menu. Vegan cheesecake with berry compote. The simple joys!
Note: This post is in collaboration with Travel Portland. I was invited to dine at a Portland Dining Month restaurant of my choice and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.