This post is in collaboration with Raven & Rose. Exterior photo c/o Raven & Rose.
At Raven & Rose, the Pacific Northwest meets the British Isles inside Portland’s historic Ladd Carriage House. The Ladd name is a familiar one to anyone who has spent significant time in town as William S. Ladd is one of Portland’s founding fathers. However, the most remarkable thing about the Ladd Carriage House is how the entire house was lifted up and trucked away to allow for an underground parking project in 2007, then returned to its original location a year later. Upon its return, the Ladd Carriage House was restored to its former glory, and Raven & Rose was born. The first floor is a full-service upscale British gastropub, while the airy Rookery Bar on the second floor offers pub-food and live music. I had received a gift card to Raven & Rose, and I’m glad that I waited until St. Patrick’s Day to visit. What better place is there to celebrate St. Patty’s!
You can’t go wrong with a finely crafted cocktail (or two!) before your food arrives at the table. The botanical Bird is the Word featuring Aviation gin and grapefruit liqueur was my pick. And of course, Raven & Rose has an extensive beer and wine list if that’s what you fancy.
While classic British farmhouse dining may not initially strike you as being veg-friendly, we were pleasantly surprised to find vegan options that were beautiful and enjoyable. The farm greens salad ($6) with radish, carrots, and zinfandel vinegar was a light start to the meal with a fresh, straight-from-the-farm feel. I highly recommend getting an order of bread to nibble on as Raven & Rose sources from Ken’s Artisan Bakery. With a little olive oil, that stuff is fabulous.
The real star of the show, however, was the swede fondant ($22) that I’ve been eyeing for some time on Instagram. This is one of their newest dishes: a vegan and gluten-free dish created by Chef Daniel Mondok. The plating has changed slightly since I first saw it in Insta-land, but it remains stunning and intriguing. The name “swede fondant” is a little confusing if you’re not aware that the root vegetable rutabaga is known as the “swede” in England. I noticed that a woman at the adjacent table also ordered this dish, and when it arrived, her eyes got real big and wide. She poked at the veggies with her fork, said something about how she was expecting carbs and cheese, then settled down to enjoy it.
There are a lot of components to this dish: root vegetable noodles, grilled onions, rutabaga slices, coal roasted broccoli, maitake mushrooms, avocado mousse, black garlic pudding, and lemon balm. The root vegetable ribbons were fun to twirl on your fork and surprisingly rich. The maitakes and broccoli were delicious. Every dollop on the plate was indulgent, so you’ll want to savor every bite slowly. Do you really need so many ingredients here? Maybe not, but it was certainly one of the most unique plates I’ve come across in Portland, and I always applaud a non-vegan restaurant for putting a vegan dish on the menu.
Black Garlic Pudding (v, gf)
One of the most curious components on this plate is the jet black dollops. I recall picking up intense acidity and unusual umami flavor, and I learned later that this was black garlic pudding. Raven & Rose kindly shared the recipe with me, and it’s simple enough for anyone whip up in their kitchen. Use it sparingly to give light vegetable dishes a little bit of ooh-la-la!
Raven & Rose sources their black garlic locally from Cascade Organics and their vegan worcestershire sauce from Portlandia Foods. Both ingredients are available at most Whole Foods locations.
2 cups black garlic cloves
1/2 cup wheat free soy sauce
1/2 cup vegan worcestershire
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
Place all the ingredients in a pot and warm to almost a boil. Transfer to a blender and puree.
Note: This post is in collaboration with Raven & Rose. I received a gift card to the establishment, and their team shared the black garlic pudding recipe with me. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.