Departure

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Great food, great views and one of the best desserts I’ve had all year. Check out my visit to Departure at the top of The Nine’s Hotel {Sponsored Post}

Up until now I have had two things to say about the popular restaurant Departure, at the top of The Nine’s Hotel in downtown Portland.  One: it has a great view.  Two: The chef was on Top Chef.  

Departure bar

I’ve stopped in for drinks a few times.  One of those times ended in a situation that still makes me cringe a couple years later. I stopped to meet friends after work for a glass of wine.  But it didn’t stop there.  I ended up staying way too late, spent way too much money, got WAY too drunk.  I had to take the bus home.  When I got on (stumbled on) the bus was empty except for one person… a co-worker.  Ugg.  So humiliating.  So that was my association with Departure… up until now.  

I have always heard that it has great food, so I was beyond thrilled when Open Table asked me if I’d like to dine there then write about it, as part of their summer Savor the Road program.  Of course I said YES!  So we went for dinner last night.  Reservations were easy to get but the place was packed!  They initially seated us at kind of a boring table, then asked if we wanted to switch to a table with a better view.  One of the best IMO.  I just love the futuristic, modern look of this restaurant.  

Departure window view

Departure Kyoto cooler

We ordered a couple cocktails.  My sake-based Kyoto Cooler was absolutely delicious.  Jacob ordered the Rising Sun, made with tequila.  It was good but not as great as the Kyoto.  
For dinner we ordered 4 dishes.  Smoked Salmon Rolls, BBQ Short Rib Buns, Crispy Pork Belly and Korean Rice Noodles.  

Departure Smoked Salmon Roll

The salmon on the rolls was so soft and buttery, and went great with the sauce on the side.  I am not usually a sushi eater but I really enjoyed it.  The BBQ Short Rib buns were a great little two-bite dish with a great sauce and a little crunchy slaw.  I would order these again for sure.  

Departure pork bun

The Crispy Pork Belly practically melted in my mouth.  The meat was tender and we both loved the cherry and candied ginger topping.  After we finished the pork, both of us kept picking at the left over sauce because it was so good.

Departure pork belly view

Finally, my favorite dish of the entire night, the Korean Rice Noodles, made with beef and kimchi.  I have never had a noodle so thick before.  I loved it!  Plus it was nice and spicy with a good ration of meat, noodles and vegetables.  Ummm… I could go for a bowl of this right now.

Departure Korean rice noodles

Repartee thick rice noodle

But the meal did not stop there.  We went all in and go dessert too… a ridiculous banana split.  When I say ridiculous I mean, ridiculously good and ridiculously indulgent.  It was made with tempura bananas (deep fried bananas!), peanut brittle ice cream and miso butterscotch. This was a close second for best dish of the night.  It was an excellent way to end the evening.  

Departure banana split

The good news is, now when I think of Departure, I will think of thick rice noodles and fried bananas rather than a blur of drunken embarrassment.  The view, the cocktails, the food, and the atmosphere combined to make a great dining experience.

Departure tables

I made reservations for this evening using the Open Table app on my phone. If you are not familiar with it, I suggest trying it out.  It’s a great resource for finding places to eat as well as making reservations at restaurants across the country.  If you are traveling this summer be sure to check out their Summer Road Trip Guide to great restaurants around the country and ender their $100 gift card giveaway.

DEPARTURE
525 SW MORRISON
SUNDAY-THURDAY 4PM-MIDNIGHT, FRIDAY-SATURDAY  4PM-1AM

DISCLOSURE: OPEN TABLE PROVIDED ME WITH A GIFT CARD FOR DINNER AT DEPARTURE BUT ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.  

 

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  1. Feast 2015 Recap | Kristi Does PDX: Adventures in Portland, OR

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