get stunned: july 28th’s harvest + the sudra dinner

Here’s a tale, in photos, of a neglectful/fairly retired blogger attending a one-of-a-kind vegan dinner, hosted by two of Portland’s “hottest” cruelty-free spots, The Sudra and Harvest at the Bindery.

The first plus? Both of these modern vegan restaurants happen to be within a 10 block radius of my workspace. For real.

Menus

The food was gorgeous (seriously, an understatement), which okay, calls for photos, and my friend and I were seated at the allergen table, which basically meant we *weren’t* at the intense long table of co-mingling and had a nook to ourselves…and two other polite duos equally entranced in the ongoing, near cinematic courses and accompanying beverages. I have such mixed feelings when all of the other people around me start taking photos of their food. It has to be said, the days are long behind me where I’d softly apologize for whipping out my camera, or even those where my friends began to expect it, even anticipate it. I live big spurts of my life with the dear vegan paparazzi and vibrant, contemporary bloggers, if you will, where it’s noticeably odd if you don’t break out a smartphone during a get-to-gether. This all becomes its own extension of the social dining experience, for goodness sake.

On one hand, the commonplace normalizes things. On the other, why the heck am I taking a photo if everyone else is? The fear and potential rudeness (yes, yes, yes) of live-instagramming and tweeting courses adds some element, but removes another, arguably detracting from the actual dining experience. For what it’s worth— which truly may only be for my own sake to write this out—it gives me the heebie jeebies if someone outside of my own dining table’s world sees us taking photos. It simply changes things.

The anxiety of casual food photography aside, I went into this meal half-blind, having yet to dine at Harvest (the whole wife being on the other side of the country thing), but being a devotee of the other half and recently indulging less on international plane tickets than expected, I was in, cocktail flight upgrade and all.

course 1: grilled peach bourbon iced tea

In the end, I remained in a state of “swoon” as I biked home afterwards, and watered my garden as the sun set. As you’ll see, I couldn’t resist snapping some shots of this inviting spread, and that’s where you’ve found me…..dining, sharing, and reflecting on the impressive state of Portland’s vegan dining scene reality.

course 1: musk melon and tomato sambar

course 1: grilled peach bourbon iced tea

course 2: local lettuce, house pickles, flowers, heirloom squash

{cocktail pairing: a refreshing + intriguing carrot-turmeric gin & soda}

course 3: blackberry shrub vodka soda

course 3: collard samosa with almond yogurt, green chili, herbs 

course 4: tamarind manhattan, aka the drink I want sunday evenings for my near future

course 4: tamarind bbq trumpet mushrooms, black rice and leek biriyani, allium relish

course 5: basil-ginger vodka lemonade /// sweet rice appam, charred alma peppers, green bean and corn succotash

Oh, here’s the point where I almost share our sudden #5th course selfie. Life, as we know it.

course 6: champagne rosewater mist cocktail ///

cardamom and rose chocolate tart, amchar macaroon, peach sorbet, almond fennel tuile

The above is Liz’s plate. My dessert plate was a little less diverse, with the fresh as hell peach sorbet and guest star rice pudding. All things said and photographed, course by course, I was equally stunned by the culinary prowess as my own meal’s absence of treenuts and creative, on par substitutions. Thank you.

Ah, to share.

Yeah, the days of lengthy restaurant reviews are crazy behind me, but if you’d like to catch a glimpse of my glimpses into Portland’s vegan eats, this does exist on Instagram. ‘Til next time.

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