Celebrating Earth Day The Nines Hotel

 

To celebrate Earth Day The Nines Hotel, Departure and Urban Farmer are putting on four days of tastings, demonstrations and tours as we highlight the incredible work done throughout building to promote sustainability, support waste reduction and to better our practices for the community.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Thursday 3-5PM

We will be hosting a demonstration and tasting by resident Chefs on the 8th floor of the hotel, featuring all things canned, pickled and fermented. Food and cocktail pairings will conclude with canning takeaways for the pantry!

Friday 3-5PM

Introduction to mushroom cultivation! Discussions surrounding Oregon’s place on the largest interconnected fungus network on the planet will take place at Urban Farmer with guest speakers, mushroom cocktails and snacks.

Saturday

The restaurants will feature dishes using our in house farming and foraging. Table side conversations and tastes from our Chefs will be abundant throughout the day. Please call ahead or make a reservation online! Tours of our hydroponic garden in the basement will be available from 3-5PM.

Sunday (Earth Day!) 3-5PM

To wrap up a wonderful weekend we will lead a conversation on community, traceability in food and personal best practices. Beekeeping discussions will be taking place as well, and the day will commence with more snacks and takeaways for your pantry!

Here’s to the Earth, this day and every day!

 

 

GG Is Global!

Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Portland, OR

GG Is Global!

2018 started off with Chef Gregory taking 5 weeks to travel through Thailand and Japan, eating, learning and researching.  He spent one week at Nahm in Bangkok which is fifth on the San Pellegrino list of Best Restaurants Asia 2018.  There he was amazed by the complexity of an already complex cuisine, the progressive seasoning and the sheer numbers of ingredients in each dish.  One of his favorite dishes was the Sugar Cane Pulp and Dried Coconut Smoked Beef dressed in grilled lemongrass, galangal vinegar, rau ram, grilled and fresh host chili and plenty of mint.

 

From Thailand he moved east to Japan, where he collaborated on an intimate dinner with renowned Chef Hiroyuki Sato at his newly opening Sushi Hakkoku in Tokyo.  He contributed 4 vegetable dishes to the experience, his favorite being Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sun Dried Sweet Potato Dressing.

 

After his incredible trip he is excited to be home and focusing on the new Spring Menu, much of which will be inspired by his travels and his global aspirations.  Stay tuned for next month!

 

Dry Beverage Menu

Dry Beverage Menu

The month of January has seen us devote an entirely new cocktail menu to beautiful dry cocktails, to give all guests a flavor of our beverage program and extend the innovation to showcase our work in the non-alcoholic realm. Our dry beverage menu puts an emphasis on fresh, health forward ingredients, supplementing Chef Gregory Gourdet’s food menu and adding to the restaurant’s already extensive and unique offerings.

We hope everyone who comes in samples at least one or two of these special creations, and while there are five beverages to highlight, this one speaks to the intricate culture of Departure Portland:

The Rainbow Fish: soursop, raspberry, lime, soda, li hing mui powder

Description: sweet, fruit forward, with a little tang

Story behind the name: In Hinduism, the Rainbow Fish was a legend about a fish that was as large. It ate Buddha, an incarnation of the deity Vishnu, but then was caught and killed by fishermen who freed Buddha from its stomach. After the Rainbow Fish was caught, it provided an entire nation with food for a year.

Dry Beverage Program

 

Dry Beverage Program

Happy New Year! While many of us make resolutions for the month of January, promising ourselves that we will eat this, or won’t drink that, we at Departure are taking it a step further and will be showcasing our entire Dry Beverage menu starting on the 5th. This menu will be an integral part of our beverage program for the foreseeable future, as we continue to strengthen and improve all aspects of our bar.

A sneak peek includes the Pee Mai with pineapple, habanero and a berry-apple shrub, and the Nam Moi with lemon, pink peppercorn and lavender.

Be sure to join us after the 5th!

Welcome Back Peking Duck!

Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Portland, OR

Welcome Back Peking Duck!

For the 7th year in a row we are welcoming back a Departure favorite and local holiday tradition: Peking Duck.  This year the duck is cured in 5 spice, blanched in honey and Chinese wine, hung to air dry for 5 days, honey glazed and roasted daily, and served with a house-made cherry sauce, candied kumquats, scallions, hoisin, and cucumbers. It is served with mandarin pancakes, encouraging guests to make mini sandwiches out of the feast. Afterwards, all the bits of meat and roasted skin left on the bones are removed and a savory duck fried rice is made with plenty of scallions and rendered duck fat. To ensure 100% usage of the bird, guests start the meal with a cup of clear duck broth made from the ducks’ roasted bones. For a final sweet note, a rich taste of creamy duck fat-coconut milk ice cream with marionberry sauce and buckwheat crumble closes the feast.

 

The tradition of preparing and serving duck in this style has its origins in the Ming Dynasty of China, between the years 1368–1644, and in 1416 it was served at Bianyifang, a restaurant in Beijing that was the first to specialize in the dish. 

 

We are honored to be continuing this traditional so many hundreds of years later and we hope you will come experience it with us!

 

We’re Getting Ready For Winter

The leaves are changing, the days are getting shorter and farmers are getting ready for winter.  In the midst of all this comes our menu change which embraces all things autumnal including a plethora of sunchokes, root vegetables and citrus.

Some of the favorites include a take on an old favorite, Roasted Carrots from Zenger Farms with smoked cashew butter, sunchoke, curry and coconut cream.  There is also a fiery hot Seafood, Bacon and Kimchi HotPot with green onion, egg and scallion.  It comes bubbling to the table like a red witch’s cauldron, very fitting for the season.

Stayed tuned for more highlights throughout the month!

7th Annual Vegan Dinner

7th Annual Vegan Dinner

In keeping with tradition, October 4th saw our 7th vegan dinner up at Departure.

Over the years it has become fairly well known around Portland, and each year the bar is raised.

This year we highlighted our ongoing relationship with Zenger Farm with sourcing product, and were able to make good use out of some of the last of the summer flowers from our garden.

The highlight of the menu for a lot of people, including the culinary team, was the Cashew Cheese, garnished with the rooftop flowers.  To make it they soak and ferment cashews and pine nuts and then age them for a week.  It is then seasoned with yeast which gives it a funky, nutty flavor just like a diary cheese. 

The other dish of interest was Miso Eggplant with Smoked Tomato XO sauce.  A traditional XO is a spicy seafood sauce that originated in Hong Kong and is most commonly used in the southern China regions.  Our version is made with tomatoes from summer that were smoked and dehydrated, and then sautéed with garlic, ginger and chili.  The flavor profile is incredibly meaty and umami, very similar to the traditional XO sauce and is definitely entirely unique to Departure.

We look forward to see what the 8th year holds!

Portland Monthly

What better way to celebrate late summer’s bounty by gracing the cover of our own Portland Monthly magazine!  Portland Monthly was started in 2003 by a sibling team, and after a rocky start grew to be the 7th largest city magazine in the country.   Since then it has become the staple of Portland and all things food related, in large part thanks to Karen Brooks the food editor.

As always we are excited to be able to show off our garden and ongoing partnership with Zenger Farms, which is exactly what this Late-Summer Salad with Berry-Coconut Dressing does.

Blending beefsteak tomatoes from Zenger Farm, local fruit, and herbs and garlic from our own rooftop the salad is truly all things Portland.  Check it out!

https://www.pdxmonthly.com/articles/2017/8/14/vegan-carnivore-gregory-gourdet-s-summer-salad-satisfies-all-eaters

Slushy Program

In the heat of August and mid-summer, what sounds better than sipping on an ice cold slushy on the rooftop?  Not a whole lot, so in mid-July we rolled out an incredible slushy program, featuring local ingredients as well as showcasing trends like the ever popular Frosé (and infused with chamomile syrup from our garden to make it unique)!

 

We run two new slushies every night, and have 50 recipes already written that we are experimenting with including a frozen signature Seoul Spring made with house made bamboo syrup (pictured here) and a very special upcoming Shiso Mint Julep that uses an heirloom shiso specifically imported to Portland’s Japanese Garden that we are lucky enough to grow up on our roof.

 

At $15 for a 15 ounce glass, what’s not to love?

Ice Cream Cones and Summer

Ice Cream Cones and Summer

Happy Solstice!  To gear up for a fun, hot and busy summer Chef Gregory will be rolling out an ice cream cone program starting July 1st.  After months of planning (and waiting) for summer to finally arrive, starting next month the team will be offering two rotating ice cream flavors such as fermented rice and coconut with berries, to roasted banana caramel all served up in gluten free cones. (It almost goes without saying that the ice creams will be vegan.)

Garnishes such as herbs and flowers will come from our rooftop garden, like the cone featured here: Koji and coconut milk ice cream with Marion berry sauce, pickled dried strawberries and freeze dried strawberries, all topped with flower petals from the garden and some gold leaf.  What better way to celebrate the season?

It’s Garden Time!

Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Portland, OR

It’s Garden Time!

Our ever growing rooftop garden is finally in full bloom, and we have just begun using some herbs and flowers on new summertime dishes, including the attached image of Kampachi Avocado with Pansies and Dill.

This year we are sourcing primarily from Zenger Farms, which is a local farm that is part of the greater Johnson Creek watershed, and is an educational and environmental resource owned by the city.  Their statement is that they are “officially and sustainable” a resource for the city and we would encourage everyone to take a look at their website for further information: https://zengerfarm.org/about-the-farm/

We are lucky to have gotten a number of starts from them, including culture, lettuce, mustard greens and red leaf lettuce, and in addition Chef Jon has taken the lead in growing and cultivating strawberries, Ako shiso, 6 types of onions, chamomile, hops and Five Star Akebia, among many others.

On August 19th we are partnering with them for a Farm Dinner and could not be more excited.

Here’s to the continuation of beautiful weather and the beginning of summer!

Spring Has Sprung

Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Portland, OR

Spring Has Sprung

While the sun may not have graced us with its presence yet this season, many spring vegetables and herbs have done so, prompting our Spring Menu change which is full of brightness and vibrancy.  Twelve dishes changed overall featuring items such as ramps (the quintessential sign of warmer weather), asparagus and various herbs.   A new salad that has everyone particularly jazzed is the Cauliflower and Asparagus Salad, with ramps, coconut cream, saffron and garam masala which is a ground spice mixture common in India and Pakistan, and one of the only representations from that part of Asia at the moment.  It is beautiful, flavorful and has a great depth without being too hot or overwhelming.

While the savory dishes are fun, delicious and seasonally focused, Chef Gregory and the team are very excited about the new sweet items as well, namely the Coconut Ash Pudding.  Black coconut ash is the charred and processed remains of the shell, which can then be incorporated into dishes, such as ice cream or in the case, a pudding.  Served with coffee ice cream, whiskey caramel and coconut ice, it not only looks amazing, it is a beautiful combination of rich flavors and light textures.  

 

It may be raining outside, but the team has done an amazing job conveying just how brilliant spring and summer are inside.