For dinner on Saturday night we had a reservation at Natural Selection, a tiny all-vegetarian restaurant that came highly recommended on Yelp.  Since my husband is vegetarian, and there are at least 74 vegetarian restaurants in Portland (compared to only one at home!), we had a bit of a hard time deciding where to go until we read the reviews and found Natural Selection.  We were super excited to try it out, and it definitely delivered!

The four course menu is pre-set by the chef; you simply choose Column A or Column B – we went for one of each so we could share and get to try everything.

Bright green!

Course 1A: Chilled sweet pea soup

[Course 1B: It was eaten too fast to get a picture!]

Course 2A: Melon salad with fried capers

Course 2B: Pickled radish salad with a 7-minute egg

Palate cleanser: cherry lemon granita

Course 3A: Succotash with a kale “purse” filled with rice and edamame

Course 3B: Squash gratin with carrots and potatoes

Molecular gastronomy!

Course 4A: Cherry parfait with cherry gumdrop cubes

Course 4B: Apricot bread pudding with blueberries

Everything we had was absolutely, fantastically delicious!  The crunchy garnish on the sweet pea soup played perfectly off of the flavor of the peas which can best be described as, well, green.  In an awesome way.  The 7-minute egg was perfectly cooked and its richness perfectly complemented the radishes in the salad.  The sweet melons played brilliantly off the salty capers.  And the desserts…I had the cherry parfait and I really didn’t want to share.  The tartness of the cherries, the sweetness of the cream…and the gumdrop cubes on the side!  Molecular gastronomy at its finest!  (I have always loved gumdrops…)  I know it’s hard to decide where to eat in Portland because there are so very very many delicious restaurants, but seriously, go to Natural Selection.  (Just make sure you have a reservation!)

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