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Vegan Supper Club - Tabla [PDX]

Jen Lehr | May 1, 200608:05 PM

If you haven't already heard about this event, which takes place about once a month (there is talk about doing it twice a month in the future), Tabla hosts a Vegan Supper Club on a Sunday evening (from 6:00 until 9 or 9:30). Sean Coryell, one of the chefs at Tabla, is vegan and takes great pride in creating and preparing these dinners. The cost is $35 per person (not including beverages & gratuity) and is an awesome experience, whether you are vegan or not (we are not). We have met some interesting people and had some of the best food, vegan or otherwise, that we have ever tasted at the two dinners we have attended. The dinner last night was wonderful. A little more over the top than the last one (which was equally delicious - the theme for the previous dinner was Argentine). This was an Italian theme, and here is the menu and my comments (to the best of my recollection):

Various grain and nut "caviars": these were so good -a little plate of varied & wonderful flavors & textures, including one with wheat berries & toasted pine nuts; a millet pate with saffron; a buckwheat pate with shallot; the salad was dandelion greens & spinach salad with grilled fennel, sundried tomatoes and fresh rosemary vinaigrette made with the Calabrian extra virgin olive oil & white balsamic.

The pasta was the most decadent item of the evening - spaghetti with truffle "cream" -- but this was so sinful tasting you'd swear it had butter & cream in it - Sean told us how the sauce was made: with a roux made with a vegan butter substitute that I swear tasted buttery (!), almond milk, porcini stock, salt, pepper, and white & black truffle oils. We were swooning.

Another course was thinly sliced oyster mushrooms breaded & fried and served with a chunky pepper & tomato "marinara" that was incredible.

The final course before dessert was a total feast (Sean called it a "hot and cold" antipasto course), most of which was served family style - one plate for either the whole table or for groups of four persons (depending on what/how much was on the plate), which worked out very well. Here is the list of what was served - it was a procession of the most wonderful flavors! These amounted to fairly small servings per person, though it sounds like a lot of food (this is from memory, but I think fairly accurate):

Warm white bean spread with Calabrian extra virgin olive oil & rosemary and room temperature white bean spread with chervil (served with tasty bread)
Olive tapenade with roasted hot peppers
Roasted asparagus
Grilled green garlic (!)
Crispy fried pea shoots
Roasted shitake mushrooms
Kale sauteed in premium Italian olive oil w garlic
Brown rice risotto cakes with orange mustard sauce
Roasted grapes (!) - very very different & tasty!
Salad of tangerines, thinly sliced radishes, fresh fennel in a light vinaigrette with chives
Horseradish shaved into thin ribbons & marinated in a slightly sweet vinegar (this was really, really good)
Grilled radicchio

Dessert was a little small cookie (that tasted like pure butter -- but we know there was no butter in there) with a few toasted pistachios on top and chocolate melted over it, served with a scoop of "quadruple vanilla sorbet." So wonderful.

This meal was a steal at $35 per person! I can't wait until the next one -- I'll be interested to see what the theme is.

Highly recommended. Reservations a must. Check out the Tabla website for updates on the next Vegan Supper Club dinner. (this is from memory as well)......

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