If you’re a follower of Top Chef, you’ll know about Departure. Gregory Gourdet was on season 12 of the show, and I immediately fell in love with all of the dishes he made for the judges. I was most excited to try his food in person and possibly run into him at his restaurant. His restaurant, Departure, is an Asian fusion type of restaurant that serves small plates. They encourage you to try as much as possible while you’re there as well.

My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to get a seat on their outdoor patio located on the top floor of the Nines hotel in downtown Portland. We were immediately seated and began our journey of Gregory’s food.

Our first course was Kampachi Sashimi which came with crispy taro chips: It was quite flavorful in the sense that it had a little kick that came from the green chili pieces.

Kampachi Sashimi
   Kampachi Sashimi
We then had their crispy pork belly. This was a blend of sweet and savory and it was definitely melt in your mouth!

           Crispy Pork Belly
Our next course was their Harami, which was basically skirt steak, topped with crunch garlic pieces!

Two more courses to go! Our next course was their Garlic Fried Rice topped with an egg! It had a great flavor profile and the rice was nice and sticky!

             Garlic Fried Rice
And the must have of the night, their famous Departure Wings! They were probably the best wings I’ve ever had before!

          Departure Wings
Departure is a great place to take your significant other, it’s definitely a date night type of place, and honestly our bill was only around $65, which I don’t think is too pricey for a place like this. The quality of the food was fresh and you could tell they use the best ingredients. Gregory did a great job of impressing me, and I was happy to finally try his cooking! Definitely give it a try if you’re in town! You can also follow Gregory on Instagram at: gg30000


Good ‘Ol Screen Door

If you’re into southern food and need some comfort food, Screen Door located in NE Portland is the place for you. This restaurant always has a long line outside of it since it’s so popular, so try to get there early to that you can be seated faster. First off, their waiters are very knowledgeable on their menu and are always so helpful.

I must say, they make the BEST fried chicken ever. I’ve had my share of fried chicken in my life, and I gotta say, hands down, Screen Door’s “Crisp Fried Buttermilk-Battered Chicken,” is a must eat while in Portland.┬áIt was seasoned perfectly and perfectly crisp as well. We also had the shrimp and grits- they served it with big generous pieces of shrimp. Their fried oysters were pretty good as well. What they also offer that is amazing, is that you can do a sampler plate and mix and match items. My boyfriend ordered the catfish with sides of greens, chicken and sausage gumbo, and corn bread. He licked his plate clean.

Some people may think this restaurant is pricey, but honestly, for the amount of food that they give you, it’s definitely worth it. You’ll either bring some food home, or be so stuffed that you can’t move.

If you’re ever in the PDX, I recommend you stopping by Screen Door. Their address is: 2337 East Burnside St in Portland.

Catfish with a side of chicken and sausage gumbo, collard greens, and corn bread.
Catfish with a side of chicken and sausage gumbo, collard greens, and corn bread.
Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and Grits