blossoming lotus

by Kristina Sloggett

in Dinner, Portland, restaurants, Valentines Day, Vegan

this Valentines, Jason and I celebrated at one of my favorite places, Blossoming Lotus. they had a special Valentines menu, with two options for each course. as we normally do, we each chose one and shared.

we had a cheers with cocktails. mine:

White October – vanilla infused vodka, Averna, Cafe Lolita, coconut milk, ginger sugar, maple syrup – served up

this was amazing. mildly sweet, strong coffee and maple flavors. deliciously warming.
I had two.

Wintry Mix Manhattan – Bulleit rye, cinnamon-ginger infused Vya vermouth, orange bitters, barrel-aged bitters

Jason loved his Manhattan – enough that he talked about recreating his own version at home. sounds like someone I know…

the amuse:

Seasonal marinated and pickled vegetables

we each had our favorites with this plate – I loved the cauliflower, radish and the chili seasoned carrots! Jason liked the green beans and the beets.

the salad course:

wild arugula salad with preserved Meyer lemon and za’atar vinaigrette, roasted red and gold beets, pear

the arugula was deliciously nutty and spicy, and the pear was an inventive addition. we both loved this.

winter citrus salad with shaved fennel and basil, pomegranate, white balsamic

you know I love my vibrant colors in food – visually, this was my favorite of the evening. the bright flavors and the basil earned a place as my favorites in taste as well.

marinated king trumpet mushroom nigiri with parsnip rice, collard green maki roll with cucumber and avocado, salad of kale and wakame, burdock-carrot kinpira, pickled ginger

almost every visit to Blossoming Lotus includes me enjoying their collard rolls, or taking an order to go. I was very happy to see they made a roll for one of the choices – Jason and I both loved this course. I could eat these every day.

cornmeal and herb encrusted portobello, garlic chive mashed potatoes, braised chard, red wine demi glace

straight up comfort food.

I’m not even hungry right now and thinking of this plate just made my stomach growl and my mouth water… I could so eat this right now (yeah, it’s 4:38 in the morning…)

the portobello was perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked. a bite of portobello with a pouf of mashed potato blanketed in chard and dunked into the glorious demi glace…
I think that would satisfy any omnivore. completely.

raw chocolate torte with cashew crust and banana sorbet

this was gorgeously smooth and perfect. the banana sorbet (with shreds of mango!) was a wonderful light pairing to the rich chocolate.

deliriously decadent.

Meyer lemon polenta cake, cara cara orange curd, almond lace cookie

as much as I loved the chocolate, I loved this one just as much if not more. I love a polenta cake that is very mildly sweet, and the orange curd was bright and beautiful,
tart and sweet.

I loved sharing both of these desserts with my Valentine.

…and if that was not enough, there were surprise truffles at the end. three flavors, two of each, one eaten with a perfect cup of coffee, two enjoyed on the way home.

we were both happy with our Valentines choice of Blossoming Lotus. After an uncharacteristic and slightly weird start (the door was locked until seating time, when we were asked to enter single file for our seating assignments), my favorite Portland gem quickly recovered and we were delighted by course after delectable course. We had some great conversation with the very talented and informed mixologist, talking cocktails, coffee and bitters (we will return in the spring for the rhubarb bitters!).

 

Blossoming Lotus on Urbanspoon

 

{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama February 21, 2012 at 5:09 am

I wish I lived somewhere with restaurant choices like this. We get the fabulously unique Cheesecake Factory or PF Changs.

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2 spabettie February 21, 2012 at 6:49 am

“fabulously unique” aw… sorry… I know, I feel INCREDIBLY lucky to live in an area with some fantastic options – so many vegan too. <3

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3 katie February 21, 2012 at 5:16 am

Wow that place looks amazing! I think you have posted about this place before if my memory serves me right ; )

Thinking of you guys! <3 xoxo

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4 spabettie February 21, 2012 at 6:48 am

yes, I believe I have! it’s one of my favorites, I go for lunch quite often… ;) thank you for your continued thoughts, dear! XXO

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5 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning February 21, 2012 at 5:39 am

Ew- screw people talking about you and rolling their eyes because you were taking photos! So what! I’m glad you included everything because the whole meal looks incredible.
I NEED to replicate that cornmeal-crusted portobella. I just bought some large portabella caps yesterday- I must have had a hunch!
Oh- and your drinks are totally what me (yours) and my hubby would have (your husband’s). Yours sounds soooo gooooood.

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6 spabettie February 21, 2012 at 6:47 am

haa… well I am normally very sensitive to disturbing anyone with my camera… I always call ahead to the restaurant, so if they say it’s a go I bring it! but I always bring my little Nikon D40 instead of my great big camera, and I really only take a couple photos, I’m pretty discreet.

there were several other tables taking photos too (I love when I see that, makes me feel less odd). yeah, the people sitting next to us were… interesting anyway. Jason and I are usually very talkative and get to know people sitting next to us, but… ugh. plus, they were 40 minutes late to the seating!! pipe down, people. ;) he made a joke when they were talking about me, saying “oh should I check in to Yelp?” and it was ALL I COULD DO to not take out my phone right there… #feisty ;)

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7 Heather @ Better With Veggies February 21, 2012 at 6:44 am

Oh wow, this looks amazing! The cornmeal and herb encrusted portobello really jumps off at me – it looks so good (and comforting!) – but really the entire meal looks delicious. I love when restaurants do tasting dinners like this, especially when they hit it out of the park!

And I hope the couple that was rolling their eyes at you stumbles across this post and feels silly – why do you care what someone else is doing that has no effect on you? It’s happened to me before and I just laugh – their conversation must not have been very interesting on its own. :)

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8 spabettie February 21, 2012 at 6:55 am

I know, I want more of … well, everything really! but that cornmeal portobello – Mmm. SO good. I may have to recreate that one.

I’ve seen people make a BIG deal about taking photos in restaurants, I definitely am not one of those, I am as discreet as possible (never use flash, which I see all the time!). Jason wanted me to point the camera at them… ;)

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9 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen February 21, 2012 at 6:55 am

Wow, this looks like an amazing meal! Unfortunately, we’d have to travel an hour down to NYC to get food like that so more times than not we just stay in. Not worth going out when you just get chain/American type of crap!

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10 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:39 am

you can make your own thing, right? and better! ;) I’m sorry, though… when I hear that it REALLY makes me appreciate Portland and the amazing chefs and food we have here…

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11 Alyssa February 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

That looks like a wonderful Valentines dinner!! <3 We don't have any vegan restaurants near us in NH, so we made vegan raw tacos and had chips and salsa, plus a little vegan wine. It was nice :)
If I ever make it out to Portland, which I am hoping to in the next 2 years, I'll drag my boyfriend to Blossoming Lotus! He's not vegan but he still enjoys the food.

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12 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:38 am

like I said, there are MANY things they do that would more than satisfy an omnivore! Jason LOVES it there! :)

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13 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga February 21, 2012 at 7:56 am

The White October…I want that! And okay the sushi, the choc torte slice, the choc balls…it all looks amazing.

Glad you two had a wonderful time. You deserve it after all you’ve been going through! You’re in my thoughts and prayers xoxo

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14 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:37 am

thank you, Averie, I appreciate that so much. You would LOVE the White October, for sure!

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15 Eleah February 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

Blossoming Lotus is so good.. my sister in law bought me a gift card for Christmas. I had been to their old yoga location several times, but going in December was my first time at their full sized shop. It’s so hard to choose off the menu!

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16 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:37 am

I always have such a hard time choosing too!! honestly, I often order one thing to eat there, then order something to go to eat later, because I CANNOT CHOOSE ONE! ;)

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17 bitt February 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

Wow so much amazing food! I’ll take any one of those plates, let along the whole meal, wow. I tend to forget that Blossoming Lotus does some amazing cooked food too, since they do raw so well I stick to that, I love their collard wraps, can only imagine the rolls are as good.

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18 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

yeah, their collard wraps are just… SO GOOD (my stomach just growled when I typed that…), and they DO cook well also! I can say I have LOVED every thing I have eaten there.

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19 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) February 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

Your drink looks to die for! YUM! Sounds like an amazing way to celebrate your love. I’m glad you two got away for a little bit. Looks like a delicious night!

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20 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:34 am

my drink was AMAZING! I loved it. and yes, it was nice to go out and enjoy…

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21 Nichole February 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

Yes! Went there and feels like I experienced it all over again. So romantic!!

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22 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:33 am

and so awesome, right? I keep forgetting you were here… :)

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23 Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator February 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

The next time I come to Portland you have to meet me at Blossoming Lotus. I LOVE that restaurant! I’m eating a version of their tempeh bacon right now!

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24 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

OKAY, that is a deal – I would love to enjoy it with you! :)

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25 lindsay February 21, 2012 at 3:54 pm

i’m so glad you got a night out with jason. You needed it and it looks cozy, romantic, and delicious.
xoxo

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26 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

it was all of those things, and yes… it was nice to dress up and get out :)

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27 denise February 22, 2012 at 3:56 am

Lucky you. Gotta love food that looks fresh and delicious and then is! I appreciate the fact that you often talk about cocktails. I always like a new idea for enjoying out or sharing with friends when they come to dinner. When on Nantucket Island a few days ago for a little vacation, I was introduced to the ‘Dark and Stormy’ (Gosling’s Black Rum and Gosling’s Ginger Beer) I think it’s been around quite awhile, just new to me and dangerously refreshing, especially if you like ginger.

Thanks for all your great ideas.

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28 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

you are so welcome, Denise! thank you for reading :) I have heard of a dark and stormy, but until now couldn’t tell you what was in it… I DO love ginger, I may have to try that. and thanks for letting me know you like the cocktails… we like them here, too, so I will continue to share!

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29 Shiny Happy Vegan February 22, 2012 at 4:11 am

I’m so jealous you live near Blossoming Lotus! I ate there twice during my short stay for the conference and I absolutely loved it!

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30 spabettie February 22, 2012 at 7:28 am

I know, I am so happy they are here – really, one of my favorite Portland restaurants ever! glad you got to visit during the conference, and twice! :)

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31 Caroline February 22, 2012 at 6:24 am

You’d think in one of the biggest cities on the East Coast we’d have something like this. But DC is surprisingly bereft of vegetarian restaurants, let alone incredible-looking ones like this. I’m jealous!

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32 Cara February 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

What a fantastic meal! We’ll definitely check it out next time we visit portland!

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33 spabettie February 23, 2012 at 9:55 am

oh, Cara you DEFINITELY should – this is one of my all time favorites here…

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34 Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 23, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Oooooooohhhhhhhh! The colors! The flavors! All those wonderfully fresh salads, and then THE SUSHI!!!!! I want that.

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35 spabettie February 23, 2012 at 4:49 pm

the sushi was so good… I will be recreating that, so perhaps I’ll have to make some that is Kath friendly… no chicken though ;) heeee!

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36 Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

I can have some chicken sashmi by the side then. (*Not* raw! But plain. :D)

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37 spabettie February 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

haa HAAA!!!

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38 Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 23, 2012 at 6:02 pm

That wasn’t too much of a joke … :P I actually ate something like that with my dinner tonight. I was good! ;)

39 spabettie February 23, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I know it wasn’t a joke at all… I suppose that is why I laughed – it’s our ongoing conversation about “chicken, no chicken” :D

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40 Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Oh, you probably haven’t read my post about my second try with veganism yet: http://myfunnylittlelife.com/2012/02/16/the-circle-is-closing/ I emailed you about the chicken in the very beginning of this experiment, and I was so happy and felt so good I was eating *plants* (finally :D), and I lasted for about two weeks, but then I had to stop again because my blood sugar was crushing all the time, and it took my gut apart. I’m still not fully myself again and deal with some leftover symptoms, but at least I can eat solid foods again now thanks to – and here’s another one for you – drinking copious amounts of homemade *chicken* stock. Haha. But I’m currently drinking mainly veggie stock and freshly made juices (yay!), and that helps with the tummy as well.

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41 Kath (My Funny Little Life) February 23, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Oh, yes, and I eat chicken again. ;)

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