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“Our new favorite restaurant in Portland!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Natural Selection - CLOSED

Natural Selection
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 31st
Transit: The Trimet Bus #9-Powell/Broadway can be boarded on Broadway Ave in the Portland City Center. The bus crosses NE Alberta at 27th, a few blocks from our location. Broadway and Radio Cabs are a good option for travelers. Ample bike parking available.
Eugene, Oregon
Level Contributor
105 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Our new favorite restaurant in Portland!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

We reserved the two-seat chef’s table to celebrate our 33rd anniversary. We were welcomed by the cheerful hostess and quickly shown our table, which had a direct view into the busy kitchen. Our server soon followed to take our drink orders, which arrived quickly. A four-course fixed-price dinner is $40, or each item can be ordered a la carte. My husband I chose the vegan four-course dinner. First, we were deliciously surprised with a sample of fresh cantaloupe soup. Our first course was a summer squash & apple soup with parsnip, fennel, peppers and chive oil. A delicious crunchy “island” floated in the soup. The chef then surprised us with a special bruschetta that we had watched him make and wondered what dish it was. The crunch of the toasted bread worked wonderfully with the topping. Next came an heirloom tomato salad with cucumber, basil, citrus, watercress and melon. The flavors were distinct yet melted together. The entrée was a chickpea ratatouille with summer squash, fennel and coconut lentils (lentils soaked coconut juice). We finished with a blueberry & peach crumble that included apples, cornmeal and mint cream. It was a delectable ending to a beautiful meal. Who would have thought that watching people cook could be so interesting? But, it was. We spent nearly two hours watching the chefs chopping, blending, cooking and preparing each dish. We saw the drinks being stirred, the desserts being prepared, and the dishes being washed. In fact, we talked with all but one of the employees at some point in the evening. Everyone was happy and pleasant, and the chefs even explained a couple of the dishes to us as they presented them.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank T P M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

93 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    70
    15
    5
    1
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Manzanita, OR
Level Contributor
107 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“The things they can do with veggies!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 6, 2013

I've been wanting to go to this restaurant since it has been the talk of the town for the last few years. Even though I am no longer a vegetarian, I love and appreciate veggies done right. This place does them right. Everything was super creative and full of lots of flavors and textures. Very fun eating! I also enjoyed the attention to detail that is obvious in everything from the plating of the food to the lovely plates and glasses that everything is served in.

The ambiance of Natural Selection is also well thought out, with gentle lighting and warm tones with the kitchen sitting smack dab in the middle of it all. Amazingly enough, that is a rather mesmerizing thing in this place as the cooks go about their job, in the spotlight, at a relaxed pace, without seeming stressed or in a hurry. No shouts or sweaty cooks clad in stained coats here!

A few tips; It is VERY important to make reservation or you will not get in. Reservations need to be made at least 2 weeks ahead of time to get the prime times and perhaps longer for Friday and Saturday nights. It was interesting that even though the place was "full" there were empty tables around us, so they must only take what the kitchen can handle that night. Novel concept.

I also suggest to get the full meal deal, one of each, and share. It was so delightful to share in all those flavors and colors. A true feast for the body, mind and soul. Remember to keep an open mind and prepare to enjoy yourself!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ziabaki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liberty, Missouri
Level Contributor
64 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Fantastic restaurant even for carnivores”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2013

This is one of the better restaurants at which I have dined. We do not live in Portland. We have been here two times over a six-month period and had fantastic food both times. In fact, when we returned six months after our previous visit, this was the one restaurant we definitely wanted to repeat.

It's all about the food: Amazing, fresh-tasting, flavorful, and always presented in such an appealing fashion. They pay an enormous amount of attention to the details of the ingredients, flavors, presentation, and the overall dining experience.

The menu is limited each day/evening, which probably is one way they ensure top-notch execution on the meals. The dinner menu consists of four courses, I believe, and you have two choices in each course. You can order either ala carte or prix fixe. The latter is the better deal. The two times I have eaten there someone in our party ordered each of the available items, and each dish was prepared perfectly.

If you intend to go, definitely make a reservation. The dining space is small. The meals are not cheap--probably about the same as you would pay for a top dinner at a conventional restaurant. The atmosphere is informal. I have never seen anyone there that appeared to be conducting a business meal. But the food . . . it's superb!

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelerKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Don't need to be a vegetarian to love this place”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013

Three of the four people at our table were not vegetarians and we all loved the meal. Everything we ordered was excellent. And beautiful. The service was perfect. This was one of the best restaurant experiences I have ever had. Don't miss it.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Peg N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
89 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A great Restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2013

This restaurant is listed as vegetarian but I would consider it a great restaurant period ! This is one of the best restaurants I have eaten in and gets the best review I have ever given. Service, Wine Selection, Ambiance, Value, Cooks, etc - even the food is great ( I am a omnivore). Everything in balance.

The food presented in a very attractive way - in many expensive restaurants the food becomes art - in this case it was art but not ostentatious.

The only challenge was one of our party did want bread - but our wait person said we could bring our own the next time.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank shipster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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