Dinner at Imperial

Good morning and happy Monday everyone!

If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know that we finally moved into our new apartment in downtown Portland on Saturday! It was an exciting (albeit somewhat exhausting) weekend consisting of trips to Target/Ikea and hours of unloading/unpacking…but I can tell you that I am already loving our new place! I can’t wait to share some photos/more details once we get settled…stay tuned!

In the meantime, today I’ve got another fun Portland restaurant review to share!

But first, I wanted to take a minute and talk about a little bit about the direction of my blog moving forward. I am still absolutely loving my re-design from last month, and I feel like it has given me a renewed passion for blogging lately so am excited to see where things go in the future. I don’t have any intention of trying to make my blog suddenly fit into one singular category though, as I want this space to continue to be a reflection of what is going on in my life, which is what it’s always been. 

However, it just so happens that one of the things that is going on in my life right now is exploring the Portland restaurant scene!
This place is a truly a foodie paradise. There is such a wide variety of really good food here, and going out and trying new restaurants has been a big part of what Cam and I have been enjoying since moving here. I think the fact that I love food has always been pretty evident on this blog, as I’ve always shared lots of recipes food and food photos. So I just want everyone to be aware that I although my blog is not solely going to be focusing on Portland restaurant reviews, I’ll probably be sharing them pretty consistently moving forward. I’ll be updating the Portland page on my nav bar later this week as well where I’ll be including links to all my restaurant reviews, along with links to other posts about fun things we’ve done in Portland. I’m hoping that it will help serve as a resource to readers in the area, along with anyone who may be visiting in the future!
(And don’t worry, I’ll still continue to keep posting about lots of other topics in the future as well like family, recipes, beauty, travel, Target finds, books, and lots of pictures of Lola!)
So now that I’ve got that out of the way, on to today’s review!

Last Saturday night, the weather was absolutely gorgeous so Cameron and I wanted to find somewhere to eat dinner with outdoor seating. We ended up eating at a Imperial by Chef Vitaly Paley, who I’m learning is a pretty well-respected figure on the Portland food scene as he owns multiple popular restaurants here. Imperial is actually located in Hotel Lucia and seemed to have an eclectic menu with a focus on ingredients from the Pacific Northwest. They didn’t have a ton of outdoor seating, but luckily had one table outside when we got there so it worked out perfectly!

A peak at the menu
Right away, the meal got off to a great start!
They had some interesting cocktail options on the menu so I ordered a Pistolero which featured tequila, lime, strawberry-corriander syrup, cilantro–it was very refreshing!
We started out with an order of their Warm Parker House Rolls with whipped butter and sea salt, which were really delicious and totally worth $1 each.
We also split an order of the Duck Meatballs, and the pungent spices used reminded me of some of the flavors we tried while over in Istanbul!
For dinner, I took a chance and ordered the Fried Rabbit! It’s not every day your dinner is served in a cast iron skillet sitting on a tree stump, but I really liked the presentation!
The rabbit was really tender and didn’t taste gamey at all. It came with a corn cake that was really dense yet delicious, and then I ended up loving the side of pickled watermelon rind the dish came with as well. It definitely had a kick and I thought it paired well with the Southern-feel of the dish. The only thing I didn’t like is that the hot sauce they brought out with the rabbit was really thin, but it was still pretty good. (The chef also threw in a piece of fried bacon which a fun treat!)
For dessert (because we always have to get dessert), we split the Brioche Bread Pudding with Summer Berries and Brown Sugar Creme Fraiche. The bread pudding itself was really great, but I thought that creme fraiche could have been a little sweeter and that there were kind of a lot of berries in proportion to the size of the dessert. But overall, it was very tasty!
The ambience inside the restaurant seemed like a great place for a date night!

Overall, we had a really good experience at Imperial and enjoyed our meal. The restaurant is located near quite a few downtown Portland hotels (along with Cam’s office!) and so if you find yourself staying in this area, it would be a great place to eat as they are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Imperial on Urbanspoon