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KOIN 6 News
Rooftop restaurant Departure reopens with new renovations, summer food menu
By Jashayla Pettigrew,
PORTLAND, Ore. ( KOIN ) — To experience one of the best views of Downtown Portland joined by delicious food and drink, look no further than Departure. The rooftop Pan-Asian restaurant just reopened in May, after closing down to update the space and its menu offerings.
According to TripAdvisor , Departure is among the city’s highest-rated restaurants for dates and other special occasions. But if Portlanders wanted to visit at all during the first quarter of 2023, they were out of luck. The restaurant halted operations from January to the end of April for renovations and to give Chef de Cuisine Jason West the opportunity to curate a summer menu.
Some renovations, such as the refurbished kitchen coupled with new kitchen equipment, will mostly be seen by the Departure team. Others, like the reupholstered seating and the fresh bamboo flooring that welcomes guests, will be more noticeable for people returning to the rooftop spot for the first time this year.
Naturally, Chef West is most excited for the new menu offerings that usher in the summer season as well as the classic food items that are long-standing customer favorites. This includes grilled asparagus, bao buns made with Chinese sausage, and mapo tofu noodles with fresno chili and crispy mushrooms.
In the drink department, Departure manager Billy Poplarchick has curated some spring-season cocktails. For lovers of all things pink, the “Spring Awakening” mixes gin, sake, vermouth and bitters. The other new cocktail is the “Mount Sakurajima” made with green tea-infused whiskey, a tea syrup, soda and citrus.
According to Chef West, Departure’s different menu offerings from various cuisines is one of its best features, but that’s not the only reason to visit.
“Also, the restaurant itself and the views you get from sitting out on our patio, or in the dining room, is really unique and it’s really fun,” he said. “The atmosphere from the servers and everyone around you is a really nice, fun experience to have.”
In addition, Departure regulars will see some familiar faces when they dine in. After a few months of not working at the restaurant, all staff members returned in time for the grand reopening this month.
“It’s awesome that the staff has all come back,” Hannah Corcoran, an account supervisor on the restaurant’s marketing team, said. “We all know, of course, the hospitality industry is taking a bit of a hit with employment so it’s absolutely wonderful that everyone wants to come back and be a part of the Departure team. “
To kick off the re-opening, the team has launched the Departure Package Contest, which includes a one-night stay at The Nines Hotel, a $200 Departure certificate and a guaranteed reservation to the restaurant.
Visit the restaurant’s Instagram for more information on the contest, and its website to make a reservation.
Departure is open on the 15th floor of The Nines Hotel at 525 SW Morrison St., from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday.
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