• Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon and dried apples
  • Lunch: More Snobby Joes and some vegan sweet potato chips
  • Dinner: Nostrana! I’ll just talk about this in detail below, it deserves more than a bullet
  • Snacks: Dried pineapple
  • Drinks: Lots of water, beer, wine and whiskey (the tri-fecta!)

So, last night, Celine and I were fortunate enough to out to dinner with my lovely co-workers at Nostrana, and while I can’t claim to have eaten at many places in Portland, you’d be hard pressed to find a better restaurant. The atmosphere was fairly casual, and the food is rustic northern Italian, prepared with as many local and fresh ingredients as possible. The chef there was a Beard Award Finalist last year, and if you’re into food at all, you’ll know that’s a huge deal.

What does all of this mean? It means the food was amazing, and it also means I consciously chose to veer off my diet in order to enjoy this place. Veer may not be the correct word though, because I just ate like a real American last night.

Here’s what we enjoyed. I apologize in advance for not remembering the Italian names for everything, so I’ll just describe:

  • An antipasti plate, consisting of two different types of salami, ham, and chicken terrine (shared by the table)
  • A cheese dip (that is absolutely the wrong thing to call it though, it was way too good to be called cheese dip) with mushrooms and crusty bread (also shared by the table)
  • A Caesar salad made with radicchio instead of romaine (shared with Celine)
  • Crusty bread and olive oil
  • Flat iron steak, served rare and sliced thinly on a bed of arugula, with a lemon garlic oil
  • A bite of many desserts
  • All of those beverages I listed above

So yeah, steak is not very vegan, and most of the rest of that stuff isn’t either. But this is not the sort of restaurant you go to regularly, and with such a great chef I wanted to try her best dishes. There were very few vegetarian options on the menu, much less vegan. It’s the sort of place where they would fix something to match your dietary restrictions if you asked them, but I can’t imagine it would be as good as that steak was. And let me tell you, it was delicious.

But I can definitely tell you that this was a decision to eat differently for one meal, not a lapse of my diet completely. As of this morning, I’m back in the saddle, so to speak. Yep, I’m off to make my oatmeal.