Culinary Finds on the Oregon Coast
– One of the biggest tourist attractions on the Oregon coast
is the area’s restaurants. In fact, tourism authorities report
the average visitor to the coast will spend a greater percentage
of their travel dollar on food.
There have been
some intriguing, new eateries popping up on the beaches in recent
months, and then there are some stalwarts that are legendary delights.
Some are high-end and upscale, others are in the fast food realm
but have some true distinction one way or another.
Oregon coast is a vacation all its own. Here are some out of the
Restaurant and Lounge. Located in the new clubhouse
at Sandpines Golf Links, Tavolo offers breathtaking views of the
golf course. The dining experience is unique and will appeal to
both golfers, coast travelers and of course the local population.
Tavolo means “table,” and the menu reflects that aesthetic
with an appealing presentation of Italian favorites. It also features
many of the specialties the Oregon coast is known for, such as crab,
fresh salmon, tender and juicy filet mignon, creamy New England
Clam Chowder and fresh, warm homemade breads.
City Vacation Homes
There’s something for everyone
among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with
a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are
either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand
– all with a low bank access and fantastic views.
Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino.
You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the
home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis,
washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s
a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments.
Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes
with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away
from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range
from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com.
The chef here
creates healthy alternative choices for any dietary need, without
sacrificing flavor or quality. Try the house signature dish, the
"Rees Jones Beef Bourguignon,” a golden puff pastry on
top of garlic mashed potatoes with Scottish-style beef stew.
vary, but always include fresh, exciting pasta and seafood choices.
The décor at Tavolo is reminiscent of a Scottish lodge with
vaulted ceilings, wood paneling, a rock fireplace, soft accented
lighting and all of the special touches you would expect of an upscale
environment. The lounge features a cozy sports bar, with a wide
variety of local and seasonal brews, fine scotches and liquors,
an extensive wine list and full menu service.
Room offers private dining with a rock fireplace; perfect for that
special sunset dinner, meeting or family occasion. Lunch and dinner
is served daily. Special menus available for your holiday dining
experience. 1201 35th St., Florence, Oregon. (541) 997-4623 for
reservations or directions. Website
At 988, Cannon Beach. Call the fare here “New York-style
Italian and French,” with the atmosphere provided by a lush
table layout, candles, a beautiful, muted paint job on the interior
walls and music often by Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra wafting through
There are pastas
or fish selections which change daily, a lamb rack with mire poix
rague, a steak that comes either tenderloin or New York-style with
tomato, spinach, polenta and pancetta, among other selections –
all around $24.
INTO LUXURY, HISTORY AT THE TIDES
TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides
has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern
luxury here. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and
decorated. Find suites for couples, small apartments with
fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bedroom family units
with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. There are wonderful
oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people,
with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with
picnic tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside
make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach
Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.
The menu of
appetizers is truly amazing, with famed chef John Newman’s
signature crab cakes topping the list. Another stunner is the pasta
with fois gras with truffles, which is a condensed duck liver sizzled
and browned to absolute perfection, tasting more like the most perfectly
done steak you’ve ever had.
also notable and full of delicate, artfully created surprises. Newman’s
runs a rather long list of specials each night. 988 Hemlock, Cannon
Beach. (503) 436-1151. www.newmansat988.com.
Raves, Depoe Bay. Views to die for; food to die for. That's
what you'll find it at this truly ethereal classic that's been wowing
folks for years. Soups include frighteningly good chowders in the
clam, smoked salmon and spinach oyster bisque veins. Their specialty
entrees range from $14 to $21, and include things like a grilled
salmon with rockshrimp risotto and a smoked tomato broth, a crab
casserole with an Alfredo sauce and white cheddar, a hearty cioppino,
a Thai version of tiger shrimp - and a maniacally good mélange
of fish and pasta called the "Pasta Rave" in your choice
of tongue-levitating sauces. For around $15, there's another set
of seafood concoctions like crab cakes, a platter mix of seafood
with basmati rice, top sirloin or a salmon and shrimp in pecan butter.
There's a lighter menu for around $10 that includes smaller versions
of these dishes. And then there's that incredible view, where whales
are more likely than not to hang around. Hwy 101, Depoe Bay. (541)
Motel, Rockaway Beach
If expansive ocean views, close proximity to
golfing, fishing tours and quick access to seven miles of
pristine beaches is your thing, then this quintessential beauty
in Rockaway Beach is your ticket to vacation fun for families,
couples or large groups. Some rooms are pet friendly. All
rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s,
VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts
all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog
fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with
all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up
to four people. The non-oceanfront rooms are appointed with
a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable
for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those
on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite
that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those
wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large
gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create
two-room and three-room suites. 523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway
Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com
Gracias, Seaside (and Lincoln City and Newport). For fast
Mexican food, these guys rule supreme. It's nothing short of hearty
and seriously inexpensive. Huge burritos come around $3.50, with
some intriguing combos that can't be missed. Tacos clock in around
$2. Large entrees with a huge variety of delights are between $5
and $7. Enchiladas, tostadas and incredible cheese quesadillas are
also cheap and substantial. It's so filling it's scary. Cruise through
the drive-in for goodies to go. They’re often open late. 1313
Roosevelt Dr., Seaside. (503) 738-7360. There is also one in Lincoln
City, and the one in Newport is actually called Oscar’s.
Buoy of Seaside/Bell Buoy's Best Fish House, Seaside. That
ancient sign - that quaint bit of old time Americana on the roadside
of 101 in Seaside - is also a sign of great grub. It's famous for
as a fresh seafood market, but in recent years Bell Buoy added a
much-lauded restaurant: Bell Buoy's Best Fish House. There, you
can grab all manner of seafood melts, cocktails, shooters and baskets
of yummy stuff. Let your tummy bask in the warm glow of excellent
melts with local Dungeness crab, shrimp, smoked salmon and oysters,
as well as delicious seafood cocktails of a large variety. All is
quite reasonably priced. One of their crowning achievements is their
lush and tasty tuna melts, filled with a monstrously delicious rush
of tuna delirium. 1800 S. Roosevelt Dr., Seaside. (503) 738-6348.
Manzanita. The idea of "gourmet" takes on new
levels at this pizza hotspot. Highlights include the Spicy Italian,
which includes provolone, pepperoni, pepperoncini and whole cloves
of roasted garlic. There's The Greek (mozzarella, sundried tomatoes,
olives, feta, artichoke hearts and topped with herbs) and the Smoked
Prosciutto Ham, (with garlic herb olive oil sauce, smoked prosciutto,
red onions, roasted red potato and montegrappa). Particularly stunning
is their homemade Italian sausage, which includes garlic and fresh
herbs - about four or five different ingredients. The result is
a truly powerful taste. There are also calzones, soups and salads.
You can get stuff to go as well. 60 Laneda Ave. (503) 368-3663.
Bowl, Depoe Bay. Great views, great food and that cute
little choo-choo train running around the entire length of the room:
this is what greets you at this little charmer facing Depoe Bay's
famous crashing waves. Their famed chowder is a must-try as well.
Burgers, sandwiches that are hot and cold and, of course, fish sandwiches
abound. For major dinners of lunches, grab their copious portions
of fish & chips with either cod, scallops, clams or shrimp for
around $11. There's the enormous Seafood Platter, with fish, clams,
scallops and oysters for $19, and other dishes that include sautéed
tiger prawns or Yaquina Bay Fried Oysters around $13. Their chili,
however, is a serious monster. Made with top sirloin, the Chowder
Bowl has created something with an impressive array of layered delights
– especially for such a simple comfort food. Highway 101,
Depoe Bay. 541-765-2300.