Where to Eat on the Oregon Coast

Restaurant Beck at the Whale Cove Inn (courtesy Justin Wills)

 

I don’t go hungry when I’m on the Oregon coast.  From north to south, Astoria to Bandon, these are some of my favorite dinner stops.

Clemente’s, Astoria. I enjoyed one of the best cioppinos I’ve had anywhere, an Adriatic brodetto, at this corner restaurant in the historic 14th Street Pilot Station. Chef Gordon Clement is a third-generation Italian restaurateur; his wife, Lisa Tarabochia, is the fourth Astoria generation of a Croatian salmon-fishing family. www.clementesrestaurant.com

Drina Daisy, Astoria. This may be Oregon’s only Bosnian restaurant. Chef Fordinka Kanlic fled war-torn Sarajevo in 1999; today, she does all the cooking as her husband, Ken Bendickson, offers from-the-heart service in this small downtown cafe. I recommend rotisserie-turned lamb with a stuffed paprika and, for dessert, baklava dripping with honey. www.drinadaisy.com

Bridgewater Bistro, Astoria. Ann and Tony Kischner sold their well-known Shoalwater Bistro in Seaview, Wash., to reopen beneath the bridge that crosses the Columbia River. My marlin, seared medium with a tropical salsa, may not have been “local,” but it was delicious. And the oyster bisque is marvelous. www.bridgewaterbistro.com

Maggie’s on the Prom, Seaside. The best reason to visit Seaside is this quiet bistro in the Seaside Oceanfront Inn. Chef Jason Alldrin prepared delicious crab cakes and a wonderful hazelnut-crusted halibut entrée. Maggie’s is named for a tabby cat that has free run of the restaurant. www.theseasideinn.com

 

Chef John Newman

Newmans at 988, Cannon Beach.

Chef John Newman, for eight years executive chef at the Stephanie Inn, established this intimate restaurant in 2006 in a small yellow house. He specializes in southern French and northern Italian cuisine. I recommend the prix-fixe menu, which changes nightly and may include delectable lobster-and-hazelnut ravioli.

www.newsmansat988.com

Terra Cotta Café, Manzanita. Worth a detour into charming Manzanita is this quaint dinner-only restaurant. Go for the halibut en papillote — cooked in parchment with spinach, mushrooms, onions, parmesan, lemon and herbs. Chef-owner Harvey Sturm also does a salmon en papillote with blue cheese and apples. www.terracottacafe.net

 

Duck at Blackfish

 

Blackfish Café, Lincoln City.

www.blackfishcafe.com

Rob Pounding has cemented a reputation as the top chef on the Oregon coast. In his own digs since 1999 (after 14 years at the Salishan Lodge), he has earned a region-wide following. I’m a sucker for Pounding’s duck breast, grilled in blackberries and port wine, served with a sage-and-walnut risotto.

Restaurant Beck, Depoe Bay. I love this spot in the Whale Cove Inn, a bluff-top boutique hotel that overlooks a remote cove inhabited by harbor seals. Restaurant owner-chef Justin Wills, a master of subtle flavors, serves an ever-changing short menu of dishes that blend Northwest, Pacific Rim and Mediterranean flavors. If available, go for the hamachi sashimi with mango gelée, basil leaves and Szechuan peppercorns. www.whalecoveinn.net

Sada’s, Newport. By my estimation, this is the best sushi bar on the Oregon coast. Never mind that it is lodged on the ground floor of a tacky lime-green building on the Bayfront, by a kitschy wax museum and Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum. If you want a raw fish fix, this is your place. www.sadassushibar.com

Beet salad at Feast

 Feast, Florence. Young husband-and-wife chefs Evan and Jen Doughty and a handful of co-workers bought the old Crave restaurant last spring and reopened as Feast. I loved my meal here: a rich beet-and-arugula salad, followed by grilled snapper with asparagus on a bed of couscous. www.eatafeast.com

The Waterfront Depot, Florence. This quaint bistro in an old train station extends into the Siuslaw River on a Bay Street pier. The ambience blends rusticity with elegance, and the prices are amazing: Not one entrée is priced over $15, including crab-encrusted halibut ($11) and lamb osso buco ($12). www.thewaterfrontdepot.com

The Loft, Bandon. The Loft opened last June, but I didn’t discover it until Thursday night. Already, I’m enamored with young chef Kali Fieger, who understands how to balance sweet, spicy and savory better than many cooks twice her age. Go for the smoked-salmon goat-cheese tart and the roasted chicken dinner. www.theloftofbandon.com

 

 The Bay House, Lincoln City. The Bay House has been a fixture since 1978 on a tidal lagoon at the sound end of town. Enjoy a glass of wine in the spacious lounge and order from an extensive menu of small plates. My favorites: Dungeness crab and avocado with applewood-smoked bacon; Manila clams with Andouille sausage; short ribs with parsnip puree. www.thebayhouse.org

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5 Comments

Filed under Restaurants

5 responses to “Where to Eat on the Oregon Coast

  1. Keeneye

    The Waterfront Depot sounds amazing! I’d order both of the entrees you mentioned — haven’t had a good osso buco in years, and anything with crab and halibut is my first choice on a menu.

    Sada’s? Some of the best sushi I’ve ever had. In fact, we once followed a white-coat chef from the pier to this restaurant due to the fact that he had his right hand up the gills of a fresh fish. He laughed when we followed him inside and asked to watch him fillet it; he ended up sharing some of the belly of the fish with us. I love this place.

    • John Gottberg Anderson

      Thanks Kina! Glad you agree! Next time I’m in Baker City, I’m going to write a full blog on Paizano’s …l

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