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DINNER pages

12 October 2017 : Ashland            jump to this page > > >
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photos: Jenny Graham, Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Tonight, our fifth and last play. Looks kinda weird. News at 11.

 Well, I dunno.

Dinner was good, at Tot, a sorta post-modern place where we've eaten before. Good flavors, Caspar style.

That's a delicious chicken noodle dish, and asian style duck soup.

The play was ...original. And inscrutable. About a quarter in Korean. Kim Jong Il appeared (as a ghost, along with our protagonist/guides grandmother, also a ghost. We knew they were ghosts because they were performing on the back of the backdrop, which let itself down to rest at an angle away from the three-quarter thrust stage. Interesting.)

Mixed themes: the experience of being genetically Korean of Korean-born parents but raised without Korean, then going home. About losing one's American identity in Korea because "everyone looks alike," and so, about racism. About the foolishness of war, and the incredible short-sightedness of planting mines in a "demilitarized zone that, after 50 years, has become the last refuge of some endangered Asian macrofauna, like bears and tigers. Who get regularly blown up by the mines...

The strangeness of getting old in such a fractured society, and a hint at the different interpretation of suicide, East and West.

The play, written some years ago and so not intentionally topical, is intriguing to us, if only because it holds up a mirror to the craziness, now on both sides.



17 October 2017 : Port Orford            jump to this page > > >
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We were a little early, coming into town from our B&B, and so we checked out the setting sun view from the bluff above the dock in Port Orford, then on to Red Fish, an "almost linen table cloth" place (according to our hostess at 12 Acres B&B) and clearly the best food in town. Also, close to the only, as PO in October is closed on Tuesdays. (Never will figure that out. You'd think the tourist serving businesses would take turns: "You close Monday, we'll close Tuesday, and the Crazy Norwegian can close Wednesday or Thursday...")

Anyway: good food for a small town without much native to it besides fish. So we ate beautiful scallops over white polenta and tomato-caper sauce, the same brilliant field greens salad we shared last night, a shrimp and crab risotto (didn't get pictured; not photogenic, but yummy), and, for dessert, blood orange mousse. 

21 August 2019 : Caspar            jump to this page > > >
Family Dinner
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String Beans and Gateau di patate

Sunday dinner is for family – recently, Rochelle, Michael, Sienna, and Dana. This day, I cooked a new favorite, a layer cake made from riced potatoes separated by layers of likely timely vegetables. This one had Babing's baby Asian Eggplants, carmelized onions and crimin mushrooms, and a topping of Rochelle's beautiful greenhouse baby tomatoes. 

Followed by a small example of Rochelle's wonderful summertime salads ...and we were too full for dessert, but glasses of port all around.

28 August 2019 : to Moolack Beach            jump to this page > > >
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Wouldn't you know it: ODOT (Oregon's highway guys) were working right where I have always wanted to stop and take a picture of What Caspar Might Have Been if Oscar had his way and developed our Headlands to the max. 

Our question for the day: what went wrong with Oregon's coast? I remember it as a gorgeous long expanse of forest meeting ocean, whose proud citizens bragged about how the whole coastline was owned by the state for the benefit of the people.

And in fairness, there are a lot of wonderful state parks. Using the analogy we often apply to the parks along our Mendocino Coast – a string of pearls – that's true, too, of the whole Oregon coast. 

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From left: Roasted garlic and crab soup (with a nice dry hard apple cider); Calamari salad (top) with fennel, tiny olives; mandarin oranges and straw mushrooms in a spicy dressing; Panko-coated fried oysters and fries; and Halibut grilled over grilled peaches on sautéed pepper in a nicely spicy siracha sauce. Omigod. Tasty. And, believe it or not, just enough, not too much. Attentive, friendly service, but the real joy, sitting at the chef's counter, is watching how much fun they're having in the kitchen. They know they're putting out some of the best food being served anywhere on the planet, and it gives them joy. 

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That's Enrique Gonzales, Chef Extraordinaire, there on the left. He's been at that station, far as we know, since 2015, and a more inventive and consistent executive chef I can't remember. The brigade were relaxed and enough on top of things to be able to play to their audience – us.

I consider this to be one of my top two seafood restaurants in the world; we ate at Local Ocean in 2015, 2017, and 2018. (The other one is in Ancona, Italy.)

30 August 2019 : Silverton            jump to this page > > >
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Jessica's dinner was spectacular. Wonderful salad, gnocchi, bears with yogurt garlic sauce, fish with cherry tomatoes and little olives, beef, and (not pictured) blackberry crisp and vanilla ice cream.

31 August 2019 : Port Townsend, WA            jump to this page > > >
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The Fountain Cafe is a little place (maybe 26 seats plus 2 at the bar) with big food. Rochelle ordered a house salad and crab cakes; I got a duck salad. The duck salad was the winner. We weren't quite as knocked out by this place as we were on our last visit, but it was still a delicious meal.


Somehow they do all this excellence in a postage stamp kitchen. The place is so small that the waiters can be attentive, and it was amusing to watch them gearing up for the rush that was just beginning to hit as we were finishing our dinner. We brought home a flourless chocolate torte that is sitting beside me invitingly ...but I am still really full from today's feeding.

10 September 2019 : Ucluelet            jump to this page > > >
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We had asked around and the consensus was that the nicest special occasion restaurant in Ucluelet, and possibly one of Canada's ten best new restaurants, was Pluvio, so obviously we needed to eat there.

Fascinating menu, not long, but studded with interesting choices. After a delicate amuse bouche of Okanagan Prune-plums with gomasio and crispy crackers and trout roe, we chose the Crab, Pickled Carrot, and gently sautéed Apple Lettuce Wrap, served with a little bottle of gentle hot sauce and house made aioli, the Shar Sui Pork Belly with Scallops, more sautéed Apple, and gently steamed vegetables (served by the chef, who explained the preparation and that he couldn't serve the proteins without the crunchy vegetables as relief.) Wow!


Forgot to mention, there on the lower right, a wonderful Mille feuille with house made coconut-based vanilla ice cream. I'm writing 17 days later, and I confess that the really memorable dish was the one served in a crab shell on a plate of pebbles: the lettuce wrap.

next group : to Bend

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