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DINNER pages

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.

15 September 2019 : to Bend            jump to this page > > >
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But there was!

Rochelle did a quick laundry while I monkeyed with these pictures, and then some good Bend grub: Wild Rose Thai, surprisingly (or maybe not?) one of the best Thai restaurants we've been to. It specializes in Northern Thai dishes, Chiang Mai style. We had a definitive Tom Kha Gai and Thai Sweet Sausage Fried Rice. Num num num. For the soup our server asked the traditional question, "How hot?" and I started to say the usual answer, "Mai pet" (Not hot) but he said, "Scale of 1 to 5." We negotiated a 2.5, but it turned out we could easily have handled a 4.0.

And home to our house by the river.

16 September 2019 : Bend            jump to this page > > >
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