Sunday, June 06, 2010

Oregon Coast

The Oregon Coast was just as stunning as the Mt Hood/Columbia River Gorge area. Huge rocky cliffs with waves cascading and spraying. Vastly different from the East Coast. A myriad of parks dotted the coastline allowing the public access to this pacific wonderland. We were especially intrigued with the tidal pools containing all kinds of fascianting sea life.

We divided our time between Florence and Newport. We were attracted to Florence because of the place we stayed: Heceta Head Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast. We stayed in the old lighthouse keeper's abode and enjoyed a stupendous 7 course breakfast each morning we were there. Once again we had so much for breakfast we did not need lunch.

Florence was a quaint little beach-like town except it sat along the bank of the river emptying into the sea. One of the things that surprised us was that this town that was so close to the sea produced the most spectacular rhododendrons. Vivid red and purple gigantic blooms.

Coming into town the first day we needed to stop for lunch (we had left the Inn at the Gorge too early to enjoy their Sunday champagne breakfast). We saw the Bliss Hot Rod Grill with all of the antique cars

and had to stop for some good old-fashioned meatloaf

and an open-faced turkey sandwich

After we checked into our B and B we headed up the path to see the lighthouse and then explored the cove below. Once the sun went down we also were able to head back up to the lighthouse equipped with flashlights to experience Heceta at night.

On our first night we wanted seafood and chose a very traditional seafood place right on the water ICM Restaurant.

We did not find a wine to suit us, so we ordered a couple of weak cocktails and ordered Fried Shrimp with baked potato and Fried Oysters.

My shrimp were large and perfect. Just what I was craving. My hubby's oysters left a bit dissatisfied. While they were not bad, he did not like the batter. He was happy I gave him a taste of my shrimp.

At mentioned above our B and B served a seven course breakfast. Some of the highlights included a fritatta with locally made sausage, Dungeness crabcakes (some of the best crabcakes I have eaten), and a berry cheesecake.

We stayed two nights and each morning the breakfast items were totally different and everything was yummy.

Our last night in Florence found us dining at Feast. We arrived early and had the place to ourselves for most of our meal.

L'Ecole No. 41 Recess Red was the wine for the night.

Our particular feast included haystack onions and crab spring rolls

Hubby had the halibut with fingerlings and asparagus

I had the duck with greens, red bliss potatoes, and cherry gastrique

Florence vacation highlights included the Sea Lion Caves. A bit of a cheesy tourist attraction with the requisite gift shop, etc., but it was awesome to view the sea lions.

And all of the fabulous scenry of the Oregon Coast

In Newport we stayed at the Viking Condos at Nye Beach. The place was a basic hotel room with a full kitchen. A typical condo rental. We had an excellent view of the beach from our 2nd floor balcony.

We dined at Panache the first night.

Wine was a Benton Lane Pinot Noir

To start I had some Yaquina Bay Steamer Clams in a Lemon, Garlic, White Wine Cream Sauce. These were some of the best clams ever. Very yummy!

Hubby tried the Wild Salmon Crispy Dumplings. He liked his, but envied my order.

For entrees he selected Penne Pasta with Wild Caught Seafood which was delightful.

I totally broke out of my box and took a chance on the Cranberry and Hazelnut Encrusted Alaskan Halibut. Delicious!

And then we had dessert: A Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

and Lemon-Marionberry Napoleon with French press coffee.

The marionberry is native to Oregon and has a taste between a black raspberry and a blueberry. Very nice.

While in Newport we had to search out our own breakfast. The locals recommended Cafe Stephanie which turned out to be very good tip.

We lunched along the Bay area of Newport at Mo's Annex.

Hubby had the clam chowder (New England style made famous by Mo's) and a fish sandwich.

I had the chowder topped with bay shrimp called Slumgullion. Gotta love the pat of butter. All of the chowder in these parts is made with bacon. Yummy!

For dinner we went to April's.

April's was unusual in that she featured quite a few Italian wines. We chose a Rosso di Montalcino.

To start we had the Idaho Smoked Trout. Oh so lovely!

For entrees, I ordered Scampi al Barese with garlic, capers, and white wine and hubby had the Linguini Vongole.

We really enjoyed April's but the dessert menu did not appeal to us, so we ended up going back to Panache to try another marionberry dessert, this time a shortcake topped with meringue, and French press coffee to drink.

Newport vacation highlights included lighthouses - Yaquina Bay and Yaquina Head

the beach, with just a few rocks

and the bay area with boats and shops and sea lions.

The next morning we bid farewell to the coast and headed to the Willamette Valley for the third leg of our journey. In Neskowin we stopped to look at more shore scenry and ate lunch at the Hawk Creek Cafe

We tried Marionberry soda - a bit like a grape/raspberry drink.

I had Dungeness crabcakes

And hubby had a bowl of clam chowder with garlic toast.

And it was all good.


Bookstore Piet said...

Glad you had a wonderful time out there. I grew up in Monmouth and we would spend much time on the Oregon coast. Really miss Mo's.

Anonymous said...

Dungeness crab beats the heck out of blue crab..

I hadn't had any since my dad was in Korea and we were in Seattle. I had it again and it really acquired Proustian overtones.