There is much good to be said about Panache.
A surprisingly big list of nice wines as splits -- rare, but awfully nice when there are only one or two and you don't want a lot of wine.
Nice service, although our waiter could have been a little more conversant about the food and wine, or should have handed us off.
The salad was very nice, fresh, organic greens. We had it with the blood orange vinaigrette -- it was a GOOD balanced dressing that blessed the blood orange taste. I particularly appreciate that they didn't bathe the salad in dressing, but had a nice, light touch.
The desserts were very nice -- my wife had the chocolate creme brulee. She, the chocolate lover, thought it quite good -- rich chocolate, nice crust. Good job. I had the signature dessert, Lemon – Marionberry Napoleon Puff pastry layered with lemon mousse & lemon curd. You can get it for one or two. We both felt that the serving for one was enough for two -- it is very good, very rich. You better like lemon. (I did.)
I wish I could say the entrees were as good as the fore and aft portions. But they weren't. My wife had crab cakes. We cut our teeth on Maryland crab cakes, arguably the best in the nation, and we've had some well prepared crab cakes in a couple of restaurants in Salem. These didn't make the cut. There was much too much filling and not enough crab. That in itself is enough to disqualify them.
I had the special -- a chili marinated, skewered tuna and scallop with red peppers and onion on the skewers, served on a bed of yaki soba noodles. The noodles were good. The scallops were good. The tuna was not. I particularly asked about the freshness of the fish. It just goes to show you that fresh as opposed to frozen does not guarantee it will not be fishy. It was fishy tuna. Not grossly so, but enough that I didn't enjoy it.
So, long and short -- good peripherals but the main courses missed the mark, and the main course is . . . well, the main course.
My wife will not give it a second chance. I would like to . See what you think and add your review.
614 W Olive St, Newport, OR 97365
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