I was recently lamenting the demise of Clemente’s on the waterfront in Astoria, Oregon, because it was the only place I knew where I could get a decent crab cake after Wet Dog* stopped making theirs. On my latest trip, however, I discovered that a new restaurant, Aspen Grove, has opened in the space. It appears to be a worthy successor.
It turns out that the owner of Aspen Grove is one of the former partners of Clemente’s and the chef worked with the chef of Clemente’s, so it is something of a continuation and upgrade of the previous restaurant. The new restaurant is NW seafood like the original, but more French-inspired than Italian.
I like to sit at the bar when I dine alone, and the nice little bar with the great view of the river is still there, but, inexplicably, with the worst bar stools I have ever used. I hope they rethink those.
All I had was the clam chowder, which is properly creamy (not starchy), and unusual but excellent. The restaurant is definitely worth a stop just to try the chowder, which is what I did. Next time I will try more of the menu. Don’t go expecting to get a chowder like that from Mo’s or almost anywhere else in the area.
*Wet Dog is now Astoria Brewery, but otherwise the same place.
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