+
Restaurants & Bars

Dining in Newport, OR? Beware The Sylvia Beach Hotel

byrdhouse | Jan 2, 200512:47 PM     3

What drew us to the renowned Sylvia Beach was partly its literary pretensions – rooms not numbered but named for authors, a reading library with comfortable chairs, a game room – but mostly a reputation for great food.

Reality was an unpleasant surprise. Sometimes when they say "home cooking" it means food as bad as you had at home.

Dinner began with communal servings of a whipped cream-cheese concoction passing for salmon mousse (served with Nabisco Wheat Thins), followed by a warm loaf of sweet bread with rock-hard icy butter, then a green salad distinguished by neither lettuces nor dressing. Need I add that the drinking water reeked of tap-water chlorine?

Seating and serving was family style, at tables of 8 to 10. The entrees were perfectly good ingredients cursed by inept and bland preparation – in our case, duck breast stewed in fruit, and ocean scallops and prawns drowning in a thin white sauce. To their credit, neither was overcooked; neither had any savor whatever. Roasted beets and Basmati rice absent butter or seasoning, not even salt, arrived in a common vessel, and were tepid before they reached our plates.

Any professional who has undertaken the business of catering could advise these people on how to serve a meal to 30 people at once; but why bother, when they have been lavished with admiration by travel writers and guide books. They are content ("The food is served family style and is out of this world. It is always fabulous. If I didn't totally believe it I wouldn't have the nerve to write it here. I have often been told 'that was probably one of the best meals I've ever had.'"); their patrons seem enthusiastic.

But if you like good food, eat there at your peril.

Link: http://www.sylviabeachhotel.com/

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

9 Short Rib Recipes to Feast on All Fall & Winter
Recipe Round-Ups

9 Short Rib Recipes to Feast on All Fall & Winter

by David Klein | Any way you cut it, short ribs satisfy with a juicy layer of fat that adds gobs of delicious beefy...

A Show-Stopping Beef, Stilton & Onion Pie to Warm You Up This Fall
Food News

A Show-Stopping Beef, Stilton & Onion Pie to Warm You Up This Fall

by Amy Schulman | Calum Franklin is a wizard with pies. The self-proclaimed pastry deviant knows how to weave together...

How to Make Slow Cooker Apple Butter
How To

How to Make Slow Cooker Apple Butter

by Dan Koday | It's peak fall produce season, so it's the perfect time to make an easy Crock Pot apple butter recipe...

Apple Cores: Not Just for the Compost Bin
Recipe Round-Ups

Apple Cores: Not Just for the Compost Bin

by Julie Boor | What’s not to love about an orchard-fresh apple on a crisp autumn day? For many people, it’s the core...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.