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My wife, two good friends from Colorado and I just completed a week in Oregon that included two nights in Portland, two more in the Willamette Valley and three days along the Oregon Coast. It was a terrific visit highlighted by some marvelous scenery around Cannon Beach and Manzanita, great wine tasting in the Valley and several good meals in Portland. Here briefly are some notes on our wine and dining experiences.
For our two nights in Portland, we booked Coquine and Nostrana. The meal at Coquine was the best of the trip. Despite a short menu, the restaurant delivers on everything it serves. We especially liked the focus on local produce; a halibut special was outstanding. Nostrana was good but not thrilling. Pastas were serviceable and they make a good, if not outstanding pizza. Notable also were two lunches at Kenny & Zukes deli. These guys have New York pastrami down to a science. Sadly, our brunch at at the Country Cat did not live up to memory.
This was our first visit to wine country. We managed to stop for tastings at about a dozen wineries ranging from industry tasting rooms to beautiful estate-like complexes. It was a great introduction to the wine making styles of the Oregon producers of both pinot noir and chardonnay; we are eagerly awaiting orders for three cases of wine. Our dinners in wine country were both in Dundee: the first at Tina's; the second at the Dundee Bistro. Tina's was excellent -- solid food and a great wine list. The place is quite charming and the service (particularly the wine service) was excellent. Dundee Bistro was a disappointment. The pastas were pedestrian and the service lackluster.
Dining along the coast was a bit hit or miss. We like the dinners we had at Newmans at 988 in Cannon Beach and the Nea-Kah-Nie Bistro in Manzanita. A lunch at the Wayfarer Inn Cannon Beach (basically a seafood place) was okay, although a visit to the Pacific Oyster in Bay City was a treat (we ate oysters while watching the crew at the associated packing house shuck and pack them).
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