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Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘MIX

April’s at Nye Beach in Newport

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Duck breast with currants at April's.

Duck breast with currants at April's.

I’ve realized there was a glaring omission in my review of where to eat in Newport, on the Oregon coast. Somehow I managed to overlook foodie favorite April’s at Nye Beach. But then I realized why: the restaurant shutters each January and that’s when I did my dining for the reviews. So this week I finally had a chance to eat at April’s.

While not paradigm-shifting in the vein of Portland’s most inventive spots, April’s is a reliable, elegant and warm restaurant. The servers are gracious and the food is local and good. Pacific Northwest seafood is well-represented on the contemporary Italian menu, which also features ultra-local produce from the chef-owner’s garden in nearby Toledo. My duck breast was succulent and the salmon panzanella was a fresh and unusual presentation.

For fine dining in Newport, there is also the more cosmopolitan Saffron Salmon and perhaps more affordable Panache. Most days, we’d prefer Cafe Mundo‘s earthier, more informal scene. Of course when Dungeness crab is in season, that’s the way to go, the less adorned the presentation, the better.

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Written by baltimoregon

September 13, 2009 at 2:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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Perfect Picnic Fare: Paprika-Rubbed Pork and Egg Salad Nicoise

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Egg Salad Nicoise

Egg Salad Nicoise.

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Paprika-and-Thyme Rubbed Pork Tenderloins, Served with Pickled Red Onions and Blue Cheese.

Looking to spice up your next picnic? The latest issue of MIX Magazine, for which I did my Newport restaurant reviews, offers some fresh suggestions. And the food tastes just as good when prepared and even consumed inside.

The Nicoise Egg Salad showcased a tantalizing array of flavors. I cut the eggs back to six, since I’m not a big egg salad fan, and added more tuna and chopped garden-fresh cucumbers instead to soak up the garlicky mayonnaise. A dollop of the fresh pesto I had made added some zest. Delicious with fresh sliced tomatoes. It was certainly worth splurging¬† on Oregon albacore tuna for this dish.

Though we tend toward vegetarianism at home, we seem to be eating more and more meat these days. Perhaps it’s because Oregon has so many local, sustainable sources that we can feel good about (farms close enough that we can visit, which most seem to encourage). On 10 percent off member day at the food co-op, I sprung for a Lonely Lane pork tenderloin with this MIX recipe in mind. I need to get more into spice rubs. Applying the aromatic blend really gives you a chance to viscerally connect with the meat before slamming it in the oven or slapping it on the grill. Smoked paprika can be an elusive ingredient to find, but standard paprika is no substitute. And the earthy seasoning contrasted nicely with the tart onions and sweet blue cheese.

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Pickled onions from my garden.

Pickled onions from my garden.

Making up the pickled red onions was extra fun since the bulbs came from my garden. Note to self: plant more onions next year. I’ve had real success with onions, garlic, leeks, lettuce and herbs — items so indispensible in the kitchen but often overlooked. When you’ve got them in the garden, they’re always on hand. Just two little cucumber plants have been incredibly prolific as well. I’m grateful and still in awe that I didn’t kill off everything.

Onion right before pulling.

Onion right before pulling.

Onions and other friends waiting to be picked upon our return.

Onions and other friends waiting to be picked upon our return.

Written by baltimoregon

August 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

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