Sunday, April 12, 2009

An adventure in Newport

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Last weekend it was a sunny 75 degrees in the Willamette Valley, so a group of us decided it would be a fabulous time to spend an afternoon on the coast. Newport was the destination and we arrived to find the temperature in the 65 range with a slight breeze -- all in all a great day to be at the ocean. After bumming around the Agate Beach area for an hour or so, we started to get the munchies; as it wasn't yet dinnertime, what were we to do? After much debate, we decided to just drive and see what we ran across. That was, in fact, the best decision we could have made as we found a food and wine experience that is second to none in the area.

After checking out some condos for sale (way too expensive), we drove along the waterfront and found what appeared to be a historic arts and shopping district. What we had found was Nye Beach and immediately Megan honed in on a sign that said "wine" on a small shop. We went in to the Nye Beach Gallery, billed as a regional and international wine and specialty cheese shop with other tasty treats. The proprietor was lovely and had great suggestions, and in addition to the international selection I found an impressive selection of Washington and Oregon Wine. I walked a way with a bottle of Ryan Patrick Red Blend. Wine...check.

Next on the agenda was a snack. We found a little bakery that sold us a whole baguette, and across the street we went to the Village Bistro & Deli domestic/imported meats, cheeses, and wines -- where the proprietor was working the deli case and helped us select some outstanding cheeses and meats for our baguette. We ended up with a hot soppresseta, pastrami, Rogue Creamery Oregon Blue, and an aged smoked gouda - which was the hit of the day. We sat in the shop and ate our cheese, meat, and bread while looking out the window at the waves rolling in and the sun going down. My favorite combination was the baguette with soppresseta and gouda on top. Snack...check.

After satiating our immediate hunger, the final stop of the evening was to the Newport Historic Bayfront where we wandered around until dinner. As I have posted before, I love LocalOcean in Newport for a great atmosphere, delicious food, and well paired wine. My dungeness crab matched perfectly with the Cardwell Hills Pinot Gris that I was drinking. The outstanding selection from this dinner was by Megan, who got the Fisherman's Stew. She is hooked and will drive all the way to Newport just for the stew.

So, if you find yourself wondering what to do on a Sunday afternoon, make your way to Newport and check out Nye Beach. It's cute, delicious, and you'll find some wine treasures tucked about here and there among the junk you usually find in beachfront stores.