Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay

“Depoe Bay was named for Siletz Indian Charles ‘Charley’ Depot who was originally allotted the land in 1894 as part of the Dawes Act of 1887. There are conflicting accounts of the origin of his name. One says he was given the name ‘Depot Charley’ for working at the military depot near Toledo, Oregon. The family was later known as ‘DePoe’…” (

Today, Depoe Bay is a town of fewer than 1,400 residents, but I am sure that those numbers swell during beach season. As an aside, in Philadelphia you go “down to the (New Jersey) shore,” or if that’s too many words, “down the shore.” In Oregon, you go to the beaches. But by the size of the crowds—especially the crowd congregating in the small waiting area of Tidal Raves Seafood Grill—you wouldn’t know that this wasn’t the height of the beach season.

Jon, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, and MaryLynne Hamlin opened the restaurant in 1990 and “has had folks raving for years now, and on days when the surf is up, it's hard to take your eyes off the wave-pounded cliffs outside the window and concentrate on your food.
Three of the restaurant’s walls are windowed and decorative embellishments are limited to a few pieces of ornamental metalwork lest diners be distracted from the magnificent view.
“This casually sophisticated restaurant is perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean…providing…diners with unmatched vistas from every table of the rugged shoreline, crashing surf and frequent whale sightings…” (

These same views can be seen from the front patio,
and of course, there will always be some who ignore even the politest of requests.
The menu offers plenty of straightforward seafood (razor clams are a good bet), but it also includes some creative preparations such as green curry with halibut, seafood linguine with a choice of sauces, and Thai barbecued shrimp…” (

With only a few exceptions (roasted pork loin, grilled chicken, vegetable stir fry, and grilled eggplant), the menu is based on fish and seafood. Appetizers included Alder smoked shrimp, crisp calamari, steamed clams, oysters, and Dungeness crab cakes. The soups were clam chowder, spinach oyster bisque, Manhattan shrimp, and smoked salmon chowder and, for vegetarians, black bean.

Both of us started our meals with cups of soup. For Chuck it was the clam chowder which was a thick and creamy combination of potatoes, clams, and celery.
My choice was the spinach oyster bisque which had small bits of chopped oysters in a spinach cream base.
If the kitchen had added a touch of Pernod this would have been Oysters Rockefeller in a bowl. And, to my amazement, both soups were served hot and not lukewarm.

Chuck debated between the Dungeness Crab Casserole (penne pasta, white wine sauce, fresh basil, red bell pepper, and white cheddar) and the entrée size portion of the crab cakes. Finally, he decided that the multitude of ingredients in the casserole would overpower the delicate flavor of the crab and went with the crab cakes.
His plate contained two large and delicious pan fried cakes that were mostly crab with very little filler. Along with the crab cakes came a long grain and wild rice pilaf and a sautéed vegetable medley of carrots, zucchini, green beans, and yellow wax beans.

From the “Simpler Fare” section of the menu, I selected the Chilled Udon with Seared Sea Scallops.
The two jumbo scallops were crusted with white and black sesame seeds and were dressed with a slightly sweet and salty soy reduction. I don’t always like the texture of scallops and believe that some preparations leave them “spongy.” But not here.

The udon noodles were perfectly cooked and were tossed with pickled vegetables and a spicy peanut dressing. But the kitchen overdid the spicy pickled vegetables, and their taste swamped the rest of the noodle component.

We had an enjoyable lunch in a magnificent setting and award Tidal Raves 4.5 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

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