As Chris and I pored over the menu last night, our waitress stopped by to inquire as to whether we had chosen a beverage yet. Not quite ready having not chosen our entrees yet, we asked her to come back. After all, how could I select that perfect bottle of wine without knowing what it was to be paired with?
We were in Newport, OR on a somewhat impromptu trip over to the coast in celebration of Chris having some time off after a successful opening month at Block 15, and we were going into spring break at the university I work for. We found ourselves at Local Ocean, a seafood restaurant that I had enjoyed before but Chris had not yet experienced. With a harbor view and a relaxed yet modern vibe, Local Ocean is small enough where they can do a great job with their menu and still maintain excellent serving times. We were sitting at the "bar", which actually was surrounding an open kitchen so we got a view of the chefs as they were preparing some delicious looking food.
I knew we wanted the roasted-garlic and dungenass crab chowder - it's to die for - and Chris settled on spicy coconut prawns while I went for a grilled ling cod fish and chips with fennel slaw. Having settled on dinner, I flipped to the wine list and the Tyee Pinot Blanc immediately jumped off the menu as the perfect pairing for our meal. The ripe flavors of citrus and melon would complement the spicy prawns, and the crisp full-bodiness of the wine would balance the fish and chips as well as the chowder. We weren't disappointed!
The meal was excellent, the wine was delicious, and who can ask for a better setting than bayfront as the sun starts to go down eating with great company? It was one of those moments where everything fits together perfectly and I found myself thinking out loud about the wonders of Oregon bounty - wine, food, and scenery - and couldn't imagine being in a different place at that moment.