We left our friends house in Washington and since it was another amazingly sunny day I drove down the Oregon coast to Cannon Beach. As many times as we have visited the Oregon coast Sharon has never, ever seen it completely sunny there. Today was the day… Before hitting Cannon Beach we stopped by the touristy little town of Seaside, Oregon so we could walk on the beach which was expansive due to us being there during low tide.
Next up was Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach in all its glory basking in the rare Oregon sunshine. We walked around here and enjoyed taking numerous photos of this very cool stack in the cold Pacific Ocean. Checking out all the tide pools and wading in the frigid waters we had fun like we were children… At least until our feet started to hurt due to the numbingly cold waters of the ocean. What a wonderful day in the sunshine on the Oregon coast!
We then headed back to Portland and started to pack up for our departure. We didn’t have to make dinner that night as our friends Bret and CeCe of Portland had invited out for dinner as their guests. Not telling us where we were going to dine CeCe simply asked us the question “You aren’t picky eaters are you? Well everybody is a bit picky but we said we were in for anything and CeCe said that we were in for a treat…
We met at their house and walked over to Alberta Arts District to a restaurant in a non-pretentious building called the Aviary. The restaurant has an eclectic menu of small plates that focus on locally sourced ingredients. I must also mention that this restaurant won the coveted honor of being selected as Portland’s 2012 restaurant of the year. So we were indeed in for a special treat!
As we sat I could tell that CeCe had that Cheshire Cat’s grin and said “Let’s get a cocktail first.” Perusing the drink list I was intrigued by the combination of ingredients in the drinks. We each selected a different one and since we are all friends we shared tastes of each cocktail. Each were delightful in their own way but I loved my “canicule.” A drink composed of Bombay Sapphire ‘east’ gin, ransom dry vermouth, sauvignon blanc, pineapple shrub, cilantro, jalapeno came out looking more like a vegetable smoothie instead of a cocktail yet it was so, so delightfully spicy and refreshing all together.
Then we saw the menu…let’s say simply that many of the items would put most people outside their comfort zone. We decided to be whimsical and let CeCe and Bret do all the ordering. The plan was to share several of their offerings on their menu. Everything we tried was perfectly plated and each of the selections had their own assortment of tantalizing flavors each very unique. We had everything from more standard table fare such as venison and braised pork rib to the more “out of the box” foods such as octopus, pig’s ear and sweetbreads… The foods here put Sharon more outside her comfort zone than me as I like to taste most anything at least once!
Sharon seemed to think the heirloom tomato French toast was the best while I thought the charred octopus won the best of show… After dinner CeCe insisted we have some coffee and we all shared a lovely chocolate dessert. The coffee we had was a decaf and was delivered in a French Press and once we plunged our coffee the dark elixir that remained tasted nothing like a decaf and we enjoyed it all to the last drop.
We absolutely loved this gastronomic adventure and could never thank Brett and CeCe enough for this very memorable going away dinner… Aviary restaurant was truly a Road Treat!!! Yes we will miss Portland and our dear friends! Next up for us is Bend, Oregon…