Perched on an Astoria pier looking out at the mighty Columbia River near its entrance to the blue (or, more often, gray) Pacific is a unique restaurant, Baked Alaska. The view is lovely, and so is the food. An innovative menu with imaginative pairings will make your choice a complicated and agonizing one.
There always has to be a noteworthy mushroom dish to be included here, and this one was a beaut: "Crab and Mushroom Sambuca Carbonara," described as "Crimini and oyster mushrooms sauteed with sweet onions, bacon, garlic, parsley and crab meat, in a light Sambuca reduction sauce over fresh fettuccini." Our mouths began to water as we read it.
What a spectacular setting.
But we always try to order two different things, so back to the menu we went, finally settling on "Seared Sea Scallops over arugula and fresh black pepper linguini, tossed with Fuji apples, fennel and ginger in a light cider champagne sauce."
Both dishes were scrumptious. The Crab and Mushroom dish was hearty and flavorful, and done to perfection. The mushrooms in this dish did not overwhelm it, but the mix was just right. The Sea Scallops dish was if anything, even more memorable (the sauce was delicious!), and the apples contributed importantly to the overall flavor. We were glad to see that "Seared" didn't mean "blackened;" they were done perfectly.
This restaurant does something we'd like to see done more often: a fixed price feature, which allows you to order a slightly smaller version of an entree, soup (in my case, clam chowder, which was very nicely done) and dessert, all for $25. For dessert, we had to opt for the signature Baked Alaska, which we split; it's not a traditional baked Alaska, and contains no meringue, but is a double chocolate chip cookie baked fresh in an iron skillet, topped with vanilla ice cream, walnuts and chocolate sauce and is served flaming with brandy. It was absolutely yummy.
One other nice feature: half price wines on Monday night. We ordered a very nice German riesling for the bargain price of $18, and liked it a lot.
Baked Alaska is doing a lot of things very right, and would be a good choice whenever you find yourself on the northern Oregon coast!
#1 12th Street
Astoria, OR 97103