We do not usually eat in places with names like ‘The Pirate’s Pantry’, in fact we fled Lincoln City, Oregon this time last year rather than face such a restaurant. So we were reluctant to try our luck at the ‘Smuggler’s Cove’ across from our hotel. It was the only restaurant within walking distance, and even further afield, choices were truckstops or pizzarias.
Bracing ourselves for fishnets hanging from the ceiling, and waiters in pirate costumes, we lined up for a table (!). There were no fishnets. Our waitress, dressed in all black, assured us they only dress up for halloween. There was just one TV, and as I sat down with my back to it, Caroline pointed out that it was turned off. The wine list was good, with lots of Oregon and California wines familiar to us, many at just $20. The table across from us was served an amazing salad. Our waitress told us it was the Seafood Extravaganza. Caroline discarded her plan to have the Crab Cakes Cancun, and had that instead. I stuck to my guns and had Linguini with clam sauce. She had a bowl of clam chowder to start, I had the house starter salad. Both were excellent: the clam chowder was rich and tasty, the salad fresh, with ripe cherry tomatoes, a spinach leaf or two, different kinds of lettuce. Caroline should have had only the cup of clam chowder, she barely made a dent in her salad. It came piled high with a fistful of Dungeness crab, and a fistful of small shrimp, plus a whole egg, a whole avocado, and C thinks the blue cheese dressing she chose was made in-house. My linguini came with fifteen or eighteen buttery clams on the shell. I ate it all, but neither of us had room for tiramisu. We chose the Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay to go with it all. It was $24, about what we’d pay at the LCBO. We weren’t sure it would stand up to the creamy sauce on my pasta, but it went very well.
All in all, a stunning meal, when our expectations were very low. Even the fish & chips looked fabulous, with tempura out to here. We saw no-one eating steak or prime rib. The building will soon change hands, and a new restaurant will take over. The Smuggler’s Cove will have a new location closer to the highway, and change its name to the Smuggler’s Cove Itatian Bistro or somesuch.