Sunset at Bandon

Since we had spent so much time hiking along the coast, it was only natural that we developed a craving for seafood. Our evening quest was to find a seafood restaurant that also provided a good sunset view. We found just the spot in Bandon, Oregon. We pulled into Bandon at the perfect sunset photo time. While hunting for the best seafood restaurant, I discovered a small pier that presented a great setting for pictures. We then found the Wheelhouse Restaurant where we had some yummy clam chowder and dungeness crab sautee.


We reached our final destination for the day – Eureka – around 6pm and checked into the beautiful, Victorian-styled Hotel Carter. After a quick tour of the hotel, we dropped off our bags, made a dinner reservation for 8:30pm and started a walking tour of Eureka. 20 minutes later, we were back at the hotel – not much to see in Eureka once you’ve found the 6 restored Victorian homes and the old town shops that close at 5pm. Fortunately, we were able to move our dinner reservation up an hour. With dinner at Hotel Carter, we experienced the most pleasant surprise of the entire trip. The restaurant at this hotel is worth the trip to Eureka even though there isn’t much else to see. We took advantage of the chef’s tasting menu and wine pairing, which treated us to the best meal of the whole trip (so far). Since I know you’re going to ask, here’s the menu:

  • Truffled Veloute of Summer White Corn with Avocado and Cilantro
  • Sonoma Valley Foie Gras with Fruit Gelee, Toasted Brioche and Saba
  • Country-Style Pork and Veal Pate – A Terrine of Pork, Veal, Pistachios, and Cognac with a Pickled Vegetable Relish
  • Grouper with Israeli Melon Salsa (not on the menu, so the description isn’t as frou-frou as the other entries 🙂 ).
  • Pickled Ginger and Scallop Mousse Stuffed Dover Sole with Yukon Gold Potato Cake, Baby Bok Choy and Lime, Ginger Beurre Blanc
  • Brioche Ravioli with Dark Chocolate Filling and Brandy Mint Creme Sauce

While enjoying this delightful feast, we discovered that the owner of the hotel – Mark Carter – was dining with a friend at the table next to us. We heard a gasp of surprise from his friend and realized that Mr. Carter had brought out a 1966 Chateau Latour Pauillac (which goes for about $750 a bottle right now). We couldn’t help but watch the poor waiter (who works for Mr. Carter, of course) make a valiant effort to coax the cork out of this venerable bottle of wine. Even the finest sommelier would have been nervous with this task. Mr. Carter was very gracious in providing advice to the waiter and after a few tense minutes, the bottle was open and decanted. After we finished our dessert, Mr. Carter’s friend asked the waiter to pour a taste of the LaTour for us!! He said that since we had witnessed the fanfare of the uncorking, we ought to have a taste. Quite a generous treat and it lived up to all expectations. I have a feeling that we won’t be topping this experience during the rest of the vacation.

Whirlwind tour of Mendocino

After our hike, we decided to head into Mendocino for lunch and to check out the shops and galleries that we heard so much about. (Does it sound like I’m setting things up to describe another disappointment?) We did have a nice lunch featuring fresh dungeness crab – after walking around forever looking for a restaurant. Maybe we were looking in the wrong place? After lunch we strolled around looking for galleries. I guess Mendocino just isn’t our style since we didn’t find much to our liking. It also seemed more crowded and touristy than we we like. Rather than hanging around (with nothing to do) until dinner, we decide to find some wine and cheese to enjoy back at the inn while relaxing on our balcony. We found Wine Shop of Mendocino, a nice little wine shop with a good selection of interesting wines. The woman running the shop not only helped us with recommendations for wine, she also suggested wineries to visit on our way to Eureka and pointed us to a little organic grocery store to pick up some wonderful cheeses. So, we bought some wine, stopped at the grocery store for cheese and crackers, and returned to the inn for a quite evening watching the sunset. Even the disappointing Pygmy Forest didn’t seem so bad anymore.