Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Champagne Patio at Sea Towne in Newport

Years ago, we ran a restaurant contest in Oregon Coast magazine. We were very serious about it, and signed people up as reviewers. Careful attention to prevent ballot box stuffing (a problem with our first effort) and all that.

And to everyone's surprise, the winner for the "Best Wine List" went to Champagne Patio in Newport, rather than Salishan. Salishan expected to win and they were not amused when I told them they took second. Lots of people put their little plaques on the wall. Salishan definitely didn't.

The deal was that people loved how the wine list worked at Champagne Patio. It's a combination store and restaurant. The wine shop part has one of the better selections of wine on the coast. You can buy a good bottle there at a competitive price, walk over to the resturant side and enjoy it with your meal for a $2 corkage.

That's pretty much unheard of, and I suspect our readers were responding to the wonderful deal rather than the quality of the list. Salishan has thousands of bottles in their cellar and there's no real competition for who's really number one. But Champagne Patio had this great deal, which the new owners are keeping.

They also have a fabulous razor clam chowder. I'm sure it would have gone well with a white wine, but I was busy selling ads and couldn't indulge.

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