by LINDEN GROSS, One Stop Writing Shop & Oregon Local Getaways
I hadn’t been to Broken Top for years. Truth be told, I forget about it when I’m thinking about restaurant options. I won’t make that mistake again, especially when it comes to finding a spot for drinks, appetizers and a sunset with a killer view.
The vast deck was quite full when we arrived on a warm Friday night, so we opted to dine inside overlooking the six-acre lake and the Cascade Mountains beyond. Lovely.
We popped the sparkling wine and dove into a charcuterie and cheese plate that included house-cured salmon (it’s actually smoked right outside the restaurant) that was silky rather than dry with just the right amount of salt, along with salami slices, pieces of duck confit, two kinds of mild French cheese (Boursin and Port Salut) and crackers. Then came the Crunchy Asian Crab Cakes—made with crab, shrimp, scallops and little else aside from a splash of coconut milk—were light and mousse-like. Cilantro and the sweet chili and sriracha sauces gave the seafood cakes a Southeast Asian twist.
We moved on to our soup and salad course. The New England Clam Chowder, served every Friday, was creamy without being too thick, and heavy on the bacon—clearly a Northwest take on a New England classic. The Caesar Salad, which we opted to have grilled, then chopped and tossed, had a light smoky flavor, nicely accented by the lemon and anchovy dressing and parmesan cheese. I’m usually disappointed by restaurant Caesars. Not this time.
For our entrees, we ordered the locally-sourced rib eye which had been dry aged for 60 days, the rack of New Zealand lamb and the sautéed scallops. The beef and the lamb were tasty, but both needed more seasoning as well as sauces that did the meat justice. The five large scallops were large, tender and flavorful.
The pastas that you can now order in half portions also sound promising, especially the capellini with lemon, chili and creamy spinach which you can top with, among other things, shrimp. Next time.
We ended the meal with three over-the-top desserts, Triple Chocolate Torte (can you say triple chocolate decadence?), Creamy Peanut Butter Pie (can you say whipped Reeses?) and Bread Pudding with apples, apricots, walnuts and a maple drizzle—accompanied by three dessert wines. That’s what I call civilized.