Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Kokanee Café in Camp Sherman

Saturday night we had dinner reservations for six at Kokanee Café in Camp Sherman. Kokanee Café is a fine gourmet restaurant since 1992, and Paul and Denise Mercer have managed this rare find for the last five years. My husband told me when we were done that the food at Kokanee Café was some of the finest he has ever eaten.

Here's a map to the restaurant and be sure to take your time getting there. The speed has just recently been posted at 35 MPH and go 47 MPH and a mustachioed sheriff will ask you your opinion of the speed limit and tell you that the restaurant will wait.

What's so special about the food?
We started with a house salad - crisp romaine, mixed field greens, dried cranberries, roasted hazelnuts with bleu cheese vinaigrette or marionberry vinaigrette. We had the bleu cheese vinaigrette. The salad was not too dry or too wet and chilled. The flavors were divine.

Connie had crab cakes and said they were delicious. The chef uses fin fish, fresh ginger lemon grass and fried lotus root. The presentation was excellent.

Bev had Idaho Rainbow Trout grilled in a pouch over an open flame combined with lemon verbina, basil and citrus curry butter, candied peppers and arugula salad.

Bill, Nancy Lou and Mike had a 8 0z. beef filet laid on a hill of mashed potatoes. The beef was smoked in a bleu black truffle butter combined with a fig demi-glaze and topped with a cherry compote. All dinners had a serving of brocholini which the men promptly gave to their wives. Mike ordered his steak medium rare or slightly pink. The steak was pink to just slightly red one one side however it was so tender and flavorful that the slight red didn't detract. Mike said he could almost cut it with a fork and the cherry and the mashed potatoes set it off beautifully. City Grill's New York steak in Portland is comparable in quality and price.

The menu has changed since the web site went up and Denise said it will change for fall this Friday. I asked what one menu item can't be missed and she volunteered, The Wild Escolar, a white pacific fish. It is prociutto wrapped and pan roasted served on a bed of squash risotto and piquillo peppers.

Did I mention the salt encrusted bread served with a pepper butter? Desert was heaven: Peach and Marionberry Cobbler with a dash of whipped cream and a scoop of Bill's ice cream.

Don't expect to just walk in at 5:30 and expect to be served. One party was told it would be a four hour wait. Be smart and call ahead.

Bev & Mike
Landfair Furniture + Design Gallery

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