Saturday, July 12, 2014

Crater Lake Lodge is looking good for great dining in the wilderness of Oregon(7-7,8-14)

Our next two nights were spent at the only half decent hotel within the Crater Lake National Parks boundary. We had an awesome view of the lake from our room, but the highlight of the Crater Lake Lodge was the fantastic food we had both nights in the dining room. The first night our server Jeff explained this job was a prelude to his moving to the Arctic shores of Alaska this fall to live with natives. We listened to his suggestions and started with an Eola Hills Pinot Gris which was nice and dry with a hint of effervescence which is bottled for the lodge as Crater Lake Estate Private Label. Will had the Duck Spring Rolls with Oregon mushrooms, vegetables and citrus/chili vinaigrette which he declared nice, but a bit to doughy on the roll. My Cruz Bay Mussels Meuniere with white wine, shallots, garlic and sourdough garlic bread toast slices to dip were a welcome treat so far from the ocean as was my main course of Roasted Pacific Halibut with Steamed Kale, Oregon wild mushrooms, mashed potatoes and veggies. Will went the way of the elk for the second night and had Elk Chops with huckleberry walnut glaze, wild rice and veggies. Our wine was a Spangler Cabernet Franc 2010 from Roseburg which got us even more excited about our upcoming stay in the southern Oregon wine country, one of the newest wine regions around.
For dessert Will went for the Wild Oregon Blueberry Bread Pudding with Bourbon Crème Anglaise (OMG) and I enjoyed the cheese plate with 3 cheeses and apples, strawberries, grapes and watermelon. I liked the Tillamook Cheddar, loved the Renypoint Brie and again fell in love with my Rogue Creamery Blue.

The next day on a boat in the deepest lake in the USA we met two guys from DC who joined us for dinner that night; we are now new friends, and what a great way to make friends than over drinks and dinner, especially overlooking one of the most magnificent sights on earth.

I started with CRABCake that night fearing the Dungeness, but actually loving the dish with red and yellow pepper sauces. Our server Eduardo was not as attentive as Jeff the night before, but did a good job; you must remember this is peak season and the dining rooms goes full steam from 5-10pm every night.
We had started with martinis on the terrace over the lake (yes Crater Lake Vodka with Olives--I had brought some blue cheese stuffed ones from a day before in the market!) and then enjoyed the rest of our red wine from the night before with our main courses.For a white we enjoyed, but won't rave about the Crater Lake Estate Private Label Chardonny also from Eola Hills. It was fine with the crab and Will adored my mussels from the night before.
The main course for three of us was the amazingly huge 1/2 Northwest Style Citrus Duck which was oven baked to perfection and basted with citrus-chili glaze and served with wild rice & veggies.
One of our new found friends opted for the Halibut on my recommendation and loved it as well.
For dessert we split a Cheesecake with Caramel Drizzle four ways and rolled off to bed as the skies darkened and that super moon started to appear over the lake.