Realitiy seldom lives up to anticipation. The Delicate Palate Bistro delivered on all accounts. Way back last fall, we scouted out locations for a 50th anniversary family gathering on the Oregon Coast...and a place where we could have an anniversary dinner with our kids and grandkids (all 10 of us). We chose Cape Kiwanda and the Delicate Palate. We made reservations both by phone and confirmed by mail. When we arrived in Pacific City I looked in and was met by Teresa, who double checked our reservation, congratulated us, discussed our 2 and 5-year-olds' menu options and were assured we'd be well taken care of.
When we all arrived for our 6 p.m. reservation, there was our table beautifully set right in the middle of the dining room and Teresa and the rest of the staff greeted us as if we were old friends or their own family members. A couple of early table mishaps with the 5-year-old were met with professional calm and personal understanding and warmth. No problem...and no ultimate lessening of the youngster's appetite.
With 10 of us, we pretty well covered the menu, which changes with the season (as well as the week and even the day, depending on what's fresh and available). Herb crusted halibut, seafood Asian bouillabaisse, roasted duck breast, rib eye, very adult mac and cheese, fuji apple & gorganzola salad and a special chowder of the day all got passed around the table with "you have to taste this!" Our 9-year-old grandson, a fussy eater, declared this "the best meal I've ever had!" Everyone else thought it was pretty good also.
A decadent fudge cake and a berry & peach cobbler with ice cream topped off everything.
The restaurant is comparatively small, tucked into an ordinary looking motel front. But, inside, it's like being in a private home's oversized formal dining room. In a town better known for its haystack rock (bigger than the one in Cannon Beach!), its beach and huge dune, surfers, tidepools and, of course, the Pelican Pub, finding a French style bistro with wonderful food, experienced and skillful chefs and a great wait staff is a fantastic surprise and treat.
There is some outdoor seating in nice weather and getting to the backyard (and rest room), one passes a window opening into the kitchen. Expecting to see chaos as orders from a full restaurant flowed in, I was surprised to see absolute calm and much more efficiency and teamwork than I could ever muster in my own kitchen. The chefs, a man and a woman, had obviously spent the day preparing the sauces and prepping most of the vegetables and other ingredients required by the menu...and were systematically sauteeing, grilling or mixing as incoming orders demanded. No panic, no wasted movements...and calmly assuring each dish left their hands cooked correctly and plated attractively. Pretty impressive!
The final tab for 10 of us was pretty big...averaging about $40 per person, including drinks and gratuity (not including a bottle of wine our kids treated us to). Actually, not a bad deal, since a similar dinner in a major city would run two or three times as much, especially if cocktails and after dinner drinks were consumed.
All in all, it was a perfect way for our family to officially mark our anniversary and was one of the highlights of our week together at Cape Kiwanda.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.