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“Cioppino To Die For” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Clemente's Fresh Seafood Restaurant & Market

Clemente's Fresh Seafood Restaurant & Market
1198 Commercial St, Astoria, OR 97103-4126
503-325-1067
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Ranked #20 of 66 Restaurants in Astoria
Price range: $7 - $20
Cuisines: Organic, Seafood, Contemporary, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Doing business, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations, Takeout
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Cioppino To Die For”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2009

This review is long overdue. I was driving from San Francisco to Seattle for the umpteenth time, and collapsed at the Elliott Hotel after an exhausting drive from Brookings. Two nights earlier, I'd been treated to clam chowder that tasted of corn starch, and a fish stew smothered in molten cheese, and my meal at the restaurant across the street from the Elliott the night before hadn't exactly been anything to write home about.

I had decided to kill the day in Astoria before heading home to Seattle. I started with a tour of the Flavel House, the mansion built by the Columbia River pilot whoi made a fortune in the 1800s. I walked toward the river, looking for a spot to have lunch. Clemente's looked promising, but I frankly wasn't expecting much as I walked inside and sat down in a rather cavernous and empty room. (It was mid-week in March, not exactly the height of the tourist crush.)

Ah, cioppino. That's what I had on the California side of the border near Brookings. Let's see how these guys murder it, I thought. Well, by the end of that meal, served with some crispy bread and a glass of wine, I was almost in tears. "My God," I said to the waitress, "who is the cook, and what is this world-class chef doing in a small town in Oregon?"

From here on out, all cioppino will be measured against this. The flavors of the broth were just right, complementing the lovely seafood while not overwhelming it, yet not slinking off into the background. You could just about taste the sun on the tomatoes, and pick out individual spices. I was near tears eating this wonderful, simple dish!

I was privileged to meet the chef, who turned out to be half of the husband-wife team who own the place, and before I left I promised to prowl the Internet, singing the praises of this restaurant and its cioppino. I have been all over the world -- a couple dozen countries -- and have eaten in some of the world's best restaurants. If you want to find the best cioppino in the world, this is the place.

p.s.: I want to assure everyone who reads this review that I am not in any way acquainted with the owners, beyond having gushed to the cook that afternoon. I simply loved the food, and in America we lovers of great food have an obligation to repay the passion of those who prepare it for us. Bravo, Clemente's!

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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216 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Locally Owned Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2009

Clemente’s provides a haven of superior food with an excellent wine list. The restaurant is filled with the taste of the Northwest including locally caught seafood, fresh organic vegetables from the farmers market and local artistry. The atmosphere was very relaxing and the service was great. They cater to not only adults but to families as well. My daughter loves the rainbow pasta!

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Nice New Digs, Same Great Food, unfortunate experience...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2009

When we first came into town we were upset at being unable to locate our previous favorite joint in Astoria, but a quick inquiry at a neighboring business revealed not a closed restaurant but one that merely moved a block away.

Relieved, we made our plan to visit the next day for lunch, as a sumptuous breakfast was available daily at our hotel.

We stuck our head in the door at midday to announce our presence and found the new larger location to be thinly occupied. Taking advantage of a rare sunny patch we opted for a table on the sidewalk and proceeded to soak in the view and the menu.

From what we could see not a lot had changed from the menu, and we soon decided to split a harvest salad and an order of fish and chips.

Quite some time passes though before we were able to place an order. Then, we waited. And waited. And waited.

After nearly forty five minutes I offered that if something didn't happen soon I was prepared to bail on the place and go across the street. Very soon after though our server came out and finally re-filled our long empty water glasses and I accosted her and asked what was taking so long. She replied that the owner was the only one in the kitchen and that they were a little behind. I pressed her as to why we hadn't at least gotten our salad, and she said she'd check on it.

When the salad came out it was good, but missing the promised avocado.

After another period our fish and chips arrived and as usual, they were exemplary. I've heard people complain about their fish because it was too delicate but trust me: Fresh fish is supposed to fall apart in your hands. This fish is FRESH.

When I asked about the avocado, our server replied that the kitchen was out and had substituted asparagus instead. Call me picky, but when you substitute a featured ingredient of a dish I think you should advise people about the substitution and allow them the opportunity to change their order. As it happens I love asparagus, but what if I hadn't?

As for the service itself, I think it unconscionable to leave people sitting without a word for nearly an hour waiting for their food without making some kind of acknowledgment, and saying the kitchen is short staffed is no substitute for an apology.

I hope this couple gets their act together soon so we can continue to recommend highly this Astoria jewel.

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Roseville, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best dining experience in Astoria!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

We traveled the Oregon Coast this summer with the kids and happened upon Clement's Restaurant. What an amazing find!!! The food was prepared fresh and every bite was delightful. It was a truly unique dining experience that exceeded our expectations. A refreshing change from your "dime a dozen" seafood/chowder house on the coast. We also enjoyed the local artist's on display which created an eclectic and athentic Astorian feel. The ambiance was fantastic for lunch and again when we returned the same day for dinner!! We were fortunate to meet the owners and they explained their desire and passion to provide a menu that was healthy, organic and locally grown. They hit the mark!! Thanks Clemente's for the wonderful dining experience!! We will be back next summer!! My mouth is watering just thinking about your yam fries and Clement's special dipping sauce.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oregon
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“clemente's restaurant”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

We went in on Saturday night. We had caesar salad, cioppino, fresh vegetables with pasta. The wine was nice, the bread was swell, the meal outstanding. The waiter was very good, but dropped the ball toward the end, ignoring or forgetting us. Finally got his attention for dessert, and we ordered. Coffee came,we drank most of it, again waiting, and we waited more for the dessert, and then got fed up, and left. Our waiter and the other waiter apologized, and offered us the desert free, and a gift card. We still left.

The food was,again, excellent, the place is very trendy. We would go back again, hope the service matched the meal, and tip well. It was a shame the evening ended like it did. To not recognize their culinary skill would be a sin, it was a wonderfully prepared meal.

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