When I stepped inside Bridgewater Bistro I was pleasantly surprised to find a light-filled space and tables set far enough apart that one isn't knocking into neighboring chairs. You can actually have a private conversation over the meal. Large windows afford diners a view of the Columbia River and the wooded Washington shoreline. On the way to our table, the hostess pointed out the plexiglass set into the floor between settees in front of a fireplace that revealed the beach below. I wanted to settle right there with a glass of some Oregon Pinot Noir and order from the appetizer menu. Soft colors, golden-toned wood, white tablecloths, a feeling of light and space were a refreshing change from the ubiquitous dark, brown/black/light blue scheme put to uncreative use in so many places. I was actually able to see my dinner! Now, a restaurant cannot survive on atmosphere alone, and Bridgewater will do well. The food was delicious. The menu offered a selection of choices that would appeal to most foodies. Decent wine list, too. Our server was clearly experienced and attentive. A great choice in Astoria if you're looking for a terrific all-around casual to fine dining experience. You would be equally comfortable in jeans or an elegant little cocktail dress.
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