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“Best Chinook I have ever had”
Review of Redfish

Redfish
Ranked #2 of 22 Restaurants in Port Orford
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $32
Cuisines: Seafood, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Description: WE ARE CLOSED FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 2017. WE WILL REOPEN FEBRUARY 1, 2017 Opened in Summer 2010, Redfish offers Contemporary Coastal cuisine and drink in a modern, casual, and original setting with one of the most spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean on the Coast. Redfish serves sustainable products from local farmers and fishermen wherever possible. Our Chef uses the freshest local and regional foods in partnership with family producers and artisan purveyors. Redfish provides an excellent dining experience for intimate affairs, families and large parties. Call for hours at 541.366.2200. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner and Sundays brunch as well.
Corral de Tierra, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Best Chinook I have ever had”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

While staying at a bead and breakfast in Port Orford a couple years ago, we were advised to have dinner at the Redfish, which had recently opened. My spouse had bouillabaisse, which was excellent. I ordered a fillet of Chinook. I cannot describe how excellent it was! Tomorrow we are again in Oregon, and we have reservations!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank Bill G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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460 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“rude and unhelpful staff”
Reviewed June 18, 2013 via mobile

We visited attracted by the illuminated espresso coffee sign to have coffee for 5, including a wheelchair user. It was quiet with just a couple of tables occupied and we asked for coffee and were told we'd have to wait over half an hour and then that meals would take priority. He never said it was more a restaurant and that wasn't obvious at all - even when we were inside. We asked if we could bring our wheelchair user in and got told "I don't understand you. It will be over half an hour's wait". We left! One of their customers came out and more or less apologised for the rude member of staff and she explained it was more of a restaurant and where we could find a nice coffee house further down the road.

We won't be back! Not for food or coffee.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank susan b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gabrovo
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Stunning; food, views”
Reviewed June 16, 2013

A beautiful sun soaked evening perfected by stunningly executed, creative food. Don't skip the caramelized scallops.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LMFTea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coquille, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Special Restaurant in a Special Location”
Reviewed June 14, 2013

For sometime now, San and I have been looking for a good excuse to make the relatively short journey down to Port Orford so we could give the restaurant, Redfish, a try. As locals, we had been hearing about how good it was for awhile now, and of course, we wanted to see for ourselves. So, when our June birthdays (mine on the 10th, San's on the 12th) were imminent, we determined to celebrate them both on the evening of the 11th with dinner at Redfish.

The week we made our reservations was quite unique here on Oregon's south coast, with temperatures approaching the 90s -something unheard of, even in midsummer hereabouts- so we took the daring move of making the reservation for the outdoor deck on the back of the restaurant's dining room – why would we do that? Because we consider the view from the bluffs of Port Orford out over the Pacific to be perhaps the best anywhere on the entire west coast (Yes, even better than Big Sur!) - and what could be better than eating dinner on a warm evening while one's gaze is forced toward one of the world's most beautiful coastal views?

But alas, the day of our celebration dawned with a drop in temps of some 20 degrees, and a reemergence of the annoying summer winds which can ruin almost any day on the south coast – so we put aside our idea of an evening's dinner on a warm deck – but regardless of weather, the superlative view remains from the protected interior of the Redfish dining room – there is just no way you can avoid it, nor would you want to!

Port Orford is a unique coastal settlement with several unique touristic features – as noted, the views are the most significant ... if you arrive on Rt. 101 from the north, as you approach the south end of town, the street makes an abrupt turn to the left – abrupt enough that it appears as if 101 is continuing straight ahead and up a hill, and interestingly, the city fathers have written in huge while letters across the middle of the street, OCEAN VIEWS, along with a huge white arrow. Those who neglect to follow that suggestion will miss one of the best sights along the Oregon coast!

Included in the above view is the Port Orford dock, surely another local must see – for the Port Orford dock is one of the world's only open sea mooring sites, where instead of the local fishing boats tying up at night, they are hoisted up and out of the water, and into huge 'cradles' on the top of the very high dock itself. If you are fortunate enough to witness this happening, it's a sight you'll never forget.

But I digress.

Redfish is a family operation, but not one as you might think at first. For the Hawthorns are artists first, and lovers of food second. That is not meant to infer that the food at Redfish suffers, simply that the Hawthorns are using Redfish as a display for their art, and have chosen to hire a respected professional chef (Jeremy Kelly, previously of Salishan) to run the food part. It's a formula which is apparently working well, both for the art gallery out front, and for the dinning room on the bluff over the Pacific in the rear.

Our chosen dining date happened to fall on a Tuesday – which in restaurant parlance is far from ideal. But this is much truer for those restaurants which are closed on Sunday or Monday – and Redfish is open 7 days a week. In that case, it's much better to know the chef's night off – something of which we were clueless - c'est la vie!

Redfish is serious about it's wine, yet for an expensive restaurant, the wines can be surprisingly reasonable. I say 'can be' because if you wander far enough into the wine list, you'll come across the exceptions, some shockingly expensive bottles! Well, no one is forcing you to choose those – so just take it as a sign that Redfish is very popular with many wealthy Californians who know a good thing and often venture across the border to do a little touristing – pick out one of the more reasonable bottles and enjoy.

By the way, on the night we were there, the bartender, Robbie, was doing double duty as both server and barkeep – hey, such is life on a Tuesday night. But Robbie is also very knowledgeable about the Redfish wines, and is quite willing to steer you to a nice less expensive choice. We settled on a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (The Crossings - $26), which proved to be a nice choice for just sitting and taking in the splendid view, and munching on the excellent Redfish ciabatta. Later in the evening, we also had a glass of Nobilo New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which Robbie was pouring by the glass that night, and which I thought was as equally enjoyable.

So, how about the food? Yeah, we eventually got to the food – but before we talk about specifics, I'd like to talk a little about generics – like the menu. I've always said, 'Show me the menu and I can tell you how good a restaurant is!' Yeah, that's subjective, but that's what restaurant enjoyment is all about. So here's what's mildly disturbing about the Redfish menu – if you go into a place and they hand you a 20 page menu, you know they're cooking out of the freezer – but I think it's equally disturbing to get a menu listing six entrees (as does the current Redfish menu). I think this because I believe that the menu is where a restaurant (read chef) shows its personality, imagination, and creativity – one should be more hungry after reading the menu than before. Well, I'm sorry, but the current Redfish menu just doesn't make me hungry – it's too predictable and doesn't tell me enough about the offerings (like, what is a 'fighting prawn'? and are these ingredients procured locally?). And if the restaurant is in a working fishing village, why not proudly feature several kinds of seasonal fish, such as lingcod, or even one of the rock-fishes – surely these are being caught. Even just a single sheet noting daily changes will do it. (and make sure that the menu posted at the entrance is the same one that is being used that night.) OK, just a few thoughts to chew on guys – think on it.

I started by trying the soup – mostly because soup is a good gauge of a kitchen's work – and Redfish seemed to be proud of it's seafood chowder – so I had some. And I wasn't disappointed. It has a nice cream base with carefully tiny diced new and sweet potatoes – it's nice to see such care in preparation. And the flavors are nicely balanced as well – it doesn't jolt you with a flavor blast, but gracefully invites you back for a continued enjoyment. It's a good experience, and a nice beginning to a meal – it suggests there's more good stuff to come.

San had the grilled salmon, which was nicely done, if just a bit more well done than we like – but I think most would prefer their salmon done as it was served to San – it had just a touch of char on the edges and was served with some wonderful gnocchi and an oniony cream sauce – quite delicious!

I had my tooth set for the crab cakes, mostly because of all the good reviews I've read here. We eat a lot of crab, but we never buy it – it's just too damned expensive! We catch our crab, and eat it until we tire of it (which takes awhile.). But crab is one of those items that's good to splurge on in a restaurant – there's just one rule that the kitchen should follow, the simpler, the better. And the Redfish crab cakes are very simply done; crab, binder, and maybe a little spice or herb – Nice.

I asked Robbie if I could get the crab cakes as an entree, and he said Yes – However, at Redfish that means simply that you'll receive -and pay for- an appetizer size serving of whatever you're ordering. Since they are very small (maybe two ounces each, serving of two for $14), if I were to go this route again, I'd double my order, making both the size and price more entree-like.

We like to end a nice dinner with dessert and coffee, but when we asked Robbie about dessert choices, he told us the kitchen was down to two: crème brulee and a chocolate cheesecake – he shared that of the two, he'd opt for the cheesecake. … When I was a mere lad, I worked in the kitchen of a fine restaurant, and with a good and wise chef. He'd often say, 'Make sure your desserts are right – it's the last thing a patron will remember about the meal, so it needs to be good!' I thought of this as Robbie was talking – we went with the cheesecake, and he was right (both Robbie and the wise old chef.).

For us, Redfish is a special occasion restaurant. It serves expensive ingredients put together with skill and artistry – I have no problem with paying for that, for good food is something we're willing to splurge on – selectively. If we had the resources of our California tourist neighbors, we'd make the trip to beautiful Port Orford more often.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank drfugawe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Willamette Valley, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Simply the best restaurant along the Oregon Coast”
Reviewed June 9, 2013

Wow, and I mean WOW this is great food. The Fantastic food, beautiful views, great service was the perfect ending to a hike on the Rogue with my friends. We shared bites of our dishes with each other and raved about the food we were eating. I highly recommend to anyone taking a trip along the Oregon - you've got to stop and eat at this restaurant.

Almost forgot to mention the wonderful sculptures outside the restaurant and the pleasing artwork inside the restaurant. Wonderful experience!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank OregonTravelLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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