Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Islander Resort presents Winemakers Dinner

I have just received a flyer for a very cool event taking place on September 8, 2007 at the Islander Resort, and I'm going to pass it along here verbatim:

The Islander Resort Presents
Tour the Italian Wine Regions
Winemaker's Dinner

Join us for an elegant six course dinner with each selection accented by just the right Italian Wine. Small vineyard importers from Seattle are hosting these wines and Cristina will be your sommelier for this bellisimo event. It will be an evening you won't soon forget!

421 E. Neddie Rose Drive
Westport, WA 98595

  • Oysters on the half shell with pomegranate mignonette and lemon. Paired with an extra dry prosecco.
  • Grilled bruschetta with eggplant roulade, caprese, prosciutto with reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. Paired with a 2006 bianco.
  • Pepper crusted albacore tuna with polenta crisps and caponata. Paired with a 2006 Vernaccia di san gimignano.
  • Lobster and butternut squash ravioli with chive nage sauce. Paired with a 2004 rita sangiovese.
  • Choice of: Bacon wrapped filet mignon served with garlic mashed potatoes and red wine demi-glaze OR seared duck breast with carrot risotto and cranberry demi glaze. Paired with a 2004 emilio primo.
  • Panna cotta with marion berry puree and candied citrus zest. Paired with a 2006 Moscato D'asti.

Tickets are $80/person and are available at the Islander front desk.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A New Point of View in Westport

Interesting reading in today's Tacoma News Tribune (yes, its a paid advertisement from the South Sound New Homes section, but still interesting reading):

A New Point of View in Westport

It's 5:00 a.m. on an August morning in 1977... There are 300 charter fishing boats cranking their engines to take an estimated 3,000 fishermen onto the high sea in search of the mighty king salmon. At the end of the day the boats return. After cleaning up, a dinner out and then dancing and celebrating into the week hours of the morning. In the 60's and 70's this scene played itself out every day between Memorial Day and Labor Day in this coastal village hailed as The Salmon Fishing Capital of the World.

Fast forward to an August morning in the present day. At 6:00 a.m. the 35 charter boats are warming up to take 400 men, women, and children out sportfishing. A new addition to the marina scene, walkers and joggers headed out for the paved waterfront path. The 2.5 mile path departs the marina, meandering along Halfmoon Bay to the Jetty where the first surfers are unloading their long boards for a day on the waves. The trail then borders the beach on one side, and on the other a 300-acre grassy dune, being sculpted into an oceanfront Scottish Links-style golf course. The trail ends at the Westport Lighthouse.

Back at the marina, the shops are beginning to open, but not just selling kites and ice cream. New shops are presenting an eclectic array of art, jewelry, and memorabilia. You can still find a great bowl of clam chowder, but the influx of culinary talent has infused a new energy into the menus. The Wild Salmon with Kumquat Ginger Butter at Takohachi or Seafood Cioppino at Anthony's at the Islander are delectable examples of the culinary evolution taking place in Westport.

Driving the revolution is the recent discovery that Westport offers the most beautiful and least known sandy beach in the state. That realization has inspired new residential development along the coast geared to meet the needs of today's beach cruisers. Besides the new golf course and convention center, several new residential communities within the city limits of Westport are taking beautiful shape.

The Point at Westport Harbor is a stunning example. This small community of condominiums boasts a 360 degree view of the Harbor and Olympic Mountains. The architecture is modern with a nod toward the maritime past and the interiors showcase the impressive views. While energy efficiency and sustainability directed the thoughtful design, carefree enjoyment was the goal. Your front door is just a few steps away from the private dock, where crab, perch and in the fall even coho salmon are landed! A short stroll away are the marina shops and restaurants an the start of the oceanfront walking/biking path.

It doesn't matter if you don't fish, surf, or hike... Westport was never about "all there is to do". Westport is about relationships. A relationship with the environment shared with family and good friends. It's about taking time to appreciate the beauty and tranquility that surrounds you on the coast. The air is pure, the weather is mild and a good book, a good friend or a great dinner can return a sense of balance to your life. Take the short journey to the coast to discover the"new point of view" in Westport.

61st Annual Westport Seafood Festival and Craft Show

Labor day is when my husband and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. I'd have to think twice to remember the actual date that we got married, but since it was on a Labor Day weekend, we just try to remember that and call it good.
So this Labor Day weekend (well Saturday), we get to do something that appeals to us both: The Westport Seafood Festival. He loves it because he gets to eat, and I love it because I get to shop. Needless to say, we're looking forward to it.
If you want a dose of small town eating festival, come down to Westport on Saturday, September 1, 2007. The event is being held at the Maritime Museum down on the Westport Marina (you can't miss it), from noon to about 6pm. In addition to live music and craft vendors the menu will consist of BBQ Salmon, White Fish, Tuna, oysters, salad (Ceasar salad from the Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill), corn on the cob and garlic bread. All this for $14 ($9 for seniors). Chowder, hot dogs, beer and wine will also be available separate from the seafood feast.

While you're down here, try your hand at catching some fish and get ready for the Boat Basin Salmon Derby thats coming up next month. The limits are 6 fish per day, and reports are that fish are being seen already under the docks.

Come on out - the weather should be perfect!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Westport SalmonFest and the Boat Basin Salmon Derby

My family eats out a lot, and last September, while we would be eating at the Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill, we would often watch people out fishing on the docks outside the restaurant. Having, at the time, a 3 month old, I didn't think much of it (most of my thoughts were focused on strategizing the next nights sleep patterns at that time). But talk about the Westport Boat Basin Salmon Derby has been surfacing and I want to share it with you all.

Apparently, the local High School (Ocosta) has an oceanography program, that follows a batch (I don't know what you'd call it - a litter?, hatch?) of salmon hatchlings that are eventually released into the Westport Marina. When the fish come back to spawn, they come through the Marina, and apparently, there are tons of fish. So many, that the catch limits are higher for this location at this time than most other places - each license can catch 4 adult and 2 jack salmons. The beauty of this is that the catching happens right off the docks on the Marina, so no boats, no seasickness, no fear - all you need is a rod and a pole. To hear the locals tell it, you can watch the salmon swimming in schools right under the docks and around the boats. HOW did we miss this before?

According to Jim at Angler Charters, the fish are starting to enter the Marina now, but the peak time to catch Salmon are from mid-September through the end of October, which is when the Derby is run. You can see the rules from last year's derby at the Angler Charters website (http://www.anglercharters.net/PAGES/BOATBASIN2006/BOATBASINDERBY2006.htm), and Jim says 2007 rules will be up shortly. Last years winners ranged from 15 - 19 pounds.

What do you need? A rod, reel, and lures. Again, deferring to the local expert, Jim says the equipment is fairly straightforward, and you can buy a whole setup from him for $40. I am going to do some research and see if anyone on the Marina rents this stuff, and will post back.

The derby is a friendly competition, tickets will be $2, and prizes will be somewhere around $2,000 total. Half Moon Bay Bar and Grill will be handing out free derby tickets with every salmon entree you purchase there.

I'm excited. The last time I went fishing, I was on a group trip on a boat in LA, and it was a lot of fun. We caught a lot of ... well, I don't really remember what we caught, but catching a nice fish made us all (cynical 20-somethings) feel like kids again, and its hard to replicate that feeling. So come next month, I will drag my husband down the marina and see if we can't catch the big one!

Friday, August 3, 2007

This Weekend at the Beach: Tokeland Woodfest, Run for the Light

TGIF! It's Friday, its August, and we have a fun filled weekend coming up here. Our plans for this weekend include:

The Tokeland Woodfest. This annual event held at the Historic Tokeland Hotel is a mecca for wood artisans all over the Pacific Northwest. They will be hosting chainsaw carving competitions, art displays, and of course, art for sale in various wood mediums. We will be checking this out Saturday and Sunday.

Washington Lightkeepers Assocition Run for the Light. This is a 5 mile run, starting at the Maritime Museum, running through town, past the Lighthouse, and back along the beach. Baby and I will be walking this Saturday morning. Onsite registration starts at 8:30 at McCausland Hall at the Maritime Museum.

And if we have time, we are going to make our first ever trip to Brady's World Famous Oyster Feed, in Ocosta.... I usually only eat oysters on the half shell, but there is something appealing about seeing the oysters, bubba gump style, prepared 101 ways by the folks that grew them.

Have a great weekend!