Our reservation was for 5:30, which is the opening time of the restaurant. Since we were one of the first parties to be seated, we quickly took some pictures while the surrounding tables were empty.
This is the menu we were presented:
Artist Point Menu as of May 23, 2012
I apparently was very thirsty that evening because I was a two-fisted drinker, ordering both an ice tea and a glass of King Estate Pinor Noir.
None of the appetizers sounded appealing to the girls except for the cheese plate. But when I saw there were only 3 cheeses included (and one of them a blue cheese, which they wouldn’t eat) for $14, I didn’t think it was worth it.
So for their appetizer they shared the entire…
Bread Basket served with both butter and dipping oil
Now I believe this was sourdough bread and that it was good, but I actually didn’t have any because I was happily devouring this…
Smokey Portobello Soup with Roasted Shiitakes, Chive Oil, and Sourdough Croutons
I think Belle5’s description of this soup in her recent review pretty much says it all…
“Now, one of the reasons I was wanting to return to AP was to drown myself in this soup. The word “soup” is really too lowly a word for this glorious concoction.”
And I say…Amen to that, sister!
Now I’m not quite sure if it was the blissful look on my face or if I was making some sort of groaning sounds (unintentially, of course ) as I ate, but something spiked Allison’s curiosity in my soup. When she asked to taste it, I rather selfishly reminded her that it was chocked full of mushrooms. But not even this would deter her, so I begrudgingly allowed her to take a spoonful. And wouldn’t you know it, she very much liked this mushroom soup. So much so that from that point on it became a race between our spoons, as to which of us would get more of the remaining soup in my bowl. Ah yes, the sacrifices we mothers make for our children.
Then it was on to our entrees. As you may recall from my earlier reviews, I openly admitted that I am very much a creature of habit. This “habit” definitely carries into my food choices when dining out. If I find something(s) on a restaurant’s menu that I really like, then I tend to order that same thing again and again. My motto is often, “why mess with success”? Now I know there are pitfalls in this theory, as DonaldDoleWhip has proven to me many times. He sometimes orders things that I am unfamiliar with or that sound unappealing to me from their menu description, but somehow they end up looking and sounding wonderful in his reviews…well, most of the time anyway. So yes, I know that I’m probably missing out on many delicious, new things by being so unadventurous, but as long as there are reviewers here like DDW to test out the waters (so to speak), then for me, it’s all good.
So I guess that was the very long way of saying this…
Last time I got the Salmon and really liked it, so this time I ordered the…
Cedar Plank-roasted Columbia River Wild King Salmon
Contemporary Niçoise, Eggplant Caviar, Heirloom Tomatoes, Quail Egg, and Meyer Lemon Aïoli
I know, I know…creature of habit. (you can quit laughing now, Donald )
But in all seriousness, this was again outstanding! Maybe even better than last time. I really enjoyed the salmon and everything else that was served with it. Oh, and I must admit that I was unsure as to what exactly “Contemporary Nicoise” meant, so of course I googled it..
Nicoise is the French word for “in the style of Nice.” So, any dish that is labeled Nicoise would be in the cooking style of Nice, France.
So this entire dish was very “nice” and I happily awarded it a rating of “Excellent”.
Okay, now for Allison. She had earlier complained that we were almost to the end of our trip and she hadn’t yet had a steak. So when I saw the New York Strip listed on the menu, I suggested that she order that. Well, it seems that she had had a phone conversation with her dad that afternoon. When she told him that we were having dinner at Artist Point, he advised her not to order the steak (hmm…I guess someone is still holding a grudge ). She did however take me up on my second suggestion…
Slow-roasted 64°C Buffalo Strip Steak
Served with Zellwood Corn-Sausage Hash, Yukon Gold Potato Smear, and Blackberry Pinot Noir Reduction
And so, as you can tell from her “Mr. Smee” rating, she wasn’t too happy with this dish. In fact, she ended up trading with her sister, who was equally unhappy with her choice…
Grilled “C.A.B.” New York Strip Steak served with Fried Mac & Cheese, Roasted Fennel, Heirloom Carrots, and Chimichurri
Yep, Emily, being the independent thinker that she is, totally disregarded her father’s advice and ordered the steak. But actually, I think her choice had more to do with the Fried Mac & Cheese than the steak. Anyway, the end result was the same…like her dad, she was not impressed with the steak at Artist Point. Now as I said before, the girls traded their dishes because they each ended up liking the other’s choice slightly more than their own. However, they both still gave the other dish a rating of “Just Okay”, so really not much improvement.
So after their unsuccessful entrees, I was really hoping that their desserts would improve the negative opinions that the girls were forming about Artist Point. Would my hopes be fulfilled?
Okay, so first of all I am happy to tell you that for the very first time on this trip there was no sharing involved during the dessert course of our meal. Yep, we actually each ordered our own dessert this time.
Now for the bad news. I forgot to take a picture of the dessert menu.
But I am fairly certain that it looked like this:
Artist Point Cobbler – Seasonal Berries and House-made Black Raspberry Ice Cream 11.00
Warm Chocolate Cake – Warm Valrhona Chocolate with Grand Marnier Chantilly and Berry Seltzer 11.00
“Strawberry Mural” Strawberry Cheesecake – with House-made Sorbet, and Valrhona Chocolate Almond Semifreddo 11.00
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée – with Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti 10.00
Local Orange Blossom Lace Cannoli – with Mountain Berry Mousse, White Chocolate Anglaise, Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam, and Micro Basil 10.00
Let’s start now with our lowest rated dessert, shall we?
Warm Chocolate Cake – Warm Valrhona Chocolate with Grand Marnier Chantilly and Berry Seltzer
This was ordered by Emily. I think her low score was the result of it being compared to the similar dessert which we shared at bluezoo. Unfortunately this dessert fell quite short in the comparison, as she gave the bluezoo lava cake her highest rating, a magical “Tinkerbell”.
As for me, I realized that I had not yet had one of my favorite desserts on this trip, Creme Brulee. You may recall that I had planned to try the PB & J creme brulee at Flying Fish, but sadly that was not meant to be.
So therefore I ordered this…
Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée with Chocolate-Hazelnut Biscotti
Now to be perfectly honest, I thought this was “Good” but in comparison to others that I have had, it seemed pretty average. However, in the interest of full disclosure, Belle5 stated in her review that this was the favorite of the several desserts her group of 9 ordered at Artist Point. So if you are a fan of creme brulee, I guess my advice to you would be to give this one a try and decide for yourself if it’s a good, but average “Wendy” or a magical “Tinkerbell”.
And that just leaves our highest rated dessert, which was ordered by Allison…
Artist Point Cobbler . . . Seasonal Berries and House-made Black Raspberry Ice Cream
(I think maybe she substituted the Raspberry for Vanilla Ice Cream)
Not only did she really enjoy eating this dessert, but the fact that it was served with her favorite Disney character, Tinkerbell, attached to it (in honor of her graduation) pushed her rating of it from a “Peter Pan” up to a “Tinkerbell”.
And so our overall rating of this meal was sadly only a: Good
Now of course, my rating of our meal at Artist Point was a solid “Very Good” and I most definitely wish to return for dinner. Although I’m sure that my husband and Emily are in no hurry to return, I still have a little hope that Allison would accompany me to Artist Point. She really enjoyed both “my” mushroom soup and her cobbler, so if she could just find an entree to her liking then she might like Artist Point as much as I do. But even if I am unable to convince her to give Artist Point another try, I might consider returning for a solo dinner while the rest of my family can dine at the other Wilderness Lodge restaurant.
Then, while my beverages are served in goblets, theirs might be served in giant glass jars.
While I will have no need to ask for ketchup, their request might be met this way.
A Creative Use for those extra bottles of ketchup
(As you can see, my son was quite impressed. )
And while my napkin will remain in my lap, theirs might just end up on their heads.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have had some very fun meals at Whispering Canyon. But that was the past, now my heart belongs to Artist Point.
I might though consider joining my family at Whispering Canyon for dessert, if they still serve this…