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Astoria: Bridgewater Bistro


This last week I took a quick trip down to Cannon Beach, Oregon and spent a little time in Astoria both coming and going.  Astoria has really been changing over the last few years.  They were always a quaint little fishing town and shipping plays a large part in their economy as they provide all the pilot boats that lead the big ships into the Portland harbor.  So while it had been an interesting and colorful town, it was also one that was easy to pass through on your way to other places. 
Several years ago the Columbia River Maritime Museum opened and with it’s arresting architecture it suddenly seemed to call attention to this little hard-working city.  Since then development has been happening slowly but surely and now it seems there are more reasons to stop and stay awhile.  On my way to Cannon Beach I spent most of my Astoria time hanging out around the marinas and water-related areas.  On the way home it was my destination for dinner before heading north to Seattle. 
I wasn’t sure where I would eat – I had no specific plan in mind – but after stopping to get a photo of the Astoria-Megler Bridge I saw a place that caught my eye, the Bridgewater Bistro 
Bridgewater Bistro occupies a good portion of a new building right on the water’s edge.  Windows run the length of the wall along the water and, for warm weather dining, there’s a very large outdoor deck.  I wasn’t able to take advantage of the deck on this chilly, windy and off-and-on rainy day, however, instead I chose a seat at the bar that faces a bank of windows.  
I really like the feel of this place.  It’s open yet somehow also feels cozy; maybe due to the wood, metal and natural surfaces throughout or perhaps due to the fireplace along one wall.  Or maybe it was just due to the friendliness of the bartender on duty.  

I selected a couple of items from their Small Bites menu, which has a good selection of seafood items as you might expect, but also features some interesting options such as Prosciutto-Wrapped  Quail and Swedish Meatballs.  The latter, I believe, as a nod to the area’s heritage and history of Scandinavian immigrants. 
I chose "Chef Red’s Red Onion Rings" and "Five-spice Grilled Pork Tenderloin" and a glass of Zinfandel to enjoy along with them. 

The basket of onion rings was very generous, the batter light and crispy and the rings sweet and tender.  They were served along with a chipotle aioli.  I could have made a meal just from that basket of rings.  However, the tenderloin was also waiting to be enjoyed.  And enjoy it I did!  A generous portion of spicy-sweet tenderloin, fragrant with citrus zest, thinly sliced and cooked perfectly was presented along with a sauce that echoed the flavors.  The pork was tender, a little juicy and really flavorful.  Each bite was a delight! 
Although I was really tempted to try dessert to see what they offered I was full and still had a long drive ahead of me so I finished my wine, paid by bill and got back on the road.  But, next time I pass through Astoria the Bridgwater will be on my mind.  Especially if it happens to be a nice day – I’d love to pass some time soaking up the sun on their deck. 
Bridgewater Bistro
20 Basin Street
Astoria, Oregon
  1. renay permalink
    06-Apr-2008 4:54 pm

    the food lookis good.

  2. HEDGE permalink
    06-Apr-2008 5:34 pm

    looks tasty!

  3. Jennifer permalink
    14-Apr-2008 7:33 am

    Superb review and pictures.Thanks again for your talented way.-jenj

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