Klementine’s Kitchen

If you ever find yourself in Lincoln City, on the Oregon coast, on any day except Monday and Tuesday, you HAVE TO stop by Klementine’s Kitchen for dinner. You’ll be so glad you did.

We were casting about for a unique dining experience, and reading reviews on Yelp, and came across Cajun/Creole food. Cajun food? In Oregon? It had 4 ½ stars and rave reviews, so we were sold.

And I must say, thank God for Yelp, because it would be really easy to just drive by this place without giving it a second thought. You can tell that once upon a time, it was a private house, and not the nicest one, either. So much so that you kind of feel like you’re intruding to enter. Especially since you have to drive through a gas station parking lot to get to its parking lot, and when we first got there, the place was empty.

We stood there in the lot for a second, thinking, “Um… should we?” But Yelp. So in we went.

And the minute we opened the door, the magic began. Anna, the wife of the chef, greeted us at the door. She was warm and welcoming, and clearly proud of what she had done with the place. And she should be. Inside, it was absolutely delightful. Her taste in décor made me pea green with envy. I wish I could let her loose in my house.

The beautiful hardwood floors and the cozy fireplace may have already been there, but her way of decorating, with air plants in creative pots and distressed wood windows suspended on wires to separate the various rooms, was really inspired. A marriage of simplicity and creativity.

The choice of music was lovely and calming, too. Billie Holiday always makes me want to wrap myself in a threadbare quilt and relax on a chaise longue.

And the food. The food! We started off with the spinach and artichoke dip, and I could easily have ordered seconds and would have been satisfied with just that. But the adventure was just beginning.

I had the Oregon dirty rice, which the menu describes as “Oregon mushrooms, peppers, onions, and rice sautéed in olive oil, hazelnut garnish.” And I added Dungeness crab. Oh. My. God. I wanted to pitch a tent in the dining room and never leave.

Dear husband had the etouffee, which was a “bowl full of Dungeness crab and shrimp, in a flavorful creole sauce, smothering white rice.” I’m telling you, the look of pure ecstasy on his face as he ate only rendered him even more good looking than the already is.

I only wish we had room for dessert, because the raspberry and lemon custard pie was very tempting indeed.

So, seriously, if you are ever in Lincoln City for dinner (they don’t do lunch), stop by and say hello to Anna, and enjoy this restaurant’s unique Cajun food with its Oregonian spin. It’s always wonderful to support small businesses, but even more so when they make it so memorable and delicious to do so.

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