Best Seafood – Ahi Albacore Mixed Grill
When you are looking for the best restaurant in Coos Bay (97420 and 97459), the World Newspaper has only one answer: Hilltop House Restaurant. Featuring a beautiful location, salubrious staff, and award-winning food, Hilltop House Restaurant has come by its high reputation through hard work and thoughtful presentations of the Oregon Coast’s most delicious seafood. When the catch is as fresh as it is in the region, there is no excuse not to be excellent. But, as often happens, execution can lag behind theory and, though pretty good seafood is de rigueur on the Coast, excellence can be hard to find. Excellent cooking comes from technique, instinct, and grit. It never comes easy. No one is born a chef, and no chef has escaped being cut, burnt, exhausted, and brutally disappointed along the way to mastering his craft. The payoff of all that suffering is a mind that understands the depths of food as an artform, as an expression of the better parts of being a human being. The payoff for the diner is a meal they will not soon forget.
The Best Restaurants Employ Contrast
Great cooking is all about contrast. Contrast draws the diner’s attention to the subtleties of flavors, the rapturous interplay between different textures, aromas, tastes, and temperatures that makes eating fine cuisine such a sublime experience. When a chef plans a meal, the contrast different ingredients and techniques produce is at the forefront of his mind. Imagine ingredients as a painter’s colors and the technique as the brush: the chef’s job is to decide which brushes are going to paint which colors in a way that produces the “picture” in his imagination. Contrast helps define the boarders of both a dish and the larger course in which it is meant be served: fats demand acid, richness demands a reprieve, funk demands brightness, and so on. More interesting is the contrast created when an ingredient is prepared more than one way or is presented in more than one variety. Here, the finest notes and most whispered tones of food creep to the forefront, detectable only thanks to the differences being highlighted.
In the case of chef Joseph Zamora, his palette for this mixed grill is two types of tuna placed head to head, the unique characteristics of each on full display. Prawns leap into the picture, bringing buttery richness a little fun to the dish. Playing the part of the vegetal counter-tone is Chef Zamora’s signature mixed vegetables, themselves a little play on shape, taste, and texture. All of this is set against a deeply savory background of ginger teriyaki sauce, spicy and bright at the same time as it is rich and silken. It fits together well, both on the plate and on more importantly, on the palette.
Best Tuna on the Coast
Ahi is a large, world-spanning fish which is known for its rich, flaky pink meat. Named for by Hawaiian natives for its ability to pull a rope to smoking over the edge of a fishing boat, ahi are strong, powerful fish which migrate thousands of miles a year. Inhabiting a slightly narrow band of territory than their Albacore cousins, ahi also tend to carry more fat. Ahi is very popular in Hawaiian and Pacific Island cuisine, where one fish might feed a whole village. The flavor is meaty and deep, a reminder that it’s a warm-blooded animal you’re eating. When kissed by Chef Zamora’s delicate crisscross of grill marks, ahi yields its characteristic buttery sumptuousness. With the ahi, the teriyaki sauce comes across with almost citrus ginger notes cutting the all the richness, a welcome accompaniment to and already beautiful cut of fish.
Sitting next to the ahi, albacore certainly seems to be different fish. Lighter in color and slightly more fine-grained in texture, albacore seems to live up to its reputation as “chicken of the sea” compared to the almost beefy savor of the ahi. For this reason, the albacore eats a little different: you are tempted to take big bites and delight in the way it falls apart in the mouth, but not before giving it a swipe through the teriyaki sauce which here provides minerally soy and molasses bass notes to the soaring aria that is the perfectly-grilled fish.
Grilled prawns complete the package. They bring even more richness to the table than the ahi, in a packaging which encourages you to play with your food. Of course, there are no huge bites of prawn here: not that it would be the best way to enjoy them, since their strong, sweet, almost smoky flavor wants to be dwelt on a bit before moving on to a bite or two of tuna, a forkful of mixed veg. Every component of this mixed grill balances, compliments, and contrasts with the others, making for an entrée that truly illustrates the distinctive characters of two different types of tuna.
A Great Coos Bay Dining Experience
The opportunity to give the wonderful ingredients of the Oregon coast a chance to shine is what Hilltop House Restaurant is all about. Oregon is a place known for its appreciation of the best possible meat, produce, and seafood, not to mention its do-it-yourself ethic that says that a place this great deserves to be home to great things. The Oregon Coast has its own take on this state-wide sentiment, weathered by rain and wind and chilly Pacific tides and informed by a relatively short and vigorously pioneering history: on the Coast, everything is expected to weather well and deal with the changing seasons without too much mucking around. It shows through in Coastal cuisine, which largely eschews trendy foodie-ness for simplicity and a fanatical obsession with freshness and quality. The catch comes in every day, it is the job of an Oregon Coast seafood restaurant to make the tiny applications of heat and spice that take that catch from raw to magical. Of these Oregon Coast seafood restaurants in Coos Bay, Hilltop House Restaurant is widely considered to be the best. Come find out what many in Coos Bay and North Bend have known for a while: When it comes to great seafood, Hilltop House Restaurant is the best choice.
Here’s What Our Customers Say About Us
Old and funky building…very 60s! But the food was excellent! Had the cod with mango curry sauce, it was soo good, and the grilled pineapple was to die for! Will stop again if I go back that way!!
This is probably my favorite place to eat in Coos Bay/North Bend. The stuffed mushroom appetizer is worth the wait as it takes a bit of time to prepare. The dinner salads are beautiful as well as being delicious. I have never ordered anything here that I’ve been unhappy with
If you have not eaten here you are missing out on a wonderful delight. For your first trip go for an early dinner, the view is wonderful. My family has been here on multiple occasions and we have never ordered anything we did not enjoy. It is casual dining with upscale quality.
This is our go to for great food and good drinks. Whether sitting at the bar and enjoying awesome appetizers or in the restaurant with a beautiful view of the bay, you can’t go wrong.
I had a steak that simply melted in my mouth. The service was awesome and the atmosphere amazing. It was quiet, the food excellent, and it all comes with a view of the bay(free).. You definitely get what you pay for at the Hilltop.
My wife and I have been going to this restaurant for years but the last meal we had there was most excellent. She had scallops for the first time there and I had fried calamari that was the best I had ever eaten. The view, as always, is gorgeous, and on a previous visit we watched an osprey