February Featured Menu Item- North Bend – Coos Bay, Oregon
Coos Bay Seafood: Halibut Almondine
Too often, Pacific-caught Halibut are subjected to all manner of battering, frying, baking, and even sauteing, not to mention over-seasoning and inappropriate pairings with foods which overwhelming this delicate fish’s more subtle flavors. Thanks to the cold, deep waters just off the Oregon coastline and the abundance of natural nutrients and food animals which provide excellent feeding for wild halibut every season, there is indeed much subtlety and much flavor to be had. Bringing those flavors to the forefront without smothering them in sauces, batters, spices, or other distractions is Chef Joseph Zamora’s goal with his masterful Halibut Almondine.
Just like halibut, almonds can be tricky to cook with. Primarily composed of fat with some delicate sugars and proteins mixed in, almonds can be burned easily. Before they burn, however, they present beautiful carmelization and Maillard reaction products the discerning eater will be delighted with. This complements the delicacy of halibut, both in flavor and even more importantly, in temperature. Halibut is easily rendered tough and flavorless when overcooked. By using the almonds both as a buffer and a kind of thermometer for the fish, Chef Zamora is able to put the fish on the plate at the optimal level of doneness.
There is no doubt that the halibut encrusted with caramelized almonds in and of itself with no accompaniment would be tasty just as it is, but Chef Zamora does not stop there. It takes a gentle culinary hand to dress up something like Halibut Almondine with messing the whole thing up through over-application of sauces or overbearing side-dishes.
Luckily, Chef Zamora has chosen neither.
The Maltese citrus sauce is both bright with acid to play with the precarious richness of the halibut and creamy to add another texture to the fish’s flakiness and the almonds’ crunch. Pairing fish with citrus is another culinary strategy with a long and venerable history. It involves risk: citrus denatures the proteins in fish, and if exposed to even slightly overcooked fish can bring out unpleasant rubbery textures. But when done right, citrus brings dimension and depth to white fish.
The vegetables on the plate put the capstone on an already well put together flavor extravaganza. Longneck squash offers up a textural variation that at once references and then challenges the flakiness of the halibut, highlighting the sweetness of the fish in the process. Roasted red pepper offers another level of even deeper char than the almonds bring to the table, along with the distinctive herbaceous tang all peppers share. It surprises the palate and keeps the eater alert to the rest of the plate, including a slice of lemon and parsley sprig to be used at the diner’s discretion.
An Excellent Seafood Restaurant Experience
When considering which seafood restaurant to eat at in Coos Bay or North Bend, look no further than Hilltop House Restaurant. Hilltop House is a premier dining experience on the Central Oregon Coast. Featuring renowned steaks and fresh seafood, Hilltop House is your Coos Bay or North Bend restaurant destination.
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