WELL, it's an exclamation mark in the title above, and well deserved, for Gabrielle, owner of Out AZA Blue Market & Cafe in Gales Creek.
I had been trying to get someone to go there with me after I heard there was a formally trained chef trying to make a go of his gourmet meals on the Wilson River Highway.
Gabrielle, whose kitchen is up these stairs in the picture at the left, is originally from New York (his parents were from Sicily), has a degree in engineering, attended Reed College, has a business degree and attended culinary school in Switzerland.
The menu covers a variety of foods - from steaks and pastas to lasagna and eggplant parmesan. The Mister ordered a gyro and I thought, "Good grief! Why order something you can get from the corner deli when you could have a rib eye steak?" But one taste of the gyro gave me a whole new outlook on that particular "sandwich." Delicious! Spicy with heavenly tender meat and vegetables. Remember to click on the pictures to get "closer" to the food.
I ordered the seafood pasta and the sauce was heavenly. There seemed to be a clam sauce base, with maybe brown butter. When I put my leftovers into the take out box, I scraped the bowl clean with my spoon. If I could have - maybe if we hadn't had friends with us - I would have used my finger. But I do have the leftovers for tomorrow night's dinner.
Here's a picture of the seafood pasta surrounded with Gabrielle's homemade bread - and it was delightfully fresh, soft inside with a slightly chewy crust. Also delicious.
Our friends has a vegetarian pizza, and the waitress - who overheard them say they didn't care for too much roasted garlic (who knew there could be too much?) - mentioned it to Gabrielle, who left it off the pizza. There were lots and lots of vegetables, even some cabbage, and they both declared it the best veggie pizza they'd ever had. We all tried each other's food and will certainly come back again to share a meal.
The market and cafe also has food to go and organic produce, too.
Gabrielle came in and sat down to visit with us and tell us about his place, what he'd done to upgrade the building and his plans for the future. If you get the chance, you will not be sorry you stopped here. Click on the link - at the top of the post under the restaurant's name - and you'll find more information and a map.
We also had dessert - pumpkin pie and carrot cake - all homemade and very, very good. The four of us shared two desserts. (I forgot to take pictures of the desserts. It's just as well. Go check them out for yourself.) We had a great waitress, too. You'll meet nice people here.
Now I must totter off to bed. Lucky, lucky me to find this wonderful restaurant - femminismo