away from the hordes of new chic restaurants in Bend's thriving
downtown, Cafe Rosemary is still the classiest and most outstanding
restaurant in town. Located now at 11th and Newport, it's
unassuming location in an old house with a dimly lit sign on the
ground doesn't catch your eye, nor does the pitch dark parking lot
in the back. However, as we approached the door, wondering
what we had got ourselves into, the server opened the door for us
and the chef greeted us personally.
It was a
Sunday night, and we were the only people there at 7:00 PM, but we
figured that all the tourists had gone home earlier that day, and
that locals were at home watching the AFC Championship game, rather
than looking for a fine dining experience. Our server showed
us to our table in the back, next to the fireplace, which was lovely
on a cold winter night in the desert.
settings were all eloquent, with smooth jazz like Louis Armstrong
setting the mood. The server took our coats, and returned
promptly with two glasses of champagne. He set up an easel at
our table to explain to us the hand-written fixed price menu (no ala
carte available). It clearly listed the price at the top which
we appreciated ($49.00), and he went over each selection in detail
as we sipped our champagne, listened to jazz, and were warmed by the
We had a
choice of soups, entrees, and desserts - we took one of each of the
Squash and Cream of Spinach soups, and selected the Rack of Lamb and
Rack of Caribou. Also on the menu was a Russian salmon dish
(the server called it the best you'll ever have), and Pork filet
with Rattlesnake Sausage. I asked for a piece of the
rattlesnake sausage to try, and he happily obliged, and gave me a
full serving of the sausage with my entree at no extra charge.
course was a complimentary mussels appetizer - absolutely amazing -
a great surprise. Next came the soup, not the best we'd ever
had but truly excellent. Sandra liked the Squash soup the
best, while I preferred the Spinach. The salad course was out
of this world - I would come back just for that. After a
Rosemary-Lime sorbet to cleanse our pallets, came the main course.
was nothing short of phenomenal. So tender, so astoundingly
delicious, my mouth may have had an orgasm. It was served with
mashed potatoes which were a bit too thick and fairly average, a
berry sauce that was above average but not outstanding, and
delicious local vegetables, as well as my rattlesnake sausage that
was delightful. It would have gone well with the pork on the
The lamb was
prepared almost identically to the caribou, but Sandra ordered
medium instead of medium rare, so it was not quite to the same
level, but still exceptional. It was salt-cured and a few
crystals were still whole inside the meat, so she didn't like that,
but it was only here and there. The sides were the same as
with the caribou.
came the dessert (we were totally stuffed at this point).
Sandra opted for the bread pudding and I chose the berry cobbler
with home made ice cream. Both were to die for. The
bread pudding may have been the best we'd ever tasted, and perhaps
the cobbler as well. As we packed up to leave, the server and
chef both thanked us, and saw us off. We thanked them heartily
as well - what a great dining experience from start to finish!
We raved about it all the way back to Redmond that evening. We
had a new favorite restaurant in Bend.
What we liked:
Fireplace, Jazz Ambience, Personally met by chef, Exceptional food,
Introductory Glass of Champagne, unusual offerings, excellent
service, open on Sundays and Mondays when nobody else in town is,
place settings and tables, four entrees to choose from, friendly and
knowledgeable server, complimentary appetizer.
didn't: The sauces didn't stand out, and the mashed potatoes
were too thick. It would have been nicer if our two entrees
weren't prepared the same way with the same sides.
Recommendation: Our favorite restaurant in Bend - and that's
saying something! Great place for a special occasion. Go
on Mondays to hear live Jazz. A real treasure.
Recommended on the weekends.
Four course fixed price menu $49.00 per person. With three
glasses of wine between us, appetizer, soup, salad, champagne,
entree and dessert, the total damage was $122.00 for two.
about Cafe Rosemary, or comments you want to share?
know, we're happy to hear from you.