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Winemaker's Journal — Rebecca's

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Winemaker's Journal
Fresh halibut with raspberry sauce at Rebecca's

Rebecca's on Orondo

Carey Condotta met us at the door and served us wine. His wife Rebecca pulled out her finest antique silverware and plates.

I don't know if everyone gets the type of intimate service and special treatment that we food reviewers got at Rebecca's on Orondo, but one look at Trip Advisor and Yelp reviews indicates the service we were greeted with may be the norm.

And beautifully prepared, very fresh food, too. The tiny restaurant at 113 Orondo St. is the perfect foil for the loud sports bar next door. Not that there's anything wrong with McGlinn's, one of Wenatchee's favorite haunts. Rebecca's is pretty much the opposite.

Rebecca's is a quiet, tiny, intimate and romantic restaurant perfect for a big date or anniversary. It's tall backed booths, soft opera music and candlelit ambience make you feel like you're sailing across the Mediterranean Sea on your own vintage yacht, complete with chef and waiter. You feel like you're the only diners in the restaurant. Maybe you are.

Rebecca prides herself in the small details of elegant, very personal dining. The menu is small — mostly Italian, Mediterranean and Northwest fare — but well thought out and creative. She always has a special that features what she finds fresh at the market. Her Wednesday night four-course meals for walk-in customers is a great deal for $20.

Our meal started out with to-die-for crabcakes with aioli mayonaise. There was no messing around with these delicious morsels. Just fresh crab, toasted bread crumbs and a little Panko. The crabcakes were served with a chilled plum and blood orange soup. These two appetizer were the highlight of the meal as far as I was concerned.

We had the salad with Rebecca's signature plum raspberry vinaigrette last year and liked it better. This was still quite nice, but the dressing seemed too plum pulpy. It's a matter of taste and texture.

Entree was a whale of a chunk of very fresh Alaskan halibut with a raspberry lime sauce. Rebecca wouldn't reveal her source for the excellent fish, but Cary did mention earlier that he had just returned from a Legislative session in Olympia. My guess is that he stopped at the wharf on the way home. The fish was delicious, but a smaller slice would have married better with the sauce. It seemed to beg for a more tasty treatment.

The Kilimanjaro cheese cake with raspberry topping — Rebecca really likes raspberries — was a nice surprise. Unlike cheese cakes that are heavy bricks of cream cheese, this was was light and frothy. Killing us softly with Kilimanjaro cheese cake. Anytime.

The wine list is short but features well-selected local wines. The 2009 Benson Vineyards Pinot Noir was a nice match for our dinner.Rebecca's on Orondo, 113 Orondo Ave., Wenatchee. Entree prices range from $10 to $30. Call 888-5332 for reservations (advised).


The Dream Meal Team has been at it again. For the second year, our group of three experienced foodies took on the enviable task of dining out once or twice a week at some of the region's finest restaurants for reviews and to pick the best appetizer, salad, entree and dessert for the Foothills magazine's annual Dream Meal. The winners — and there were many — are published in the January-February issue of Foothills, now available at many locations. Reviews of all participating restaurants will appear one each week on the Winemaker's Journal website.

The Dream Meal review team is made up of Annette Pitts, director of the Cascade Loop Association, former caterer and food blogger; Kent Getzin, Wenatchee School District director of food services and member of the National Farm to School Board of Directors; and Rick Steigmeyer, food and wine blogger and Wenatchee World staff writer.

All meals were provided by the restaurants, most drinks were purchased. As current or former food service workers, we all want to see local restaurants succeed. Criticisms, if any, are all meant to be constructive.