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Oct 31, 2004 08:55 PM

Tu Tu Tun Lodge.................

  • i

I am interested in visting the TTT Lodge but I understand the menu is "set" for each night and you do not have a choice. I love to eat and don't have too many items I will not eat but I have read some reviews about the menu that did not set well. I understand the resort is fantastic other than the "odd" food served from time to time. I won't be there but three days. I guess I could brave anything. Any suggestions. Thanks.

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      1. re: Ike!

        Hate to bring up an old thread but this is really the only thing on
        Tu Tu Tun Lodge..
        I booked 4 nights in mid September....keeping the road trip alive..hee hee
        Love that!!
        If I can work Coeur d’Alene in the mix...I am SO packing those bad boys up..
        I might get the call to go on tour in Europe for a couple of months, so I want to get all my PNW touring in..before October.
        I have such a connection to TTT and I can't wait..anyone else stay and eaten at the lodge recently?
        Menu looks so fab and has my name on it..wonder if I can bring my own wine?
        It's rated as one of the best..

    1. We visited TTT last fall and had a wonderful time. There is indeed a set menu every night, but there are always three or four alternates available. My travel partner is a very picky eater, and there was always something suitable for him to eat. On the four nights we were there, the set entrees included whitefish, rack of lamb, salmon and new york steak...but on each nght the available alternatives were always either steak, chicken, salmon or a vegetarian entree. I can't imagine who would say that there was "odd food"? At their wonderful happy hour they have terrific snacks which I think one night included oysters (among 3 or 4 other choices), but that was probably the most unsual thing served. The staff were incredibly accommodating with regard to food, so that choice of food should not be a problem. My travel companion does not like soup made with chicken stock, so each night they made him a different vegetarian soup!! What else would you want? We thought that the resort was incredible, and we have already rebooked to return this fall. The rooms, setting, service and everything was great.

      The only thing about the dining service which you should be aware of is that it is served family style to tables of eight. We were surprised and initially disappointed by this, but the other guests were so interesting and pleasant, that this was not a problem for us. Clearly there was no problem with me and my guest "being by ourselves" at the table for eight when we so desired.

      TuTuTun is always rated as one of America's best resort accolade they richly deserve. Go for will not be disappointed.

      1 Reply
      1. I've now stayed at Tu Tu Tun 4 times; it truly is one of the best places in the nation you can stay. It is intimate...not many rooms. The people who own it are wonderful and know your name from the moment you enter. You never even need your wallet...even if you get martinis, cocktails or wine from the bar, they know who you are, put it on your room tab and it is all included on your final bill. The beds are about as comfortable as you can imagine.

        As for the food... Terrific. Every night at 6:15 the bell rings and you go to the main building for appetizers (often grilled) and cocktails to mingle with the other people staying there. Then sometime after 7 they seat everyone at, as mentioned, tables for 8-10, and you eat with the other people. (It is important to note that you can have dinner in your room or in a private cabana if you so desire). While you do not get a choice, they post the menu in the afternoon in the main building and you can always make requests if there is something you absolutely cannot eat. At breakfast, there is always a choice of an american breakfast (great eggs, amazing homemade toast and meat and potatoes) or french toast or pancakes,

        The chef recently changed. They had a woman who was the chef for something like 25 years who recently left. She was incredible. And the food was served family style - various dished in the middle of the table with lazy susans (but very high quality) and you could serve yourself. I must say I miss that. But she retired and they hired younger chefs who are cooking in a less homey fashion. Both times I have been since the chef changes the food has been extremely good, just not as rustic as before. Still, this is truly one of the best places in the country to stay and for the money an excellent deal. When you go, 75% of the people have been there many times before and just keep coming back. As I will continue to do.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Tom P

          Couldn't agree more. We can't wait to return in October!

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Looks like late October/November..can't wait to experience this stunning resort!
            How's the food since they have changed chefs?
            Are there restaurants nearby?

            23 Replies
            1. re: Beach Chick

              Just returned from Tu Tu Tun. The hotel is as outstanding as ever. We think we may have preferred the previous chef's cooking a bit more, but we're talking about minimal changes. There seemed to be a wider selection of hors d'oervres during the cocktail hour previously....and perhaps the entrees were slightly better before. But we're talking small changes here, and it may be just my imagination. I really enjoyed their salmon last year, and that is not available this year due to the restrictions on commercial salmon fishing. One thing to note is that the soups are scrumptious, better than ever. And Tu Tu Tun is so wonderful, you really have to be picky to say anything negative about the place. Dirk and Laurie are such wonderful hosts, as are the rest of the crew...including Patchy and Riley (the two dogs)!

              If you visit TTT, be sure to do Jerry's Rogue River Jet Boat trip!

              1. re: josephnl

                thanks so much josephnl for reporting back..we have extended our trip till next year..
                can't wait!
                all the best..
                Beach Chick

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Has anyone been at TTT in the last few weeks? Saw something online that it was under new ownership but couldn't confirm. We're booked for this summer so a bit concerned. Thanks for any current info on whether true and, if so, what changes there may be.

                  1. re: nwdchound

                    Don't be concerned. Dirk and Laurie did sell it, but to a fellow who worked there for a few years and loves the place. They live right next door and are going to stay involved in a lesser capacity. Also, the best news is that the new owner is going to change the way dinner is done to the 'old' way, rather than how it was changed the last two years. I love the place, have been many times, and although the food has still been very good, I missed the more family style serving and rustic quality of the food. I believe the place is in very good hands.

                    1. re: Tom P

                      Thanks for the insight Tom P. At the risk of asking something obvious, what is the "old" way and how different/better than what was done more recently?

                      1. re: nwdchound

                        The last time I was there was last July for a few days so I did not know the switch happened in the fall, excellent! Gosh, I love Tu Tu Tun. The family style was much more enjoyable, and lent itself to terrific grilled meats, fish and vegetables. I also agree the appetizers were better with the old chef, but I have a feeling this, too, will come around... and they still were quite good! They make terrific cocktails, too.

                        The breakfasts have been just as good if not better.

                      2. re: Tom P

                        Do you realize that Dirk and Laurie returned the service to the "old style" family service during the latter part of the fall last year. We are old time customers, and visited in October '08 and it was pretty much as it has always been, family style....although we did think that the new chef did not do as good a job with the happy hour snacks as the old chef (the lady whose name we can't recall) did. Pretty sure that with the new ownership things will be ok.

                        For nwdchound...the "old style" is family style service (soups, entrees, etc.) placed in large serving dishes on a lazy susan which is built into the tables. Recently, they had been experimenting with individual service, but due to customer preference, late last year they reverted to the old way of family style.

                        1. re: josephnl

                          thanks josephnl. you prompt another question since who better to ask than an old time customer? What other places for dinner/lunch/breakfast are within a reasonable drive of TTT that you recommend or favor? We'll be there several nights so guessing it'd be nice to try a couple of different things along with the Lodge to the extent there are some decent options. Also, we'll be heading there from Ashland and then north up the coast after our stay. Thank you!

                          1. re: nwdchound

                            If you asked the same question for the central OR coast we would be able to help you...but honestly when staying at the TTT, we only eat there. We generally stay for four nights, and there is really nothing even comparable within easy driving distance. We enjoy a drink or two before dinner and a glass or two of wine from TTT's excellent choices, so we see no reason to eat elsewhere. When you say that you will be there for "several nights"...I'm not sure what you mean. I would probably not stay there for more than 4 or 5 nights, and for that interval would happily eat there each evening. With their bountiful breakfast, and tea and cookies in the afternoon, and hors d'oevres and dinner each night, we never even have lunch...perhaps an ice cream or a soda while driving around. Do plan to do a Rogue River boat tour!

                            1. re: josephnl

                              We are doing the trip this year for 5 days in fall..
                              Can't frigging wait!!
                              Hear that the great food and service is still there and that the breakfast/dinner plan is the way to go since they feed you so much for breakfast.
                              Please report back..

                              1. re: Beach Chick

                                The meal plan is a bargain. I think last year it was ~$57/day, and for the big breakfast, afternoon tea, hors d'oevres and full dinner, it's a deal! I'm sure you'll love the place. You'll want to spend a few days exploring the coast both north and south, as well as doing a Rogue river boat trip...don't miss this. Be sure to have TTT book a trip with Jerry's for you, and be sure you don't go too late in October...the boats stop early to mid-October.

                                1. re: josephnl

                                  Totally agree josephnl on what a bargain the meal plan is..did you bring your own wine and champagne?


                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                    We have never brought our own wine because they have such an interesting assortment of Oregon pinot's which we love. Have actually never thought of bringing our own wine...but it sounds like a good idea. Have you? How do they accept guest's bringing wine for corkage?

                                    1. re: josephnl

                                      I am a huge fan of Oregon wines but was just wondering and didn't see anything on the the wine and cocktails included in the $57.50?
                                      Gosh, the way I drink, that is one hell of a deal.. ; )

                                      1. re: Beach Chick

                                        Sure wish they were, but unfortunately no! That would be too good to be true. Even without drinks, the meal package is a very good deal. Their cocktail and wine prices seem fair, although they are not inexpensive. We have never brought wine to the resort for corkage, and don't know what their policy is re corkage.

                                        1. re: josephnl

                                          Great advice---thanks again joesphnl. To answer your question, we'll be at TTT for 3 nights in July. First time and will absolutely take your advice to stick with the TTT's meal plan for that time. Have two other questions if okay but think I'll start a new post since not TTT specific.

                                          1. re: nwdchound

                                            Hey nwdchound..
                                            How was your trip to the Tu Tu Tun Lodge in July?
                                            Can't wait to hear about all the fab food you had!
                                            I can't wait to go in the fall..

                                            Beach Chick

                                            1. re: nwdchound

                                              I too am waiting with great anticipation re your report of your visit to TTT. Was it great?

                                              1. re: josephnl

                                                I'm not nwd but I just returned from TTT...had dinner there last Saturday and Sunday. The food is good. We started with night squash the next a tomato with artichokes. Followed with a tossed salad...beet salad. One night the main course was smoked pork tenderloin...shark the next. Desserts were chocolate tart and I believe lemon verbena creme brulee. Even better than the food was the wine. They offer 60 or so by the glass. I loved the Domaine Drouhin Oregon Pinot Noir and the Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay...but those were just two from what I found to be an incredible list. Breakfast was also good. They made the typical "eggs your way" and then offered a more interesting dish such as french toast. The one disappointment was that the orange juice wasn't fresh squeezed...more like minute maid or some other brand. All in all...solid cooking with excellent wine.

                                                1. re: Tripper

                                                  Hi Everyone. Just back a few weeks ago and will share as promised. Have my notes but have been traveling too much to post yet.

                                                  Briefly for Beach Chick on TTT: we liked it very much and would absolutely go again. The new owner is young but very hospitable and well suited to taking on the lodge. Truly an idyllic and beautiful place with a great vibe, friendly people and a super-relaxing laid-back environment. josephnl's suggestions on jet boat, the lodge in general and other spots up and down the coast (again, will post specifics) were very helpful, as were others.

                                                  I will make one less-than-stellar but still favorable observation about TTT's food. We enjoyed it but it's not five-star in the sense that top metro restaurants or more exclusive resorts offer. Things are reasonably local and simply prepared (simple is good in my book) but not always spot on. For example, salmon that was somewhat overcooked. I think you just have to set the right expectations. I'm sure TTT offers the best food in the area and we were not disappointed with it. But I think you're best advised not to go to TTT for fantastic food (in Oregon alone, Portland offers several spots that are better IMHO). Rather, go for a wonderful experience of which simple and very good food is a part. I'll give more specifics when I post my reports.

                                                  Thanks for your help a few months ago everyone; and for your patience!

                                                  1. re: nwdchound

                                                    Thanks for the f/u. The food at TTT has always been abundant and very good but simple food. It has never been a "five-star foodie destination". We always thought that it was likely the best place to eat in the area, and for $57/day (including a pretty full breakfast, hors d'oeuvres and dinner) was a good deal. Is the meal plan still $57? Certainly there are better restaurants in Portland, and likely in most major cities. But for the kind of place TTT is, we have always thought the food was very good. Was the wine selection quite good - it has always been in the past.

                                                    1. re: josephnl

                                                      I agree with nwdchound about the food but would add that I thought the wine list was excellent. Also should comment that if you didn't care for the entree they were happy to substitute. For some reason a number of guests when we were there opted for steak instead of shark.

                                                      1. re: Tripper

                                                        Agree on all counts, joseph and tripper. The wine list was very nice and the staff was more than happy to substitute or make changes. The staff are actually a real highlight of the TTT experience. The wine list was not extensive but thoughtful with selections we knew and appreciated and ones less familiar that we tried and enjoyed. So, yes, we'd agree it was very good but due to quality and not quantity (the choice I'd make every time). I want to say they offered maybe 12-15 reds and a like number of whites. I'll have to check on the meal plan cost but, as best I can recall, I think the price was a bit higher than $57--maybe $65. I forget when you (joseph) said you were last there but if it was before the ownership change then maybe not surprising the price would have been increased. That said, a five or eight dollar increase seems reasonable given the economy.