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European bistro meets Whidbey ingredients at new restaurant
A new restaurant in downtown Oak Harbor is hoping to tickle the taste buds of area residents.
Cameron’s Cafe, located in Harborside Village on Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor, opened its doors in late September and offers casual dining and affordable prices.
“Oak Harbor has really welcomed and embraced us, so it’s been great,” said Chef David Burdette, who co-owns the restaurant with his longtime business partner Cameron Morris.
“We’re pleased as the dickens to be here,” agreed Morris
Burdette, who has an extensive background in America’s regional cuisine, has incorporated his expertise into the dishes he offers on the menu.
“It’s new American regional with a twist,” he said. “I use fresh, local ingredients and we serve flatbreads, soups, seafood.”
Burdette likens Cameron’s Cafe to a European or French bistro. The decor is very reminiscent of that, with freshly-painted green walls that are adorned with all manner of artwork and antiques. A couple of antique furniture pieces help the atmosphere, as do seasonal decorations. Crisp, white linen adorns the tables, giving the restaurant a clean, neat appearance.
“I love the space,” said Morris. “It was a clean slate and I picked up some of the colors from the carpet and decided it needed a French twist.”
A group of ladies in the restaurant Thursday came to enjoy lunch and celebrate a friend’s birthday. They all agreed they loved the decor, but they were there to try the food.
“I wanted to try their macaroni and cheese with crab because I heard it’s delicious,” said Carol Huber of Coupeville.
“I’ve been here several times and everything has been wonderful,” said Liz Galloway of Oak Harbor.
“We can’t make enough meat loaf and crab macaroni and cheese,” said Morris. “Our guests know us also for our braised lamb shanks, steaks and flank steaks. Plus we do three different soups a day and I don’t know of anyone else on the island that does crepes.”
Morris said prices on the menu range from $6 to $26, so there is something for everyone.
“If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, we have our soup for $6,” he said. “Or you can get a beautiful sandwich on a fresh, homemade bun for $14. We’ve also got great burgers and a lot of fresh seafood. We’ll always have seafood.”
“Our goal is to offer fresh, good quality stuff and keep it affordable,” said Burdette.
Both Morris and Burdette say their insistence on a well-trained staff and keeping watch over the details, along with great food, will keep people coming back for more.
“I think the winning recipe for a successful restaurant is knowing your demographic, offering what your clientele wants, affordable price points, a big smile at the door and knowing your customers,” Morris said. “That and one cup of sugar.”