Story & photos by Patrick Alexander
Oregon Coast TODAY
Perched at the top of the Inn at Spanish Head, 10 stories above the Pacific Ocean, Fathoms Penthouse Restaurant & Bar is one of the best places to end the day with fine food and a spectacular sunset.
But this hidden gem of a restaurant offers equally stunning vistas at the other end of the day, when locals, visitors and hotel guests alike gather to enjoy breakfast in calm surroundings with an inspirational backdrop.
Fathoms Manager Lance Lyons said the breakfast crowd is a mix of hotel guests and a loyal following of locals, some who come in four or five times a week. Some of the regulars are year-round residents of Lincoln County who often find themselves lured to the restaurant by Executive Chef Ken Martin and his staff’s outstanding abilities in the kitchen.
“Chef does an amazing job with everything he does here.” Lyons said.
Lyons has been with Fathoms for a little more than a year, coming on board after previous Fathoms Manager Lisa White was promoted to General Manager of the entire hotel.
Having worked alongside both White and Martin earlier in his career, Lyons knew he was joining a great team, a fact that was confirmed when he saw how many Fathoms staff have been with the restaurant for years.
“If the employees have been here for years that means the employees are happy,” he said, “in turn they then make our guests happy. It all kind of comes around like that.”
The friendly atmosphere is one of the things that makes Fathoms a great place to start the day. That, together with a top-notch menu and unbeatable opportunities for high-altitude people-watching.
“You see morning people jogging and walking the beach with their dogs,” Lyons said. “The sun is at a different angle, you get that morning light.”
And people are not the only thing to watch from this elevated perch. The morning light also makes for perfect wildlife spotting conditions.
“Early on, I watched a baby whale breach all the way up the coast while traveling with its mom and dad,” Lyons said. “And until I started working here I’d never watched sea lions surf before.”
If guests can tear their eyes away from the view, they will find a feast for the senses awaiting on their table, with breakfast dishes including the Seafood Omelet, Crème Brule French Toast and Dungeness Crab Eggs Benedict.
Fruit juice, coffee and espresso drinks provide the perfect breakfast accompaniment — but can easily be switched out for a Bloody Mary or mimosa if the occasion calls for something with a little more kick.
Breakfast is served until 11 am each day and until noon on Sunday, after which, the restaurant switches over to a lunch menu one half hour later, featuring favorites like Portobello Ravioli, Prime Rib Dip Sandwich and Grilled Chicken and Artichoke Linguine. Fathom’s clam chowder is a must for chowder connoisseurs.
And for those who wish to linger over lunch, Fathoms’ famed range of house-made desserts provide the perfect excuse to sit and soak up the view for a little while longer.
From classics like cheesecakes, Chocolate Torte and Marionberry Cobbler to specialties including Peanut Butter Pie and a Gluten-free Maple Blond Brownie, the dessert tray has something to suit every palate.
After the restaurant closes at 2 pm to prepare for dinner service, the bar continues to offer food throughout the afternoon, with kids welcome in the adjacent lounge area. Favorites like Fish and Chips, Steamed Clams and Beef Tenderloin Tips ensure that guests popping in after a beach adventure will be well taken care of.
At 4 pm, the restaurant opens up again, offering dishes from the dinner menu as well as early bird specials starting at $10.50. Early bird specials are available when ordered by 5:30 pm, with the dinner menu available the rest of the evening till closing.
Throughout spring and summer, Fathoms will be offering its popular brunches, with events scheduled on Sunday, May 13, for Mothers’ Day and Sunday, June 17, for Fathers’ Day as well as summer brunches every Sunday from July 8 through Sept. 9.
Brunch guests are treated to a huge array of sweet and savory dishes, plus the added allure of live piano music from Paul Beard during Holiday Brunches.
“People like to come here for their special occasions and that’s a very good thing,” Lyons said. “It means they see our view, our food and our people as special. I think that’s an excellent sign and we definitely have a great staff to thank for it.”
Fathoms Penthouse Restaurant and Bar is located at the Inn at Spanish Head, 4009 SW Hwy. 101 in Lincoln City and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For details and reservations, call 541-994-1601 or 800-452-8127. To book lodging reservations or learn more about the hotel, go to www.spanishhead.com.