Discovering one of the most inviting restaurant locations doesn’t happen every day. In a town of wildly publicized hot spots it’s both unexpected and unusual to stumble upon an “Undiscovered Oregon” location like Mark’s on The Channel. This glowing gem is just a mere 15ish minutes north of Portland on the west side of the Willamette serving up cool cocktails, craft beers and a plethora of menu choices that are medal worthy, but it’s the getting there. Don’t blink or you might miss the sign alerting you to turn towards the river from the main road just as you barely scrape the border of Scappoose. It took Mark 10 years of looking to find this location and he lived in Columbia County. Consider the hard part done – you have now found a re “mark” able floating restaurant on the water where the menu compliments gorgeous views of St. Helens, sheep grazing, blue herons in flight and boats with intriguing names like Star Ship. Forget any of Captain Kirk’s offerings from the replicator that might be aboard though, Mark isn’t serving up anything except fresh caught goodness.
As early as high school Mark was attracted to knives and shinny pans but gives credit of his craft to Stuart Hinerfeld of Des Moines Ames, Iowa. Mark was able to learn and hone his cookery in an amazing restaurant that was wildly popular for the high level of innovative cuisine with flair. When he opened Mark’s on the Channel Mark brought his bold seasoning with him only to find the locals didn’t enjoy the trends so much. They wanted good “normal” selections. For awhile Mark fought it, but finally gave in and decided to put a menu together that suits a casual diner or someone wanting to explore their quest for something a little unexpected. Menu options range from everything fresh seafood to mushroom pate’, saganaki and juicy burgers with some innovation thrown in like bacon jam and caramelized onions. Diners get hooked on the Mac “bar” – a clever take on the standard mac and cheese. Mark’s on the Channel is a favorite of both locals in the know and those that who delight in a chance encounter to any wonderful dining experience – lovely food and an incredible view. Add some good company and you’ve just found a dining experience that is “out of this world.”