Review of Donya Marie’s Chocolate restaurant and shop, Newport Oregon
By Ron Schie, Special Correspondent to The Food Channel
Chocolate in lasagna? In clam chowder? Really?
“Chocolate has a magical quality of making everything taste good. It seems to make everything I make better, so why not put chocolate in everything?” That’s the question asked by Donya Marie Schweizer, and The Food Channel just had to find out.
Beyond Chocolate is what it says on the sign hanging outside Donya Marie’s restaurant/shop in Newport, Oregon on the Central Oregon Coast. Self-described as the ‘first company to design, manufacture and sell ordinary foods turned extraordinary with dark chocolate,’ Donya Marie is now using chocolate as a spice in every recipe she prepares in the restaurant.
The menu, prepared from scratch daily, is filled with unique recipes such as lasagna, meatballs, and even the coastal favorite, clam chowder, truly going beyond the traditional use of chocolate.
Donya Marie and her husband, Jason, had visited Newport and fallen in love with the area eight years ago. When the opportunity presented itself to move their chocolate business to Newport, they jumped at the chance.
The restaurant idea came about because the space they were moving to at Nye Beach came equipped with an AGA stove. ‘The stove was so beautiful, I just had to use it, ‘ says Donya Marie. And so, they moved from being a gift shop to being a restaurant/gift shop with chocolate used in every item on the menu. ‘It’s difficult to convey what we do, but once people try our menu, they’re amazed at how chocolate can enhance the flavor of a wide variety of food.’
Donya Marie’s Beyond Chocolate products, including Dark Chocolate Bread Dipping Oil, and Dark Chocolate Pancake Mix, are available in the store and on-line. Or, follow her blog.