Story & photos by Patrick Alexander
Oregon Coast TODAY
After 35 years of selling real estate in some of the most desirable cities in the US, Steve Lockwood is changing pace, relocating to the Oregon Coast to focus on real food.
Located at Salishan Spa and Golf Resort, just south of Lincoln City, Lockwood’s Mangia Italian Deli offers Italian cuisine for the American palate, with almost every dish made entirely from scratch.
“People want good food done well; and that’s what I offer here,” he said. “I try to elevate each dish — do something simple to fine tune it, to make it better than what you’ve had before.”
“Our Caesar dressing is a good example,” he added. “We make it here with real lemon juice and quality parmesan and good olive oil and it makes a difference. People ask ‘why is this Caesar better than other Caesars I’ve had before?’ Because the ingredients are real.”
Lockwood learned to cook as he worked his way through college and honed his culinary skills during his career as a realtor, doing catering on the side for colleagues, clients and friends.
“I was always told to open a restaurant,” he said. “Every time.”
Lockwood was already familiar with Salishan, has family having owned a beach house at the resort for more than 40 years. The availability of a restaurant premises with high visibility from Highway 101 sealed the deal.
With the location settled, there was just one question left to answer — what type of restaurant should it be?
Lockwood said the answer came from longtime friend Brent Duering, owner of Big Mountain Coffee, which sits just a few miles south in Lincoln Beach.
“Brent said there was a void to fill,” Lockwood said; “that he and his wife had to go into Portland to get Italian. Not anymore.”
Mangia offers an ever-changing menu for lunch and dinner, with dishes changing to reflect seasonal availability as well as customer feedback.
Lunch favorites include an Italian sub sandwich packed with ham, salami, pepperoni, lettuce and tomato; and a meatball sandwich made using Lockwood’s own marinara sauce.
At dinnertime, dishes include locally sourced, house-made roast beef and, for diners seeking seafood, shrimp scampi with fresh shrimp sautéed a la minute in white wine and served up for a very reasonable $18.
But the restaurant’s most eye-catching deal allows diners to enjoy Lockwood’s gourmet cuisine in the comfort of their own homes, with a dinner-for-two special for just $35.
“People who just don’t want to cook, they drop in on the way home from work and dinner’s done,” Lockwood said.
The deal includes two pasta entrées, salad, bread and a bottle of wine from Lockwood’s hand-picked selection.
That small but perfectly formed selection focuses on Oregon wines wherever possible, with two pinots, a merlot a rosé and several tiers of chardonnay. For guests celebrating a special occasion, Lockwood is always happy to break out his reserve collection.
The craft beer selection also has a local focus, with offerings including brews from Pelican Brewing Company in Pacific City and Fort George Brewery in Astoria as well as Portland’s Widmer Brothers Brewery and a Fuzztail Hefeweizen from Sunriver Brewing.
Meanwhile, a mouthwatering selection of desserts awaits anyone who has room left after their meal, with a decadent chocolate cake sitting alongside Lockwood’s house-made delights including tiramisu, cheesecake and biscotti.
“We go through them,” he said. “They taste as good as they look.”
Underlying Lockwood’s restaurant philosophy is a commitment to giving the customer what they want — whether its extra garlic in a sauce or whipping up an off-menu dish to satisfy the kids.
“When a kid comes in I just ask ‘what do you want to eat?’” he said. “They just look at me with surprise.”
“We really do care about our customers and we treat people like they are coming into our house,” he added. “That’s my biggest goal; you come in, have a nice meal and leave feeling better than you walked in. Restaurants should be uplifting and the experience of dining is just as important as the food.”
Mangia Italian Deli is located in the mall at Salishan Spa and Golf Resort, 7755 N. Hwy. 101,
and is open for lunch and dinner from 11 am to 8 pm Thursday, Sunday and Monday and 11 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday. Call them at 541-764-2501.
Mangia will hold its official opening on Thursday, Nov. 30, with a Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting at 5:30 pm. Guests are invited to come along, meet the crew and sample a range of menu items.