Newer Twilight Pizza has hits, misses

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Who: Twilight Pizza Bistro was established in historic downtown Camas in 2007. This November marked the first anniversary of their second restaurant, on 192nd Avenue. The main difference with the newer restaurant, other than the decor, is a full bar and an expanded menu that offers more options. Entrées such as Alaskan Coho Salmon, a Carlton Farms Pork Chop, and Chicken Roulade Medallions provide more than the pizza and pasta that have made Twilight a favorite of many Clark County residents. Twilight won the 2nd Annual Portland Pizza Showdown in April.

Atmosphere: The strip mall location is separated into two dining areas -- one offers family oriented dining at basic tables and chairs, the other provides bar seating and bar dining at tall tables. A few interior walls divide the main spaces further, creating more interest and losing the cafeteria feel of many strip mall restaurants. The decor, while inspired by the older location, is much less ethereal in appearance and vibe. Many mirrors are used along the walls. Below the open, black ceiling, a warm, subdued color palette makes the space feel fairly cozy above the stained concrete floor.

What I tried: I tried the Chicken Roulade Medallions, which sit atop a blackberry jalapeño sauce and are accompanied by mashed potatoes and "seasonal vegetables," broccolini on my visit. My dining companions tried the Carlton Farms Pork Chop (bone in) with caramelized sweet onion and apple brandy sauce, served with the seasonal vegetables (the same as what was on my entrée) and "TDF fries" (housemade thin-cut fries tossed with garlic, rosemary, parmesan and parsley), The Jester pizza and a Margherita pizza.

The chicken roulade consists of a chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mushrooms, wrapped in bacon, roasted, cut into medallions, and placed atop the sauce. The dish was beautifully presented, but for all of its aesthetic appeal it was disappointing. I found the chicken had taken on the flavor of the bacon fat and the spinach and mushrooms left no trace of their presence. The sauce, which I presume is supposed to be a fine balance of sweet and hot, was much more hot than sweet. Overall, though the textures were appealing, I may as well have been eating fried bacon fat dipped in slightly sweet hot sauce. The mashed potatoes were flavorful and appetizing and the broccolini had an appealing crisp to it.

My dining companion, who tried the pork chop, enjoyed the dish. The chop was almost perfectly cooked to a nice medium; there was just a small area that was left rare, not enough to send it back, but noted. The sauce complemented the meat with a sweet, aromatic quality. I sampled the TDF fries and found them quite delicious; the quartet of seasoning on the thin-cut, crispy fries could make them habit forming.

Both pizzas were consistent in quality and appearance with the pizzas at the other location.

We wrapped up our meal with the Chocolate Torte. This is a two-layer, dark chocolate mousse cake. Between the layers and on the base is a coconut layer, and the cake is covered with a chocolate ganache frosting. The result is an Almond Joy lovers' delight.

Menu highlights beyond what I tried: Both the Baby Back Ribs and the Seared Ahi Tuna sounded delicious.

Other observations: The wait staff was friendly and attentive.

It was a full house on the evening of my dinner visit — given the family-friendly atmosphere, there was an energetic crowd that was slightly louder than the background music.

Gluten-free pizza crust is available.

Facebook is an ideal way to keep up with Twilight's community involvement and events.

Both Twilight restaurants leave room for improvement as it relates to their health scores. I personally prefer dining at restaurants which have consistently low (good) health scores.

Cost: Appetizers are priced from $4.95 to $11.95. Soup is $3.95 for a cup and $5.50 for a bowl. Salads start at $4.95 for the simple Fresca Salad and top out at $14.95 for the Seared Ahi Tuna Salad. Sandwiches cost $8.95 to $11.95. Entrees and pasta dishes range from $8.95 to $17.95. Pizzas come in 8-inch, 10-inch, 12-inch, 14-inch, and 16-inch and cost $5.95 up to $27.90 other than the cheese only pizza which costs $4.95 to $18.90. Kids' menu items are $4.50 to $5.50.

Hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday. 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.

Where: 1905 S.E. 192nd Ave., Suite 101, Camas (East Vancouver).

Telephone: 360-833-1919.

Web:www.twilightpizzabistro.com

Health score: Twilight Pizza received a 20 on Aug. 14. Zero is a perfect score, and Clark County Public Health closes restaurants with a score of 100 or higher. For information, call 360-397-8428.