Another Willamette Valley Thread - Restaurants

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R yan C omaz zetto
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Another Willamette Valley Thread - Restaurants

#1 Post by R yan C omaz zetto » August 17th, 2017, 10:21 am

I was informed by the thread police that this did not belong in wine talk...

Looking for some info on WV restaurants - planning for a trip in late September. We will be staying in Newberg. I know there are probably a number of other threads if I search, but I'm looking for the latest and greatest. Restaurants change - old ones change hands and what was good can go bad; plus new things pop up all the time. I'm more interested in staying local - Newberg, Dundee, McMinnville. But if there is something that is an "absolutely can't miss" in Portland, I'm open to that as well.

Thanks!

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#2 Post by Steven Miller » August 17th, 2017, 10:28 am

I'll start by throwing out a Dayton Oregon standby:

The Joel Palmer House

http://www.joelpalmerhouse.com/
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#3 Post by Leonard Taylor » August 17th, 2017, 10:28 am

Going to Jory for lunch. It was highly recommended. Also Thistle in McMinnville.
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#4 Post by Jim Anderson » August 17th, 2017, 11:21 am

Newberg: Painted Lady (high end, prix fixe, very well done), Jory at The Allison (resort spa style food), lots of good Mexican restaurants and carts.

Dundee: Tina's, Red Hills Provincial Dining (both wine country dining in intimate environs), Red Hill Market (wood fired pizza and sandwiches in a wine country style grocery store)

Dayton: Aforementioned Joel Palmer House (mushroom-o-rama)

McMinnville: Nick's (old school Oregon wine country Italian), Thistle (locally sourced NW cuisine), The Barberry (new NW meets steakhouse in a nice, casual environment), Valley Commissary (excellent breakfast and lunch spot), La Rambla (tapas), Pura Vida (excellent Latin American food)

I may be missing a place or two but I think that sort of covers the bases of what you are looking for. They likely all have web sites and perhaps people can comment on their experiences at any of these or maybe other places. Oregon wine country is still pretty small so there are not tons of higher end restaurants as everyone has to work within the context of the community. Not to say these places are not very good, just that there are less than people sometimes expect.
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#5 Post by R yan C omaz zetto » August 17th, 2017, 12:12 pm

Thanks Jim - we're definitely not in need of "high end" all the time, so don't think we'll have any problem finding what we're looking for.

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#6 Post by James Lyon » August 17th, 2017, 2:08 pm

Jim A. hits all of the high points in the valley. I would add Recipe to his list. I'm not sure if the old Recipe has reopened, but we had a couple of great meals at the Recipe Part Deux in downtown Newberg during our recent visit. Hard to believe they were cooking from a food truck behind the restaurant.

My top 3 for dinner would be Painted Lady, Recipe and Thistle. If you are staying in Newberg than you can switch Thistle with Jory. I would recommend McMinville, so you can visit with Marcus, Todd, Rick at Heater Allen, Eyrie, Westrey, Brittan, Kelly Fox, Elizabeth Chambers, etc. lunch at Valley Commissary and wrap up the day with dinner at Thistle.

We ate at Coquine in Portland during our recent visit and it was fantastic.

Enjoy your trip. It's hard to go wrong in Oregon Wine Country.

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#7 Post by Nolan E » August 17th, 2017, 5:58 pm

James Lyon wrote: Enjoy your trip. It's hard to go wrong in Oregon Wine Country.
I find the opposite, and always warn travelers of recommendations by locals who grew up in the area who may not know anything else.
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#8 Post by Todd Hamina » August 17th, 2017, 6:42 pm

I will add the 411 in Mac. No frills and great food.
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#9 Post by Brandon J. » August 17th, 2017, 6:46 pm

For fear of appearing negative, I will apologize in advance....

Ryan, are you looking for places to eat or high quality restaurants?

There isn't exceptional food in your area with the exception of a few places.

Recipe part Deux
Dos Mondus
Red Hills Market
Dundee Bistro is decent
Nicks is decent
La Rambla is decent

If you want fantastic food, unfortunately you have to go into Portland :)
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#10 Post by Todd Hamina » August 17th, 2017, 6:58 pm

To each their own, I can't imagine 3+ hours round trip to eat in PDX with the exception of Le Pigeon.

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#11 Post by Todd Hamina » August 17th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Nolan E wrote:
James Lyon wrote: Enjoy your trip. It's hard to go wrong in Oregon Wine Country.
I find the opposite, and always warn travelers of recommendations by locals who grew up in the area who may not know anything else.
I have lived in four countries and my dad grew up in France and Switzerland. Here is a list of restsurants I find charming.

Nick's
411
Riddick Wood
Recipe
La Rambla
Tina's

Sure there's more out there, but to play the bumpkin card is pathetic. My wife is CIA Hyde Park and was doing James Beard dinners in the 90's. I have opinions. White table cloth in wine country is close to an oxymoron. However, if you want tasty food from good folk, look above.
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#12 Post by Brandon J. » August 17th, 2017, 7:18 pm

I always forget about 411.

I also will have to try Tina's again because...I've been there a half dozen times and they've been inconsistent to say the least. I know they changed hands or so I heard so maybe I need to stop in again. Their pricing for what is was just didn't add up.

Portland is a 1.5 hour round trip (without traffic). If you head up to Portland before 2, wander around before dinner, have dinner and drive back you won't hit traffic.
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#13 Post by Jim Anderson » August 17th, 2017, 7:34 pm

Forgot Ruddick Wood (good lunch spot, never had dinner) and have not been to the temporary version of Recipe. Left out Dundee Bistro as well. Never even heard of 411 which might give you some idea of the stretch of land between not only northern Newberg and Mac but wine country and Portland. I live in Portland and do not mind the 27 mile round trip but for dinner or if I lived down in Mac and wanted to go to Coquine deep on the east side of Portland, wel, that's a commitment.
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#14 Post by Nolan E » August 17th, 2017, 8:03 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:
Nolan E wrote:
James Lyon wrote: Enjoy your trip. It's hard to go wrong in Oregon Wine Country.
I find the opposite, and always warn travelers of recommendations by locals who grew up in the area who may not know anything else.
I have lived in four countries and my dad grew up in France and Switzerland. Here is a list of restsurants I find charming.

Nick's
411
Riddick Wood
Recipe
La Rambla
Tina's

Sure there's more out there, but to play the bumpkin card is pathetic. My wife is CIA Hyde Park and was doing James Beard dinners in the 90's. I have opinions. White table cloth in wine country is close to an oxymoron. However, if you want tasty food from good folk, look above.
Todd, I agree that there is great food in the area, and you're definitely not the 'local' I referred to. There are a lot of people who were born and raised in Yamhill County that have traveled and experienced what the world has to offer, and there are a lot who haven't. I've worked with both.

Also, you and Jim have obviously been here a lot longer than me and have been to the restaurants more frequently than me. Many of the valley's favorites I've been to once, maybe experienced a bad night, and never returned.

I've had awesome meals at Recipe Part Deux (never got to go to the original), Pura Vida (maybe the most consistently great food in my experience) and Jory, all competing with meals in food-destination cities.

My point is just that it's worth sizing up the person making the recommendation.
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#15 Post by Todd Hamina » August 17th, 2017, 8:30 pm

This ain't Napa here.
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#16 Post by R yan C omaz zetto » August 17th, 2017, 8:41 pm

Thanks everyone - I value all (well maybe most) Berserkers' opinions here. I think that the kind of person that appreciates good wine, probably also has decent taste in food. It's not like I'm asking a bunch of people who drink bud light and white zinfandel for their restaurant recommendations.

I appreciate well prepared food at any level - cooked properly and seasoned properly with a nice presentation. Over the top for the sake of being high end is just as bad as sloppy, flavorless and boring.

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#17 Post by Nolan E » August 17th, 2017, 8:48 pm

Todd Hamina wrote:This ain't Napa here.
One of my favorite things!
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#18 Post by scott c » August 29th, 2017, 12:33 pm

Thistle is fantastic (this from an out-of-town, big city-dwelling, international-traveling food snob).
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#19 Post by John Davis » August 29th, 2017, 2:43 pm

Nolan E wrote:
James Lyon wrote: Enjoy your trip. It's hard to go wrong in Oregon Wine Country.
I find the opposite, and always warn travelers of recommendations by locals who grew up in the area who may not know anything else.
Fine but what do you rcommend?

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#20 Post by Nolan E » August 29th, 2017, 7:17 pm

See my above post.
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#21 Post by Rick Allen » August 29th, 2017, 9:17 pm

I like Nick's, Thistle, La Rambla, Pura Vida, and Bistro Maison. I'm intrigued with Barberry and 411, but haven't been to either enough to really judge. For breakfast and lunch I like Community Plate and Valley Commissary. Others really like Crescent Cafe. I don't dine out elsewhere in Yamhill County because I'd rather go to PDX if I'm going to drive.

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#22 Post by John Davis » August 30th, 2017, 1:37 pm

Nolan E wrote:See my above post.
Sorry missed it in there...

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#23 Post by P. Willenberg » August 31st, 2017, 6:51 am

Todd Hamina wrote:To each their own, I can't imagine 3+ hours round trip to eat in PDX with the exception of Le Pigeon.

Disclaimer: they sell my wine.
But this is a fair point. Given the current state of Seattle dining, I'd drive to Portland just to eat at Le Pigeon. It's a can't miss and you should tack it on the front or back of your trip. Nothing close in Seattle.
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