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Willamette Valley restaurant

Boston
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Willamette Valley restaurant

This must be a new forum. How can I be the first person to ask a question about the Willamette Valley?

My husband and I will be spending a relaxing 3 days in the wine country in May. We are regulars to Sonoma, but decided to try something new. Any recommendations for must-try restaurants in the area? I was considering the Painted Lady and the Joel Palmer House. Any thoughts about these and any others to recommend?

Also, please suggest any not-to-be-missed wineries. In Sonoma, we usually try to avoid the large touristy ones, but not sure how much of an issue this will be in the Willamette Valley.

Thanks for any suggestions! We are really looking forward to our trip.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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1. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g52024-d26…

Obviously, you're not the first one to want info on the Willamette Valley, but in searching TA I found that the Willamette Valley Portland got all the action.

I think you'll get plenty of responses from our very knowledgeable forum regulars.

One reason for the confusion might be that the Willamette Valley stretches from Portland all the way beyond Eugene to the south. The area you're primarily interested in centers on McMinnville, Dundee and that region. Except on certain holiday weekends I doubt you'll run into Napa Sonoma type crowds.

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2. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Painted Lady is totally amazing, you will not be disappointed there. Jory@ The Allison Inn & Spa is another very good restaurant in this area.

Archery Summit, Domaine Drouhin, Domaine Serene and Sokkol Blosser are a few of our favorites for amazing Pinot Noir. Have fun! :).

Edited: 22 February 2013, 05:48
Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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3. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

There's a forum for "Willamette Valley" but not for the Gorge?

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Wow, first poster in a brand new forum!! I think you should get a prize!

Have you thought about where you'll be staying? With wine country less than an hour away, many visitors choose Portland, which would open up a world of dining possibilities. But if you're set on wine country - generally thought of as the area encompassing McMinnville, Newberg, Carlton, and all points around and between - I'd suggest you also consider Paulée in Dundee and Thistle in McMinnville. Neither have gotten a lot of attention on TA, Paulée because it's relatively new, and Thistle because not many visitors go looking for it. Subterra in Newberg is another worth considering. I've never been a big fan of Palmer House though.

I've lost track of how many hundreds of wineries there are in the Willamette Valley, and we all have our favorites, but the four syrahgirl recommended are usual tourist favorites, which is how I suspect she became aware of them in the first place. Not that they don't produce good (and in most cases, very expensive) wines, but I more prefer lesser known wineries like Four Graces, Stoller, Winterlea, Bergstrom, Trisaetum, ArborBrook, Seven of Hearts, and Lemelson. I'd have a different list if you're wanting to taste by appointment.

Since you're planning this for May, it may interest you to know that Memorial Day weekend is one of the year's two busiest in Oregon's wine country.

Newberg, Oregon
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5. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Several good suggestions already. Painted Lady is world-class and has gotten a lot of press all over the country. Well worth a visit! In Newberg, Jory and Subterra are also favorites. In Dundee, just a couple miles down the road, we love Red Hills Provincial Dining, Tina's and Dundee Bistro. Paulee got a lot of buzz when it opened a few months ago, but the founding chef left abruptly and there have been reports of sketchy service and inconsistent food.

Joel Palmer House, in nearby Dayton, is still pretty good and renowned for inventive mushroom dishes. In McMinnville, top choices include Nick's Italian Cafe, Thistle, Bistro Maison and LaRambla.

For wineries -- to name just a few favorites: Brick House, Beaux Freres, Trisaetum, Styring, Bergstrom, DeLancellotti, Archery Summit, Stoller, gyle and the place that started it all, Eyrie in an industrial area just outside of the downtown McMinnville shopping area.

Edited: 22 February 2013, 22:39
Boston
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6. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Thank you for all your responses! We are traveling the week before Memorial Day weekend, so hopefully will avoid the worst of the crowds. Should have mentioned that we are staying at the Black Walnut Inn which I picked after reading recommendations on TA.

Portland, Oregon
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7. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Black Walnut Inn? Good choice! Lovely setting, close by to several wineries, and also convenient to the Ribbon Ridge area. Very rural though, just so you know.

ORJohn, I haven't been to Paulée since Mondok left, but have read some recent reviews. Apparently the new exec. chef worked with Mondok to create the vision for Paulée, and has, himself, a pretty impressive resume. You should give it a try yourself before discouraging others.

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8. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Our meal at Joel Palmer House was very nice, it is housed in a Victorian home like Painted Lady. The food quality at Painted Lady is a few notches above JPH. :)

Newberg, Oregon
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9. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Totally agree -- Painted Lady is in a class by itself. Joel Palmer House was much better before founder Jack Czarnecki hung up his apron. Still good, but ....

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10. Re: Willamette Valley restaurant

Last night we celebrated my birthday at Painted Lady. Still as awesome as ever... My favorite restaurant in the area! :).

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