Dining around the Valley
The best way to end a day of wine tasting in the Willamette Valley is with a delicious dinner. Valley chefs strive to source the freshest local produce, meats and seafood to complement superb local vintages. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Sybaris Bistro calls itself “an eclectic Northwest Bistro.” Chef Matt Bennett has numerous James Beard Award nominations and his local resume extends to Clemenza’s Italian café and First Burger, all in downtown Albany.
Try: Vegetarian “haggis” with mashed turnips and potatoes and whiskey mustard cream.
Big River Restaurant and Bar gets grass-fed lamb from Junction City, goat cheese from Sweet Home, Angus beef from Canby and organic produce from Philomath. Clearly, fresh and local are built in.
Try: Troll-caught king salmon, Denison Farms delicata squash and new potato homefries with spinach, shallots and salsa verde.
Cuvée offers handcrafted French cuisine on a three-course prix fixe menu. The Oregon wines on the list are complemented by several carefully selected French wines.
Try: Coquilles St. Jacques: Scallops and small prawns cooked in a leek béchamel sauce topped with melted chevre.
Wild foraged mushrooms create the heart of the Joel Palmer House menu. Fourth generation chef Christopher Czarnecki carries on a tradition of great cooking and dedication to Pinot Noir (with around 500 to choose from).
Try: Crème Brulée with essence of candy cap mushroom. And don’t forget to check out their Mushroom Sunshine menu this month.
At Paulée, Chef Sean Temple works with the seasons and the valley farms to create artisan dishes from locally sourced ingredients in a comfortable setting. Diners can choose from more than 60 wines by the glass.
Try: The raw menu, which includes oysters, elk carpaccio and lamb tartare.
Serving Northwest cuisine with an Italian flair, Ox & Fin opened this summer as a new project of the owners of the former Osteria Sfizio. Chef Andrew Stone presides in the kitchen of the newly imagined restaurant.
Try: Grilled Pears with honey, prosciutto, arugula, pine nuts and grana padano.
A project of Community Plate’s owner Scott Cunningham and chef Jesse Kincheloe, Walnut City Kitchen opened this past December. From the look of the January menu, it will be a tasty addition to the valley.
Try: Braised pork belly with arugula, romesco and celery root puree.
Aspiring to be “refined, modern and American,” The Painted Lady has been praised by Zagat, Sunset magazine and USA Today among others. The delicious menu is matched by the beauty of the restored Victorian house.
Try: Slow roasted steelhead with wild mushrooms and prosciutto in a white wine cream sauce.
At the Wild Pear Restaurant, a passion for Northwest cuisine is detectable in every dish. The wide range of sandwiches, salads, pizzas and specials is sure to please.
Try: Pizza with pears, candied pecans, blue cheese, chicken and mozzarella on a pesto-brushed crust.
About the Author: Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.
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