Spring 2008 Trip to Oregon
We are planning a 2 week trip in April to Oregon We are going to visit some wineries (in the interest of full disclosure we are in the restaurant business) but also want to find some good dining and lodging. We like to stay out of touristy places and prefer smaller spots with a live chef in the kitchen. Local and clean food is a priority whenever we can find it. Open to any and all suggestions/itineraries.
I'm not sure what you mean by a live chef in the kitchen, but if you make it to Portland, Sel Gris and Le Pigeon tend to attract a lot of industry people. They're both in a small space (only a handful of 4-tops) and have counter service with a full view of the line. In Le Pigeon's case, the counter *is* the line!
Checkout the Black Walnut Inn in Dundee. Newer Tuscany style place in the hills overlooking the Valley. Minutes from Erath, few minutes to Archery Summitt, Domain Serine and other great wineries. Be sure to make it to Carlton and the winemakers studio and all the smaller producers there.
Regarding eating in Portland you will be in for a special treat if you do minimal research. Here is the link to the local foodie site, enjoy.
I recently spent about two weeks with my son and his wife in PDX. Didn't eat out that much, but we did spend a night in the Willamette Valley. Stayed at the Youngberg Hill B&B/winery. Terrific location, but a bit of challenge driving in and out in the dark. In McMinnville, don't miss Nick's Cafe or the Bistro Maison.
I really like Muddy Valley where Youngberg Hill is located, but I agree it would be quite challenging to drive there in the dark after a day touring wineries. Springbrook Hazelnut Farm (http://nutfarm.com) is one place to stay that's not quite so remote. JK Carriere winery is actually on the same property, Rex Hill is next door, and Chehalem is across highway 99. It's also a working hazelnut farm. My manager stayed there several years ago and really liked it.
Check out McMenamin's Hotel Oregon in McMinville. It's right in the center of the Willamette Valley and has a cute restaurant and rooftop bar. Great beers too, if you need a break from all that wine! Some wineries I can recommend in the area are Erath, Argyle and Amity.
Come South to the Rogue Valley and we'll show you a good time.
Lots of food and drink grown and enjoyed. :)
+ the ever wonderful New Sammy's in Talent and a lot more.
If you're in the restaurant biz, contact Argyle winery in advance and you can get the super-deluxe tour/tasting, though it's probably true of a lot of the wineries with bigger distribution. I just happened to get to tag along on a tour of Argyle arranged by a wine distributor.
There seem to be some other threads here with great PDX recommendations for food--Pok Pok comes up a lot (I love it!) but sadly, Masu gets ignored in the sushi competitions.