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Portland/Willamette Valley

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We've been to PDX and WV many times, but not for about 5 years. We need 3 dinner spots in PDX and 2 in the WV. We tend to prefer regional to ethnic cuisine. We like fine dining, reasonably quiet spots, good service, excellent cocktails and good OR wine list. In the past we've enjoyed Higgins and Le Pigeon in PDX and would happily return if these are still terrific. Will need a total of 3 spots in PDX. In the WV, we've enjoyed Jory in the past, and have heard good things about the Painted Lady. Where would you go for 2 dinners in the Willamette Valley?

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  1. By Willamette Valley I presume you mean Yamhill County/wine country.

    This is a list of pretty much all the restaurants in Yamhill County in the finer dining/good food category:

    McMinnville:
    Thistle: Quirky, high-quality locally sourced menu.
    Nick's: Good Italian
    Bistro Maison: French bistro

    Newberg:
    Jory: Beautifully appointed with very good spa hotel style food. Big wine list.
    Recipe: Comfort food done with great ingredients (personal fave).
    Ruddick Wood: New tavern/restaurant with good pedigree.

    Dundee:
    Tina's/Red Hills/Dundee Bistro: Wine Country dining. Tina's and Red Hills probably more intimate and a tick above Dundee Bistro for dinner.
    Red Hills Market: Fun spot for casual wood fired pizza and sandwiches.

    Dayton:
    Joel Palmer House: Mushrooms galore.

    Carlton:
    Cuvee: French food. Never been there.
    Horseradish: Decent sandwich/lunch spot.

    I may be missing something but I don't think so, there are of course bars on the divey side and there are certainly a number of pretty good Mexican restaurants/carts in the area as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: oregonjim

      You haven't mentioned The Painted Lady in Newberg (I think). Is it any good? If you were picking 2, which would they be.

    2. Crap. Yeah forgot about the Painted Lady. I have not been there in years but people generally tell me good experiences they had. I would say it veers toward more cosmopolitan style food as opposed to wine country food but they do it very well.

      1. I like Jory, too. But if you are looking to maybe do something different in the Willamette Valley, I would probably choose (based on the criteria above):

        Thistle - excellent cocktails, quiet, good service, and good wine list. More casual atmosphere and oregonjim describes the food perfectly. The only annoying thing is that the menu is only posted on a blackboard in one part of the restaurant (so I tend to photograph it when I walk in so I can look at it at the table).

        Joel Palmer - if you like mushrooms, they are the featured ingredient. They even have a candy cap mushroom martini. The menu was updated a bit when father turned the reigns over to son about 6 years ago. This is fine dining with a good wine list as well.

        oregonjim's list is good. I have not been to them all. I did go to The Painted Lady finally last summer and we did enjoy it. This fine dining (in a converted house, which is a common theme in the wine country - see also Joel Palmer House, Tina's, Red Hills, Bistro Maison). I don't remember if they have cocktails, but the wine list, service, and food were all solid.

        For Portland, there are many things to choose from, so I don't know that you necessarily will want to repeat.

        Finer dining:
        Castagna
        Noisette

        Other options:
        Atuala (tapas)
        Little Bird
        OX
        Ava Gene's

        1. For our 3 nights in PDX we're considering:
          Higgins
          Le Pigeon
          Clyde Commons

          For our 2 nights in WV we're considering:
          Recipe
          Painted Lady

          Based on my op, are these good choices, or would you substitute something else.