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1 May 2006“No inspiration except that I live nearby, so I think I'm in a better position to create this list than someone who's visited wine country for a half day.”
based on 11 votes
Since it's so subjective, I hesitate to create a listing of best wine or wineries, but most of us can agree about food. So, herewith a listing of the best restaurants in Oregon's Yamhill Valley wine country, in no particular order.
Usually near the top of everyone's list, both visitors and locals, Joel Palmer's specializes in creating dishes that combine the owners' love of mushrooms with the best of the valley's varietals: pinot noir, pinot gris, and chardonnay. The setting is a sure to please historic home in Dayton.
Tina's dishes are created using mostly organically produced ingredients from nearby farms. The menu leans toward Europe, but has a certain NW flair. Tina's is a popular spot for area winery employees, so reservations are usually necessary.
A relative newcomer to the scene, The Painted Lady has made a big splash in wine country dining. The restaurant is housed in a Victorian home in Newberg, and like most in the area, features menu items prepared from fresh local ingredients. Painted Lady may be the best of the bunch, and it's priced accordingly.
Nick's is an institution in McMinnville, and has been around since long before most wineries started planting vines. Still, the casual, diner like restaurant has become a favorite for solid Italian fare, and boasts a wine list with a broad selection from area wineries.
Dundee Bistro is owned by the Ponzi family, pioneers in Oregon's wine industry. With a location in the center of Dundee, it's an obvious choice for visitors to wine country, and rarely disappoints. Dinners are fine, but I think it's best as a lunch stop.
Cuvee is a small, intimate, country French style restaurant in tiny Carlton, away from the more highly traveled winery roads. Many of us who've had the pleasure of a meal there might selfishly hope it would stay that way. This place is a real gem.
Relatively new on the scene in McMinnville. Very small, cozy..... innovative, tasty dishes.... should be the best restaurant in town. Except that for some peculiar reason, the chef/owner isn't very welcoming. So, best to not sit at the dining bar.
Cana's Feast Winery (formerly Cuneo) has for several years had a commercial kitchen in which they prepare special event meals and tasty bites for their wine club gatherings. The excellent on-staff chef there also operates a limited-schedule restaurant from the kitchen, serving meals either inside the winery, or at tables outside. If you're wine-tasting in Carlton on a weekend, I'd pick Cana's Feast as the best spot for a great lunch. With the Bocce courts nearby, it's not difficult to imagine you're in Italy.
For better or for worse, The Allison Inn & Spa has brought a Napa Valley feel to Oregon's wine country. Including its restaurant, Jory. I've only sampled a few items off the bar menu there, but have little doubt that this place would hold its own even if it were located in Yountville.