Located within one mile of each other in Dundee, Ore., these restaurants are some of the best in Willamette Valley. Tina's is a favorite of local winemakers, Dundee Bistro is run by the Ponzi family and Red Hills Provincial Dining has one of the area's best wine lists. In other words, you can't go wrong.
Venture outside Dundee and you’ll find three classic Willamette Valley restaurants. The Joel Palmer House is set in a grand Southern plantation revival mansion in Dayton. The menu reveals chef Chris Czarnecki's passion for mushrooms, and there’s a good selection of Oregon wines and older vintages. Nick’s Italian Café in McMinnville was the area’s first fine-dining experience when it opened 30 years ago, and now it's an institution. The atmosphere is quirky, with bookshelves galore and a coffee shop–like counter with stools, but Nick Peirano offers a good stock of local Pinots and top-notch Italian food for a small town. Just across the street is La Rambla, a tapas restaurant housed in a historic 1884 storefront that also holds a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for its wine list. With its handblown glass lamps, copper-topped mahogany bar and comfortable black leather stools, this is Willamette Valley at its most chic.
Please note that owners, chefs, menu items, prices and other details can often change. We recommend that you call ahead before you go.
100A S.W. Seventh St.
Dundee, OR 97115
Telephone: (503) 554-1650
Open: Lunch, daily, 11:30-5, Dinner, daily, 5-9:30
Cost: Entrées, $15 to $26
This busy bistro is owned by the Ponzi winemaking family, but don't dismiss this as a winery marketing tool. Talented chef Chris Flanagan prepares a seasonal menu that brings out the best in the local bounty of fish, meat and produce. Wine bottles big and small decorate the restaurant and murals designed by Oregon artists adorn the walls. The room seats about 80, but the best locale is the small dining bar near the open kitchen. The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning wine list, which has 200 selections, is strong in Oregon Pinot Noir—not just from Ponzi, though it's one of the best—and there's also a good offering of vintage Pinots.
Red Hills Provincial Dining's wine list features local producers but also a great selection from Germany and Austria.
Red Hills Provincial Dining
276 Highway 99W
Dundee, OR 97115
Telephone: (503) 538-8224
Open: Dinner, Tue-Sat, 5-9, Sun, 5-8
Cost: Entrées, $20 to $30
Eating at Red Hills Provincial Dining is like eating at your grandmother's house—especially if your grandmother is a fine cook, maintains a beautiful, old Craftsman bungalow and stocks the cellar with an impressive collection of wines. Chef-owner Richard Gehrts is the man behind it all. The living room-cum-dining room is homey, with lots of dark wood and white lace. The menu takes inspiration from around the world, with touches of Mediterranean and continental cuisine. With about 500 selctions, the wine list has no equal in the area and includes respectable offerings from Germany and Alsace.
Tina's wine list features 60 wines from local producers that pair well with the seasonal cuisine, like this scallop dish.
760 Highway 99W
Dundee, OR 97115
Telephone: (503) 538-8880
Open: Dinner, daily, 5-9
Cost: Entrées, $26 to $39
"Where do winemakers eat?" That's the question in every wine region, and the answer doesn't always guarantee a good meal. In this case, it does. Tina's looks like a funky little roadhouse on the outside, but the interior has an unfussy elegance to it. Two small dining rooms are divided by a double-sided fireplace. Chef Tina Bergen maintains a short, seasonal menu that features ingredients from local producers, and her food has a simple grace that marries well with wine. The wine list, with about 300 selections, focuses on the Pacific Northwest, but also features 40 reserve wines from Europe.