12 Prime Wine Restaurants in the Pacific Northwest

Superior dining destinations throughout Oregon and Washington state

12 Prime Wine Restaurants in the Pacific Northwest
Seattle's Canlis has been a leader in Washington state dining for decades. (Kevin Scott)
Aug 25, 2022

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the United States’ best wine regions—and some of its best wine restaurants. All of the Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winners across Washington and Oregon contribute to the thriving wine scene in this corner of the country, but these 12 stand out especially. From classic fine-dining experiences to casual neighborhood joints to a two-story butcher shop–restaurant space, these dining destinations offer benchmark wines while championing producers in their own backyard.

This is just a small sampling of standout wine spots. For more wine-and-food destinations around the world, search all of Wine Spectator’s Restaurant Award–winning restaurants, including all our Grand Award recipients.

Do you have a favorite you’d like to see on this list? Send your recommendations to restaurantawards@mshanken.com. We want to hear from you!

Note: Opening hours and menus are subject to change as the industry continues to adjust to evolving regulations..


Canlis

2576 Aurora Ave. N., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 283-3313
Website www.canlis.com
Grand Award

 People in the modern-design dining room of Canlis, with wood and stone accents and large windows
Canlis has been delivering exceptional fine-dining experiences in Seattle since 1950. (Brian Canlis)

Grand Award winner Canlis has been a legend of Seattle fine dining since 1950, when it opened in a striking midcentury modern building designed by local architect Roland Terry. The restaurant earned Wine Spectator’s most prestigious Restaurant Award in 1997 and has since maintained a stellar record for wine and dining excellence. Chef Aisha Ibrahim’s three-course tasting menu spotlights locally sourced ingredients for a range of dishes: halibut with dashi, geoduck and turnip; striploin with Walla Walla onions and wild rice; and morel mushrooms with Koshihikari rice and pickles, for example. Working with a team of five sommeliers, Linda Milagros Violago oversees a wine list of more than 2,000 selections and a cellar containing more than 10,000 bottles. Since taking over in fall 2021, Violago has pared down the list while spotlighting lesser-known wineries and producers practicing sustainable techniques. Washington winemakers take center stage, including Leonetti, Quilceda Creek, Cayuse and Betz. The list also features blue-chip bottlings from other regions around the world, delighting with deep collections from Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône Valley. In addition to its dining room, Canlis sports a relaxed piano lounge where guests can enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine with a selection of small plates.


Metropolitan Grill

820 Second Ave., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 624-3287
Website www.themetropolitangrill.com
Grand Award

 People in the Metroplitan Grill dining room, with leather banquettes and brass and wood furnishings
This Seattle steak house makes a point to promote in-state wines. (Brooke Fitts)

Housed in downtown Seattle’s historic Marion Building, Metropolitan Grill is one of Washington state’s leading dining establishments. Founded in 1983 by hospitality entrepreneur David Cohn, this institution has held a Restaurant Award since 1996, earning its Grand Award in 2018. (It is now part of E3 Restaurant Group.) Looking through the restaurant’s 3,015-selection wine list, it’s easy to see why. Wine director Chris Lara shines the spotlights on leading names across Washington, California, France and Italy, including verticals and horizontals from Burgundy’s DRC, the Rhône Valley’s Chapoutier, Napa Valley’s Pahlmeyer and Columbia Valley’s Andrew Will, just to name a few. Oregon wines also feature heavily among the restaurant’s 19,195 bottles, particularly Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs, with leading wineries like Domaine Serene. With more than 100 selections, the large-format selection offers guests even more impressive bottles to enjoy, including magnums from many of Bordeaux’s leading châteaus. Altogether, this world-class collection deliciously complements executive chef Stan Ross’ steak house menu, which features everything from French onion soup and Maine lobster bisque to grilled king salmon and a bone-in heritage porkchop. There is, of course, a wide range of premium steaks, including a chateaubriand for two and dry-aged prime cuts from Washington’s Double R Ranch.


Wild Ginger

1401 Third Ave. Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 623-4450
Website www.wildginger.net
Grand Award

 People in the Wild Ginger dining room, a spacious contemporary space with tall columns throughout and wooden booths
Guests enjoy a mix of southeast Asian flavors and acclaimed wines at Wild Ginger. (Sarah Flotard)

Located in downtown Seattle, Wild Ginger draws inspirations from the cuisines of multiple Asian regions: Cambodia, Southern China, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. From cracking coconuts for milk to grinding spices for curries to producing oyster sauce using fresh oysters, the restaurant’s team makes many ingredients from scratch for chef Dimuthu Senarathna’s menu. That gives extra depth to dishes like Malay chicken skewers, Siam lettuce cups, black-pepper scallops, twice-cooked “fragrant duck,” Indian-style butter chicken and Chinese sausage with shrimp fried rice, along with a selection of vegan dishes. Though it boasts a Grand Award–winning wine list, the restaurant offers a casual atmosphere and moderate pricing. To play off Wild Ginger’s southeast Asian flavors, wine director Jason Smith leans toward bright whites and lighter reds. With strengths in California, Washington, the Rhône, Germany, Burgundy and Italy, the 650-label program features 14 wines by the glass and 100 bottles priced less than $100. There is also a rotating “last call” selection with 60 rarer bottles, as well as a reserve list with verticals, horizontals and older vintages from leading producers.


Alchemy Restaurant and Bar

The Winchester Inn, 35 S. Second St., Ashland, Ore.
Telephone (541) 488-1115
Website www.alchemyashland.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A person removing a glass cloche, letting steam escape, from atop a chicken dish at Alchemy Restaurant and Bar
True to its name, Alchemy melds quality ingredients into distinctive dishes. (Sarah Pineda)

Set inside the historic, 21-room Winchester Inn in Ashland, Ore., Alchemy Restaurant and Bar is on a mission to combine and transform great wine, local ingredients and a breathtaking setting in a Victorian home into a special experience for visitors. This process—which the restaurant’s team calls “transmutation”—starts with chef Michael Bryant’s menu. Highlighting all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer, Bryant turns seasonal ingredients into distinctive creations, including a foie gras “butterfinger,” curry moules frites and duck confit with Moroccan-style jus. Alongside, wine director and general manager Drew Gibbs offers a 500-wine, Award of Excellence–winning list that draws heavily from Willamette Valley, as well as California and France. Oregon Pinot Noir is central, with a collection of Eyrie wines going back to the 1980s, plus verticals and horizontals from Beaux Frères.


Barking Frog

14580 N.E. 145th St., Woodinville, Wash.
Telephone (425) 424-2999
Website www.willowslodge.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 A dish of salmon, grains and foam with greens on top
Locally sourced ingredients are key to Barking Frog’s menu. (Courtesy of Barking Frog)

In Woodinville, a hub of wineries and wine-tasting rooms just 30 minutes from Seattle, Willows Lodge offers a relaxing escape for fans of food, wine and nature. Barking Frog, the resort’s Best of Award of Excellence–winning restaurant, highlights local farmers and foragers, as well as distinguished wineries just a stone’s throw away, along with others across the globe. Highlights of executive chef Dylan Herrick’s menu include heirloom carrots with chèvre, black cod with prawn fennel cake, air-dried Muscovy duck breast with regional wild rice and a local tomahawk pork chop with summer squash. Guests can also pick desserts like macadamia-coconut rice pudding or cherries with chocolate, pairing them with wines from Barking Frog’s generous selections of Sherries, Ports, sweet wines and digestifs. Wine manager Courtney Smith’s list features 380 selections in all, with particular strengths in France and Washington, especially Woodinville-based wineries.


Brickhouse

5 N.W. Minnesota Ave., Bend, Ore.
Telephone (541) 728-0334
Website www.brickhousesteakhouse.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 People dining outside of Brickhouse, a brick building that was formerly the historic firehall building, with large cream-colored, glass-paneled doors
Brickhouse serves classic steak-house fare in the historic Bend firehall building. (Courtesy of Brickhouse)

An impressive, 450-label wine program has helped make Brickhouse one of Oregon’s leading steak houses. This Bend mainstay has held its Best of Award of Excellence since 2011, while its sibling location in Redmond, Ore., holds an Award of Excellence. In Bend, father-son duo Jeff Porad and Taylor Porad—the restaurant’s wine directors, and co-owners alongside Jeff Porad’s wife, Jodi Porad—have assembled a 3,300-bottle cellar focused on Washington, Oregon, California and France. Those looking for regional wines will find plenty of Willamette Valley Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs and reds from Washington’s Columbia Valley, including a vertical of Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon. Bottles from New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Austria offer even more options to pair with chef Sharon Fabian’s menu of steak-house classics and seafood. Smaller plates include Dungeness crab cocktail, kalbi beef skewers and steak tartare, leading into mains such as seared sea scallops and New England lobster. But beef is the star here, especially cuts like the Japanese A5 Kobe filet and the American Kobe filet from Idaho’s Snake River Farms. Whether dining inside—enjoying Brickhouse’s namesake setting in a historic firehouse—or outdoors on the restaurant’s patio, guests can finish their meal with one of the many dessert wines available.


The Butcher’s Table

2121 Westlake Ave., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 209-5990
Website www.thebutcherstable.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The Butcher’s Table’s upstairs bar with modern wooden chairs, a gold-hued bar, a reflective bar top and spherical lights
The Restaurant Award–winning wine list at the Butcher’s Table is also available in the space’s upstairs bar. (The Butcher’s Table)

Meat is central at the Butcher’s Table, a Best of Award of Excellence–winning Seattle restaurant that also houses a butcher shop, a deli, a cocktail bar and a raw bar over its two floors. The butcher shop supplies executive chef Morgan Mueller’s steak-house menu with its many carefully sourced cuts from family-owned ranches, from sirloin cap coulotte to a Denver cut (zabuton). But seafood also features heavily here, with the likes of grilled shrimp pasta and smoked king salmon. Non-meat eaters will find plenty of options too, including seasonal salads and a cauliflower steak entrée. Wine director Jason Sanneman’s 530-label list covers regions in Washington, Oregon (including Willamette Valley sparkling wine), California, France and Italy, plus Spain and Australia, and diners will find no shortage of top wineries throughout, such as Oregon’s Bergström. There are also significant small-format and large-bottle lists, with more than 20 and 30 selections, respectively.


Jory

The Allison Inn & Spa, 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, Ore.
Telephone (503) 554-2526
Website www.theallison.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The contemporary-design dining room of Jory, with tall windows looking onto trees and an outdoor deck with beige umbrellas
Offering farm-to-table cuisine, Jory invites guests to enjoy both the wine and produce of Oregon’s key appellations. (Courtesy of Jory)

At the Allison Inn & Spa in Willamette Valley, Jory offers visitors upscale farm-to-table dining in the middle of Oregon wine country. The Best of Award of Excellence winner sources most of its produce from its own one-and-a-half acre “chef’s garden”; a weekly blog lets guests follow along with the harvest. Chef Chris Smith prepares dishes such as strawberries with burrata and Chinook salmon crudo with braised fennel; among the mains, highlights include seared Fort Klamath sturgeon with house pancetta and a tasting of local duck. A seven-course tasting menu is available with optional wine pairings, as is a private chef’s table experience for up to eight people in the restaurant’s wine cellar, which offers views into the kitchen. Jory’s local emphasis extends to wine director Brian Cook’s 800-selection list, which focuses on Willamette Valley wines, though there are plenty of classic offerings from elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world.


RingSide Steakhouse

2165 W. Burnside St., Portland, Ore.
Telephone (503) 223-1513
Website www.ringsidesteakhouse.com
Best of Award of Excellence

 The RingSide Steakhouse dining room with low shelves of wine bottles and a brick hearth with a fire lit
RingSide Steakhouse has been a family-owned favorite for many years. (RingSide Steakhouse)

Owned by the Peterson family since opening in 1944, RingSide Steakhouse has been a destination restaurant in Portland, Ore., for decades, earning a Best of Award of Excellence in 2002. (Now-closed sibling locations RingSide Fish House and RingSide Grill were also Restaurant Award winners). In the 850-selection wine list, currently overseen by wine director Kristen Young, Oregon and Washington are the stars, alongside California and France (particularly Bordeaux), with solid picks from Italy and Spain. Throughout the list, maps of wine regions help diners navigate their choices. Among the cellar’s 11,000 bottles, is a particularly strong showing of sparkling wine from Oregon, Champagne and California; heavy-hitting reds from wineries like Leonetti and Abeja, and older vintages of first-growth Bordeaux. These reds are well suited to executive chef Jonathan Gill’s menu of wet- and dry-aged steaks and A5 Japanese cuts. If they aren’t set on beef and traditional steak-house fixings, guests can also pick dishes like crispy Mediterranean octopus, ahi tuna crudo, Maine lobster tail duo, fried chicken and blistered Padrón peppers.


Altura

617 Broadway E., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 402-6749
Website www.alturarestaurant.com
Award of Excellence

 People in the dining room of Altura, with long wooden tables, many bottles of wine, wineglasses and an open kitchen
Italian cuisine and regional ingredients mingle in the lively atmosphere of Altura’s dining room. (Joshua Croom)

Tucked in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Altura has helped elevate the Seattle dining scene with its impressive wine list and frequently changing tasting menu. When Rebecca and Nathan Lockwood opened the restaurant in 2011, it was one of only a handful of local fine dining establishments offering a tasting menu. Today, Nathan Lockwood—a former chef de cuisine at Grand Award winner Acquerello—offers nine courses using seasonal ingredients from regional producers, foragers and waters, as well as Altura’s own garden. While it shows Pacific Northwest influences, the menu is Italian in essence and technique. Its first course spotlights stuzzichini, Italian-style appetizers, setting the scene for dishes like charcoal-grilled Ezo abalone, spot prawns with heirloom black rice and rhubarb sorbetto with tarragon granita. To complement this Italian-meets-local cuisine, most of wine director Jonathan Valencia’s Award of Excellence–winning, 160-wine list focuses on Italy, with additional picks from the Pacific Northwest. Guests can choose from well-known local names, including Col Solare and Cayuse, or explore Italy’s skin-contact bottlings and diverse dessert wines. For their meals, diners can also choose from two pairing options: “modern meets classic” wine pairings throughout their meal, or a “balancing act” that alternates between wine and non-alcoholic beverages with each course (homemade sage and fennel shrub soda, for instance).


Cascina Spinasse

1531 14th Ave., Seattle, Wash.
Telephone (206) 251-7673
Website www.spinasse.com
Award of Excellence

 The Cascina Spinasse dining room with large windows, wooden chairs and tables and a lighting fixture that looks like a flower
With authentic dishes and impressive Nebbiolos, Cascina Spinasse brings Piedmont to the Pacific Northwest. (Suzi Pratt)

Cascina Spinasse offers an authentic taste of Italy’s Piedmont region—the land of Barolo and white truffles—in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. The rustic, trattoria-inspired dining room pays homage to cozy Northern Italian dining, while the Award of Excellence–winning wine list offers a tightly curated selection of Piedmont’s best-known bottles. Chef Stuart Lane, who studied cooking in Italy, sources ingredients from farms throughout the Pacific Northwest to prepare traditional Piedmontese dishes, such as handmade cavatelli with short rib ragù and braised pork belly stuffed with prosciutto. A tasting menu with optional wine pairings is also available. Wine director Bertram Ferrell oversees a list of 110 Italian wines spanning regions and leading wineries the length of the boot. Diners seeking a pre-dinner drink can choose from a selection of aperitivi and Italian-influenced cocktails, or head next door to Spinasse’s sibling location, Artusi, a casual aperitivo bar.


Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine

Ashland Springs Hotel, 212 E. Main St., Ashland, Ore.
Telephone (451) 488-5558
Website www.larksashland.com
Award of Excellence

 The Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine dining room, with a chalkboard in the background, two columns in the center of the room, cane chairs at the tables and the 1920s-built bar with “Larks” displayed on it in gold letters
Alongside farm-to-table cuisine, guests can enjoy a drink at Larks’ 1920s-built bar, imported from San Francisco. (Courtesy of Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine)

On the ground floor of the Ashland Springs Hotel in downtown Ashland, Ore., is Award of Excellence winner Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine. At this farm-to-table restaurant, chef Francesco Console creates a menu that mixes comfort food, twists on classics and creative dishes— like Southern-style fried chicken with herb buttermilk whipped potatoes and cider-brined pork chops with Oregon huckleberry chipotle glaze—that highlight the hard work of Oregon’s farmers, ranchers, fishers and cheesemakers. Molly Shaughnessy, Larks’ wine director and general manager, extends this regional focus to the 105-label wine list. The program is packed with Oregon Pinot Noirs from producers like Lingua Franca and St. Innocent, with additional picks from California, France, Spain and Italy. Much of the list spotlights producers and grapegrowers who share the restaurant’s passion for sustainable and biodynamic farming practices. Guests can enjoy their meals in Larks’ dining room or on its patio, which offers views of downtown Ashland.

Edited by Collin Dreizen, Emma Grant and Kenny Martin

Dining Out Restaurant Awards Restaurants oregon washington

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