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Showing posts from September, 2017

Where to Eat in the Willamette Valley

My prior post on The Painted Lady is my top choice for a high end multi-course menu with wine pairings in the Willamette Valley. It was unquestionably our favorite dining experience during our stay. However, most of our meals were a bit more casual. I'm listing some of our favorite spots here along with another option for a more extravagant night out.

For breakfast, lunch or dinner -
Babica Hen Café - There are two locations of this restaurant, we went to the one in Dundee which is open everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We had a late breakfast here on the last day of our trip before driving back to Portland. I ordered the Shredded Chicken Tostada which came with two crispy tostadas topped with tinga chicken, two fried eggs, avocado, black beans, pico de gallo, salsa roja, lettuce, sour cream and cotija cheese. This was one of the larger options on the menu, it was hearty and very flavorful. I paired it with a spicy Bloody Mary which had a definite face-flushing heat, be for…

Wining and Dining at The Painted Lady - Willamette Valley

The quintessential dining experience in Willamette Valley is to enjoy the tasting menu with pairings at The Painted Lady. I made sure to book this reservation as soon as I knew the dates of my trip. The restaurant is located in Newberg in a Victorian house which was the inspiration for the name. In American architecture, a painted lady is a term for Edwardian or Victorian homes that were painted in three or more colors to enhance their design features.

We arrived for dinner shortly before 8:00 and were immediately ushered to our table upstairs. This dining area was filled with cozy couples enjoying the full tasting experience which was perfect for us as we were there to do the same. An array of canapes immediately arrived to our table along with our water and the assurance that our first wine pairing would be delivered shortly.

Our wine selections began with Régis Minet Pouilly Fumé Vieilles Vignes 2014 which would
accompany both the mixed canapes and the asparagus-based amuse bouche.

September is California Wine Month

As originally seen in the September issue of  Galveston Monthly magazine


The Allison Inn & Spa - Willamette Valley

After the Allison Inn & Spa was repeatedly recommended as the place to stay when in Willamette, I went on-line and booked a room. The resort was built in 2009 and was the valley's first luxury hotel. It sits on 35 acres with vineyards, gorgeous gardens and a surrounding art walk. We arrived to find that we had a ground floor room with a back patio and small garden space which lent an air of privacy though it lead out to the walkway. 
Our room was fairly spacious with a gas fireplace easily lit for warmth or ambience. There was adequate storage for two people's things and comfortable seating where one could work or enjoy coffee.  It had a large marble bathroom and vanity area. While the room had abundant natural and artificial light and was easily darkened for sleeping, the bathroom could have used a bit more light for morning and pre-dinner primping.
There was a nice bar on the lobby level with a living room serving up a good array of wine and snacks. It opened to a large te…