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What's New in Wine Country for Summer 2014

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Photo of Dayton's Sokol Blosser Winery courtesy Pouregon via Flickr

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Is the Willamette Valley experiencing a restaurant boom? The Walnut City Kitchen unfortunately shuttered over the winter, but since the casual winos stopped flocking to the region at the end of summer 2013, no fewer than eight new restaurants and bars have popped up in the cities of McMinnville, Dundee, Carlton, and Newberg, with some major new projects promised in the coming months (the still-under-development KAOS Wine Village plans two separate restaurants and a dozen food and wine stalls in downtown McMinnville).

In case you're planning to head south for the annual Memorial Weekend in the Wine Country, here's a look at the brand-new dining options that have sprouted up since last year's event. (Can't make this weekend in wine country? Make up for it at one of Portland's eight other booze events on tap for this May and June.)


(And because it's a holiday weekend, here's one bonus tip: Downtown Carlton food cart Henry's Diner, which debuted in March 2013, was slightly too old for the map but was hailed as one of Michael Russell's top brunches of the year.)
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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Babica Hen Cafe Dundee

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1410 N Highway 99W
Dundee, OR 97115

The ambitious Paulee restaurant, inside the Inn at Red Hills, closed earlier this year — and in its place, a neighborhood cafe emerges. Babica Hen serves offers breakfast through dinner (morning waffles, midday soups and sandwiches, and plated entrees in the evenings). [Photo]

2. The Barlow Room

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306 Ferry Street
Dayton, OR 97114

The Barlow Room — a casual bar from the team behind Dayton's truffle enthusiast Joel Palmer House Restaurant — doesn't officially open until early June. But for those heading to downtown Dayton later this year, the Barlow Room will feature a menu of sandwiches and small and large plates (pan-fried sturgeon cakes and wild mushroom tartines in the former section; black cod and braised beef cheek in the latter). [Photo]

3. Barrel 47

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111 East Main Street
Carlton, OR 97111

Casual pub Barrel 47 debuted in late February, pouring six beers on tap and a lineup of cocktails to neighborhood folks coming in for games of shuffleboard or darts. The menu sticks closely to pub favorites, like burgers, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. [Photo]

4. The Bitter Monk

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250 NE 3rd St
McMinnville, OR 97128

A beer nerd's bar has landed in downtown McMinnville in the form of the Bitter Monk, which offers 16 beers/ciders on tap and an additional 50 by the bottle. The current tap list keeps things local with mostly Oregon beers, including Carlton's own Fire Mountain and Hood River's Logsdon Farmhouse. [Photo]

5. Farmers Plate & Pantry

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119 West Main Street
Carlton, OR 97111

A hybrid market, restaurant, and community learning center, Farmer's Plate and Pantry debuted in March, offering pantry items, 12-inch pizzas, and beer and wine to-go, plus a dine-in menu serving brunch, lunch, and dinner. During weekend brunch, chef/owner Tim Elliott sets up a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, which can be paired with egg-topped pizzas, blueberry pancakes, and chicken-fried chicken.

6. Gem Creole Saloon

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236 Northeast 3rd Street
McMinnville, OR 97128

The owners of McMinnville's 12-year-old tapas spot La Rambla branched out with last month's opening of Gem Creole Saloon, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant next door to La Rambla. The menu features all the classics: a half-dozen oyster preparations, grilled andouille sausage, crawfish etouffee, fried catfish, and jambalaya. Weekday happy hour (from 4-6p.m.) sees specials on Sazeracs, Bloody Marys, and snacks like jalepeno cheddar hushpuppies. [Photo]

7. Ruddick/Wood

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720 E 1st St, Newberg, OR 97132
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 487-6133
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Vino Paradiso alum Paul Losch and Kyle Lattimer (of Newberg's Uprooted) debuted the "tavern" side of their Newberg restaurant Ruddick/Wood in November 2013, and just last month, the duo swung open the doors to its main dining room. On the menu: several grilled items (chicory salad with hazelnuts; a half-chicken served with sausage and garlic roasted squash), house-made charcuterie, and larger plates like a fisherman's stew and roasted leg of lamb. The tavern menu keeps things more casual, with a list of drinking snacks, a house burger, and grilled flatbread. [Photo]

8. Storrs Smokehouse

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310 E 1st St
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-8080
Visit Website

The duo behind Newberg's fancy fine-dining restaurant the Painted Lady fire things up with a casual barbecue joint, Storrs Smokehouse, offering plates of smoked meat, traditional sides (slices of white bread, cups of mac-and-cheese) and barbecue by the pound. In the mornings, scratch-made biscuits and gravy are available (every day while supplies last) and before the menu gives way to pulled pork sandwiches, St. Louis-style ribs, and smoked chicken wings. [Photo]

1. Babica Hen Cafe Dundee

1410 N Highway 99W, Dundee, OR 97115

The ambitious Paulee restaurant, inside the Inn at Red Hills, closed earlier this year — and in its place, a neighborhood cafe emerges. Babica Hen serves offers breakfast through dinner (morning waffles, midday soups and sandwiches, and plated entrees in the evenings). [Photo]

1410 N Highway 99W
Dundee, OR 97115

2. The Barlow Room

306 Ferry Street, Dayton, OR 97114

The Barlow Room — a casual bar from the team behind Dayton's truffle enthusiast Joel Palmer House Restaurant — doesn't officially open until early June. But for those heading to downtown Dayton later this year, the Barlow Room will feature a menu of sandwiches and small and large plates (pan-fried sturgeon cakes and wild mushroom tartines in the former section; black cod and braised beef cheek in the latter). [Photo]

306 Ferry Street
Dayton, OR 97114

3. Barrel 47

111 East Main Street, Carlton, OR 97111

Casual pub Barrel 47 debuted in late February, pouring six beers on tap and a lineup of cocktails to neighborhood folks coming in for games of shuffleboard or darts. The menu sticks closely to pub favorites, like burgers, fish and chips, and bangers and mash. [Photo]

111 East Main Street
Carlton, OR 97111

4. The Bitter Monk

250 NE 3rd St, McMinnville, OR 97128

A beer nerd's bar has landed in downtown McMinnville in the form of the Bitter Monk, which offers 16 beers/ciders on tap and an additional 50 by the bottle. The current tap list keeps things local with mostly Oregon beers, including Carlton's own Fire Mountain and Hood River's Logsdon Farmhouse. [Photo]

250 NE 3rd St
McMinnville, OR 97128

5. Farmers Plate & Pantry

119 West Main Street, Carlton, OR 97111

A hybrid market, restaurant, and community learning center, Farmer's Plate and Pantry debuted in March, offering pantry items, 12-inch pizzas, and beer and wine to-go, plus a dine-in menu serving brunch, lunch, and dinner. During weekend brunch, chef/owner Tim Elliott sets up a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar, which can be paired with egg-topped pizzas, blueberry pancakes, and chicken-fried chicken.

119 West Main Street
Carlton, OR 97111

6. Gem Creole Saloon

236 Northeast 3rd Street, McMinnville, OR 97128

The owners of McMinnville's 12-year-old tapas spot La Rambla branched out with last month's opening of Gem Creole Saloon, a New Orleans-inspired restaurant next door to La Rambla. The menu features all the classics: a half-dozen oyster preparations, grilled andouille sausage, crawfish etouffee, fried catfish, and jambalaya. Weekday happy hour (from 4-6p.m.) sees specials on Sazeracs, Bloody Marys, and snacks like jalepeno cheddar hushpuppies. [Photo]

236 Northeast 3rd Street
McMinnville, OR 97128

7. Ruddick/Wood

720 E 1st St, Newberg, OR 97132, Newberg, OR 97132

Vino Paradiso alum Paul Losch and Kyle Lattimer (of Newberg's Uprooted) debuted the "tavern" side of their Newberg restaurant Ruddick/Wood in November 2013, and just last month, the duo swung open the doors to its main dining room. On the menu: several grilled items (chicory salad with hazelnuts; a half-chicken served with sausage and garlic roasted squash), house-made charcuterie, and larger plates like a fisherman's stew and roasted leg of lamb. The tavern menu keeps things more casual, with a list of drinking snacks, a house burger, and grilled flatbread. [Photo]

720 E 1st St, Newberg, OR 97132
Newberg, OR 97132

8. Storrs Smokehouse

310 E 1st St, Newberg, OR 97132

The duo behind Newberg's fancy fine-dining restaurant the Painted Lady fire things up with a casual barbecue joint, Storrs Smokehouse, offering plates of smoked meat, traditional sides (slices of white bread, cups of mac-and-cheese) and barbecue by the pound. In the mornings, scratch-made biscuits and gravy are available (every day while supplies last) and before the menu gives way to pulled pork sandwiches, St. Louis-style ribs, and smoked chicken wings. [Photo]

310 E 1st St
Newberg, OR 97132

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