Oregon Wine Country Restaurants
Farm to Fork & Press
The two-year-old Inn at Red Hills has two great places to sample local, small-lot wine. At Press wine bar, sommelier Mark Bosko (formerly of Domaine Drouhin) oversees the list: The Inn's co-owner and winemaker Paul de Lancellotti has his '07 Estate Pinot Noir on it. The same wines are offered at Farm to Fork restaurant, where chef Paul Bachand sources almost everything from within a 200-mile radius for dishes like crisp razor clams with fennel salad.
Named for the place where Jesus first turned water into wine, Cana's Feast winery (formerly Cuneo Cellars) has a cult following for its bold Italian wines, including Sangiovese and Barbera. Its special wine dinners had such a big audience that the tasting room was turned into a café, and chef Lisa Lanxon now serves lunch and dinner every weekend. Her Italian menu might include farro-and-beet salad made with ingredients from her garden; her $25, three-course supper with a glass of wine is one of the best deals in wine country.
Chef Eric Bechard is so dedicated to the locavore cause, he got into a scuffle with another chef recently over the provenance of a pig. At his tiny Thistle, decorated with an oddball mix of chandeliers and deer antlers, he offers a dozen or so choices on the menu. Dishes like über-rich rabbit rillettes with fennel pickles are all less than $20. Emily Howard's intriguing wine list features Oregon bottles like 2006 Daedalus Cellars Riesling.