Constructed with wood milled from trees that once stood on the same soil, Riverview Restaurant’s sunlit space boasts high ceilings, exposed wood beams, and a stone-front fireplace, all which helped nab it a spot on OpenTable’s list of top 100 romantic restaurants in the country. Walls hung with original artwork surround linen-topped tables where diners savor plated steaks and seafood dishes tinged with miso, sesame, and other fusion flavors. An extensive wine list serves wine by the glass, bottle, or surreptitiously emptied flower vase, and bartenders swirl signature drinks such as pear martinis and pomegranate mojitos. Massive, floor-to-ceiling windows offer views onto manicured grounds, complete with a gazebo where patrons can reenact the scene in The Sound of Music where Rolf and Liesl cleverly disguise themselves as trees.
The Joel Palmer House fills fine china with globally inspired dishes that fuse locally produced herbs and vegetables with wild Oregon mushrooms. Amorous eaters take breaks from sweetheart staring contests to thaw benumbed tongues with warm bowls of Joe's wild mushroom soup, a 75-year-old family recipe that combines the rich essence of pureed suillus mushrooms with creamy crème fraîche ($9). The beef stroganoff pleases palates with succulent meat, wild mushrooms, and seasoned rice ($30), and the sautéed sea scallops, served with lotus root, wild mushroom duxelles, and a creole pinot gris sauce ($32), fill abdominal abysses. Fortify fungus fare with a bottle of locally fermented pinot noir from a sprawling list of Oregon wines and achieve a culinary harmony unseen since the California Raisins dominated the airwaves.
On mornings at Broadway Cafe, patrons cozy into pink-cushioned chairs and turquoise booths for American breakfasts of french toast, syrup-slathered pancakes, and hearty three-egg omelets. For lunch, tables populate with juicy burgers and amply stuffed sandwiches held together by gooey swiss and cheddar cheese. After sipping the last of a strawberry lemonade or iced tea, patrons can dig into desserts, including pie à la mode or an ice-cream sundae.
Having carved out its own elegantly understated space inside the Red Lion Hotel, Willamette Valley Grill recently restyled its menu to feature appetizers, entrees, and salads beaming with the bravado of classic American bistro fare. Inspired by local and seasonal ingredients, chefs entice palates with starter dishes of steamer clams sauteed with pancetta, leeks, tomato, garlic, and wine. Velvety bowls of butternut squash and gorgonzola ravioli create a symphony of autumn flavors while aromas pan-roasted halibut and chimichurri ribeye mingle through the dining room. After dining and sipping on a range of Pacific Northwest wines, guests can trade the restaurant's tasteful ambiance for the colorful hues of an adjacent lounge.