When Jeremy Brown's wife was expecting her second child, the couple realized their small house wasn't going to fit a family of four. Upon moving to a 5-acre fixer upper outside Battle Ground, the pair raised their kids as Jeremy nurtured another project: using those acres to create his own winery.
Since starting with his quaint, Tuscan-inspired tasting room, Jeremy has expanded his grounds to include several large patios and a wood-fired oven in the kitchen, where chefs prepare pizzas and small plates. Live musicians grace Rusty Grape Vineyard's stage Wednesday–Saturday, adding soothing tunes that complement the tasting room's draft beers and rotating selection of wine by the glass and bottle. Available pours might include a 2011 riesling or a complex red wine whose hints of cranberry give way to an oatmeal-cookie finish.
The hills above Milwaukie bear many secrets, including a turn-of-the-century estate called Amadeus Manor with sloping roofs, heavy wood doors, and stunning views of the Willamette River and Portland skyline. This hidden gem—a three-story stone manor built in 1921—emerges from the bowed limbs of enormous trees and shrubbery, welcoming people inside for a romantic dinner of continental cuisine.
Its menu is culled from European classics, with a focus on the owner's home country, Austria. For the schnitzel Amadeus, the chefs trim pork tenderloin by hand, and for the steak au poivre Madagascar, they paint a grilled new york strip steak in a peppercorn cognac demi glace and pair it with mango chutney. Dinners sweetly conclude with a rotating menu of desserts made in house and a cup of house coffee served with luscious clotted cream.
Guests linger over the meals at tables set with fresh flowers while nearby, a fire roars in a stone hearth. Dusk is particularly enchanting when the setting sun illuminates iron-framed windows and the manor's glittering chandeliers twinkle in the soft pink light.
Seeking a home for her one-of-a-kind mixed drinks—including lollipop-rimmed martinis—nationally recognized mixologist Lucy opened Mint restaurant in the spring of 2001. Her acclaimed cocktails’ popularity grew so quickly that in 2003, she opened an adjacent lounge where patrons could focus on drinks such as avocado daiquiris and jalapeño-and-pineapple margaritas. Along with its selection of 40 signature cocktails, the bistro has been luring patrons in with chef Brian McElmeel’s Pan-American-style dishes, which are composed predominantly of local and organic ingredients and influences from the Pacific Northwest, Mediterranean, and Latin America.
Four nights a week, the notes from live local jazz artists resonate off the high copper ceilings and bronze chandeliers of Wilfs Restaurant & Bar, which has served upscale cuisine within Portland's restored Union Station building since 1975. Head chef Deb Serkoian complements the serenade by crafting seasonal dishes with organic ingredients culled from local and regional farmers, including fresh seafood and meat from sources such as Double 'R' Ranch, Draper Valley, and Carlton Farms. At the bar, mixologists pour classic cocktails and new signature concoctions inspired by the seasons, recalling the annual beauty of a violet bud as it blooms into a glass of cabernet.
The chefs at Branch make everything from scratch?including butchering their own steak, curing their own bacon, and smoking their own poultry?to put their distinctive stamp on traditional dishes. Classic comfort foods take on inventive transformations to result in such unusual plates as Maine lobster dumplings and macaroni 'n' cheese gratin with Oregon black-truffle oil. On their side of the establishment, the bartenders take the same artisanal approach by infusing their bourbon with fresh local fruit and concocting their own whiskey liqueurs. The full bar features an extensive whiskey list with more than 150 whiskeys from around the world available in single glasses or tasting flights.
Sam Malone isn’t the bartender here, but Scandals has still amassed a Cheers-style crew of regulars since it opened in 1979. The bar also honors Sam’s sports background by showing Ducks, Blazers, and Timbers games on the projection screen. Other activities: Monday trivia, Tuesday karaoke, and a Sunday bloody-mary bar.