01/13/2009Provided by Citysearch -
The Painted Lady Restaurant in Newberg OR now has a nightly tasting menu... four courses for $60, you have a couple choices for each course. (It's their only option, there is no ""regular"" menu.) They use seasonal, local ingredients, so the menu is always changing. I was there in December and I'm still dreaming of the gnocchi --- pillowy, soft and firm, topped with a wild mushroom ragout that was heavenly. Rich, deep flavor, perfectly seasoned - I will compare all gnocchi to this gnocchi from now on.
The steelhead over cauliflower puree with roasted beets was popular with everyone at the table... the fish was everything it should be: moist, tender, flavorful, fresh. If I hadn't known the puree was cauliflower, I would have honestly thought it was a soft, gentle mashed potato puree. They were buttery, creamy, earthy and truly out of this world.
Beyond the food -- and go for the cheese plate! at an extra $15 it is worth it! -- the service and cocktails were fantastic. I know it is a wine destination, and in wine country, but I'd had too much wine that day, and was perfectly happy with a classic, dry martini to start and a Manhattan just-as-it-should-be later on. Seems like a full bar can be hard to come by, but this place is top-notch, a real competitor among the best restaurants I've eaten at in San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver BC and Portland. The service was memorable for its professionalism and comfort. I walked in and felt right at home. Well, a fancy home, but I walked right in and felt wholly welcome.
For guests - I went with out of town family - and for a special celebration, The Painted Lady is on the top of my list for a long time to come!