Article by Yvonne Gill, a former expat now embracing the burbs of Portland.
In a quaint Victorian home on the road to Oregon’s esteemed wine country sits a foodie’s quintessential mecca where chic and organically palatable intertwine.
Approaching Mother Nature to inspire their menu, chefs illustrate their garden’s bounty in a presentation worthy of an exhibit. Their expertise harmonizes the seasonal options to create an arrangement nearly too beautiful to eat. Ingredients are so fresh; you can almost taste the moment they were plucked from their terrain.
Recipe is a restaurant, which masters the allure of farm to table eating; captivated by their neighboring countryside, then ensuing plates as their canvas. Its venue sits in peaceful Newberg and sets the scene for a cozy lunch and exclusive dinner – all while carrying a distinct European vibe. The first steps through the door embrace the modernly rustic ambiance, whose theme seamlessly transitions to their meals. Thriving off the land and copious wine in Oregon’s vineyards, this “neighborhood kitchen” speaks to its name.
On a Friday night, our agenda sought a local dining experience, whose meal leaves an impression. So, with friends we unanimously decided on Recipe. Months ago during an afternoon of wine tasting, we first pleasured in the restaurant’s casual atmosphere, yet current spread. During the warmer months when heirloom tomatoes couldn’t help but show off their summer essence, we devoured the garden’s boast in a Panini; its simplicity highlighted the quality and attention to detail the chefs regard for each item prepared. My husband indulged in the best burger to ever graze his lips; its caliber and freshness made a bold statement. Therefore, I knew if my dinner were even half as good as lunch, I would be in for a treat that Friday night.
Graciously welcomed in the repurposed house, we were escorted by the bar displaying a beautiful variety of wine from near and far. Meandering through a room decorated to the likes of a French bistro meets Central Europe; chatter buzzed amongst fellow food lovers as I gazed at their plated art, noting potential options for myself.
Seated in an intimate spot, a concise menu worthy of studying was placed in front of me. Starring specialties dictated by this year’s weather, each option was harvested to perfection. The combinations were intriguing, leaving me to guess the marrying of ingredients like pomegranate and cabbage, paired with red wine lentils.
Awakening our palates, we delighted in the in-house burrata cheese and foie gras. Both delicate in nature, they were a sublime introduction to our entrées. Sipping on a beautiful French red wine, it whisked away time before our main courses were introduced. We collectively ate with our eyes, absorbing the bright colors and intriguing preparations. Whether uniquely piled or swirled with an accent, each fixing was thoughtfully placed.
It was finally time to savor the gourmet endeavor. Complimenting each dish on its provincial flavor carrying hints of sophistication, it captured our attention as we slowly indulged in each bite. Nibbling off everyone’s duck, gnocchi, wagyu beef and chicken, our appetites were satiated with content. Accolade was praised for each meal as we polished off every last morsel of art. While the portions were tuned with precision, the dessert menu deemed worthy of sampling.
Each couple coddled their sweet tooth, sharing panna cotta and rice pudding – appreciating a softer note as the dinner’s finale. Our desserts were long gone and wine bottle enjoyed, but our group relished in the amicable surroundings in the charming home.
Whether a prelude to wine tasting or a nice dinner out, Recipe seizes Oregon’s beauty, bite by bite.
Yvonne Gill is a former American expat who spent time in Brisbane, Australia and Lyon, France. Her experiences ignited a wanderlust mentality, which keeps her dreaming about where in the world to explore next; or more realistically, how to travel at home through a book, movie, restaurant, or activity and she writes about it all onybexpat.com. She currently resides just outside of Portland with her husband and two young children.