The Joel Palmer House

4.5
1106 reviews
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$50 and over
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Contemporary American
Mushrooms are the heart of what we do at the Joel Palmer House. We have always endeavored to obtain seasonal and local ingredients and we use many locally produced greens, herbs, and vegetables, some of which come from our own culinary garden. We are frequently inspired by ingredients found in the cuisines of France, China, Thailand, Poland and India, so we call our cooking "freestyle." Our dishes pair well the celebrated wines of Oregon, especially Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Our extensive, Oregon-focused wine list has been awarded the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator. Of special note, The Joel Palmer House ranks as one of Oregon's finest historic homes and is on the National Register of Historic Places and the Oregon Historic Register. Built in 1857, the house is Dayton's oldest standing structure. When weather permits, guests can enjoy their dinner on our outdoor patio, soaking in the last rays of sunshine in the heart of Oregon Wine Country.
What 1106 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
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87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Columbus
4 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We only wish we could book an anniversary visit for several years in advance! This place was TOP notch all around. We went for our honeymoon and it was the best dining experience either of us have ever had ANYwhere, ever. The service was second to none and the food was superb—take the staff recommendations! We would not have ordered the seasonal mosel appetizer, the beef stroganoff, or seasonal dessert but were so happy they compensated for our ordering inaptitude with those recommendations. We watched the chef step out to clip herbs from the garden moments before our meal arrived. The house cuvee of Pinot Noir was perfectly balanced and paired beautifully with the meal. They even gave us blankets to snuggle in on the patio! We took home a keepsake wine glass and menu and will reminisce about this experience each year on our anniversary for years to come!

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Charlotte
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was an awesome meal, excellent service, and all around great experience. You will not be disappointed.

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R
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Second time at this wonderful restaurant and it was just as special as the first. My reservation was at 615pm and didn’t realize there was outside seating but the wait would’ve been too long to switch so we ate in the dining room which was a little chilly and the curtains at our table really blocked the light. But those are just minor items and the food and wine were just wonderful.

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d
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My main complaint is that we arrived on time and were seated in an empty room at the worst table in the room! We were not asked our seat preference upon arrival, other than “ outside or inside”. After our wine arrived I asked our server why we’d been seated at the least desirable table ( we were nicely dressed, dress for me, sport jacket for him, unusual in uber casual Oregon) so why? We were moved to the better seat and no other guests dined in the room while we were there, so it’s not like it was reserved. The servers are friendly and enthusiastic and we appreciated the chef’s visit to inquire about our meal. Food was very good and visually pleasing. Fixed price meal of either 4 or 5 courses with 18% gratuity added, with wine it was kind of expensive and we would not have ordered dessert if it was a la carte.

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B
Orange County
31 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent staff, service and food!! Terrific dining experience on the outside patio overlooking the lawn and gardens. A nice touch for Chef Chris to visit with each table!!

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Denver
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Flexible staff and delicious food. We like to discover new wines there too!

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D
Atlanta
8 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 5

We had high hopes for JPH. My wife and I were thrilled to find reservations available on our last-minute trip to Willamette Valley. When we were seated, we were the only customers inside (there were a couple of tables seated outside). We asked to see the wine list, which was promptly brought to us. It was 20 minutes before our waiter returned. The poor bread girl (who was darling) checked in on us 3 times and when we asked her if she knew who our waiter was, she said they’d be right over — it was 10 more minutes. The lackluster service continued. The sommelier never even asked to walk us through the wine list (which we saw and heard her do to literally every other table that was seated after us). We also saw her refilling others’ glasses and checking in on them multiple times during their meal. She never even said hi to us.
$65 for a 3-course meal is not outrageous, but this food was all lackluster with the exception of the appetizers and the semifreddo dessert.
It is not abnormal for us to spend over $200 on a meal for 2 - so we were not turned off by price - but we do expect good service at that price point. Maybe our experience was an anomaly because (as the waitress explained) the owner was out of town tonight. This experience left much to be desired, and given the reputation JPH has, we really could not be more disappointed.

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G
Houston
2 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Great concept. Great service. Super friendly and helpful wait staff. All the dishes were severely under-seasoned. Some salt and pepper would dramatically improve the experience.

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LP
Seattle
1 review
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Joel Palmer House should be on everyone's "Must eat there before I die" list.

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BM
Fayetteville
23 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Our experience was not the five star we expected, mainly based on the service. Our food was outstanding, but with all the servers, runners, sommelier and wait staff perusing our outdoor seating, we waited 15 minutes for our wine, and longer for someone to explain the menu to us (newbies for sure). Not one person told us their name. I do want to compliment the chef who arrived at the table to tell us something we had chosen from the first course was not gluten free. The filet was so tasty and cooked to my liking, but they never asked how I wanted it prepared. Lamb chops were also great, a bit more rare than preferred, but again they never asked how we wanted it prepared. The dessert course of peanut butter choc mousse was big enough to split. So delicious. Maybe a personality infusion would have allowed a five star rating.

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Portland
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and service.

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BL
1 review
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, great service. Fabulous. The fillet was cooked perfectly (black & blue). Great ambiance. I highly recommend for a relaxing dinner with your significant other or also for a group celebration. Works for both.

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PD
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I were staying in Dayton for our anniversary and wanted to dine at the Joel Palmer House based on many recommendations. It was fantastic! The staff were very welcoming and entertained our many questions and recommended a delicious bottle of wine. All of our food was scrumptious, and we would happily dine there again!

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JJ
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and great service and presentation!

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CW
1 review
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The salad was delicious and the mushroom tart was not only beautifully presented but outstanding in taste. The JPH wines were wonderful. The unexpected bites between courses were very tasty and fun additions to our dining experience. Our main courses were very good. The desserts were also very good, though we prefer to share just one, as each having a whole dessert was a bit filling for us. Overall a wonderful evening.

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KE
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Joel Palmer House is an amazing experience with exceptional food and service. I would highly recommend this for a special night. We ordered the 5 course mushroom madness and a bottle of wine, it was perfect.

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G
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 5

This is my 3rd time eating there. The food was always good in the past. This time, the service was not good at all, nobody to recommend a decent wine, etc. We had the outdoor seating.

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A
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been coming to Joel Palmer House for at least 10 years, and have never been disappointed. We have never had anything we didn't think was fantastic, and love that each dish has some type of mushroom in it. Couldn't be in a better spot, since Pinot Noir goes so well with all of the mushroom dishes. Ambiance, service, atomosphere, presentation, choices, everything is excellent.

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s
Salt Lake City
12 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

You must like mushrooms! It was a unique, delightful experience! We would go again for sure.

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MP
1 review
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Great service and ambience. Food was good but seriously over priced. Menu is restaurant themed. Although the dishes contained nice mushroom flavors, not one dish contained an actual mushroom that you could eat on its own. If it weren't as expensive as it is, would recommend it, but its not a good value anyway you cut it.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Morels were wonderful. Exceptional Service

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t
Atlanta
19 reviews
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mushroom soup to die for, my steelhead was perfect. Mushrooms on almost everything. We asked to thank the chief and he came out to talk to us for a few minutes. We were a little early but since it was a 6 pm reservation we were seated right away. Service was very attentive. Potions small but enough. No bar but they can make simple cocktails. It was a wonderful experience. Fixed price menu, with several options.

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LC
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

I'd rate it a 4.4. Wine was amazing. Food very good.

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HR
Sacramento
21 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal as usual. The many uses of mushrooms never ceases to amaze me. Mushrooms in Creme Brulee? Even one of our group who is not a big mushroom fan enjoyed her meal. The tables are pretty close together in the room where we dined and sadly a group of 8 were so loud that we could barely talk within our group. Glad when after they left we could continue to enjoy our meal in peace. The wine list was sufficient and local and the sommelier very helpful in the selection of our wine choices. Will return again for another delicious meal.

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DH
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always enjoy dinner at Joel Palmer House. Who knew fungi could taste so good. Truly enjoy the tart and risotto. The "walk in the woods" (a dessert) at the end is of the meal is just perfect to finish off sweet.

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K
Portland
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent use of wild mushrooms and attentive service. The owner/chef even checked in with many of the patrons during their meal. Beautiful outdoor setting during nice weather.

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B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best restaurant in the area!! Loved every course. How special for the chef to come and visit our table and ensuring our experience is excellent. This is a must go to spot!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’m traveling through Yamhill county and read reviews that this is a must do and it did not disappoint! I did the Mushroom Madness tasting menu. My server, Alex, picked a wine from a local winery (Chris James) based on my likes and she was spot on. I opted to eat outside and the garden is beautiful. The staff were all kind and efficient. The chef, Chris, introduced himself. It was a great evening. I can’t wait to go back!

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RG
Seattle
53 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We loved the food, ambiance, and great service. Great place for special occasions and a wonderful spot for dinner after a day of wine tasting!

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OT
Nashville
2 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

We were all pretty disappointed with the food. The appetizers were good. The presentation and flavor of the steak tartare was very good. My mushroom tart was good , but the sauce was overly thick and salty. Two others had the mushroom soup and said it was good. We had 3 rack of lamb entrees. While the lamb was cooked to the proper doneness, it arrived room temperature to lukewarm at best. The lentils and brussel sprouts were devoid of flavor. The lentils seems to have been steamed and nothing else. The vegetables were also bland. The presentation of the duck breast’s was nice, but the person who ordered it was not crazy about the 5 spice flavor. He has eaten all over the world , and has a very educated palate. The dessert were well made and tasty, not to mention very generous in size. Perhaps I set my expectations too high, but it was disappointing to all four of us.

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T
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Food was very good as usual, although the menu hasn't changed much and is getting a bit stale. The service staff uses a team approach and just didn't have their act together. We had to ask for a wine list, and then no one asked to take a wine order. We finally had to grab someone as they walked by. Not once did anyone stop by during any course to ask how things were. Finally, for the dessert course, I asked to see the dessert wine list and it was brought to me, but no one was available to take an order. We've experienced much better service in the past.

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OT
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the ambiance of a restaurant in this old house. The mushroom dishes were delicious and the wait staff worked very hard to make this an upscale fine dining experience.

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JL
New England
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The 5-course mushroom madness was amazing. The food is so very good and the service was impeccable. Portions were appropriately sized so you could get through all the courses and be full but not uncomfortably full. The mushroom soup is so amazing - I could eat it every day.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Unbelievable flavors and exceptional service. Can’t say enough about this great place. Awesome way to end a day of tasting great Oregon wine.

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J
Detroit
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The Joel Palmer House is up front about their mushroom-focused menu, so don't eat there if that's not to your taste! We love mushrooms, but found some of the flavor combinations just didn't work for us. My crab and lobster angel hair pasta had all the makings of a great dish, but the yellow mushrooms added a sour note to the creamy base that just was not delicious. But that's a matter of palate, I acknowledge, and someone else might LOVE the unusual flavors, and won't mind paying the steep prices for them. The house and grounds are lovely and gracious, and our hostess was attentive and pleasant. Our waitress, however, was not at all helpful, and once she took our order never returned to inquire about our meal or to follow up at all, even though there were only two other tables occupied in the entire restaurant. We left feeling rather disappointed in the whole thing.

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TD
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice. Service was very attentive. Quality of food and presentation was excellent. What dining out should be!

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OR
Portland
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We have been planning a visit to the Joel Palmer House for some time now, and used my 70th Birthday as an opportunity to do so. Overall the experience was quite nice, and the food and the presentation of the food were of a very high standard, based on my world travel experience. Having the grace of Nouveau Cuisine, and yet nice portions, one at least did not go away wanting to stop at a fast food drive through to fill the empty part of the stomach, on the way home.
However, there were some things that actually took away somewhat from the experience. The first being was when we sat down at our outdoor table. Covered in pristine linen and napkins, the effect was marred by the array of tree debris left laying all over the surface, on the plates and in the glasses, with no effort by the hostess to remove. In a very fine dining room, matching your excellent menu that detail would have been discreetly taken care of prior to being seated. An ongoing detail, I would imagine given the location. Other things like the lack of cladding and/or finish details on the columns of the covered patio, brought down the architecture, for the rest of the setting of the establishment. ( The architectural shortcoming admittedly may be one of my own personal pet peeves, but as a professional Interior Architect, and Architectural designer, things affecting the overall ambiance set me off somewhat) When paying a worthy price for a sumptuous meal, One has to consider ambiance a contributing factor of the experience.
Other small details were the fashion and manner of the servers, but to be fair, this was not the Princess Grill aboard the Queen Elizabeth II or The Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, even though the meal was certainly worthy.

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Sacramento
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nicole was amazing! She was such a wonderful host and waitress. She is the reason we continue to come back!

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KG
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We made reservations for the Mogasaki, 10 course meal, and it was an incredible experience. We didnt have any idea what we were going to be served and each portion was a work of art a d tasted twice as good as it looked. The restaurant is located in a really old house that was very beautiful both I side and out and the grounds were kept up very nicely. We chose to eat outside because the weather was very lovely. I highly recommend to experience their 10 course dining experience. Plan to spend 3 hours to thoroughly enjoy your food, ambiance, and company.

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JG
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 5ambience 2

The food is always fabulous! However, sitting at a table with four people meant for two was horrible. Kudos to the staff for their Cirque du Soleil performance. Trying to pour water over our heads to reach the unreachable glasses. The display of acrobatics of reaching between everyone to keep us in supply of fresh spoons and forks was amazing between mouthfuls. I had no idea we would have dinner and a show. It was fun talking to the staff so much because they were part of our conversation. Sorry to interrupt but could I hand you this, or could take that plate, and such. I think they should double the gratuity for the performance and risk the staff was taking. I think you get my point. There was plenty of room in the house, but for some reason management feels the need to cram people together even when the place was almost empty. At any rate, you asked how my experience was, now you know.

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