The Joel Palmer House

4.7
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1193 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 1193 People Are Saying
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Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.6
ambience
4.3
value
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98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KM
Portland
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We really enjoyed our visit to Joel Palmer House. The place is beautiful, the table setting lovely, and the ambiance romantic. The meals were unusual, elegant, and delicious. As we were finishing the meal the chef came out, introduced himself and asked our opinion on the meals. He than stayed a chatted briefly with us. This is was delightful experience and well worth the price.

H
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful menu with many creative mushroom recipes. I love this place for a special occasion...it never disapoints.

k
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were excited about The Joel Palmer House after having been referred by an acquaintance and reading the reviews, and we were not disappointed, other than we are not from Portland and it may be a while before we are able to return.

EA
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Fabulous dinner on our first visit to the area. The food was very tasty and we loved the unique focus on foraged mushrooms. The house is cozy and creates an intimate environment. I look forward to returning on my next visit!

Y
Denver
36 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Food A+ Service C+

OP
Seattle
15 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

We chose to re-visit the Joel Palmer House due to their dexterity with and focus on fungi of the season, as well as their reputation for being able to work with vegan diners. We were not disappointed. The Chef, given notice, had prepared an excellent vegan multi-course meal that perfectly aligned with those in our party working off the main menu choices; and what a treat to have fresh matsutakes as a key feature of the vegan entree. All of us were very happy with the whole experience and the staff were warm, welcoming and attentive. Thanks for a fun and great time!

D
Portland
12 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We enjoy going to dinner at the Joel Palmer House, especially during mushroom season!
The servers were friendly and helpful, although there seemed to be some minor confusion about who was in charge with several attending to our table and repeat offers to help us. All well and good, it just seemed a little uncoordinated, but I suppose better than not being attentive.
The food was great as our table had the mushroom soup and tart to start. Our entrees were also very good; angel hair pasta with crab and lobster mushrooms, beef stroganoff and rack of lamb. There is nothing better in my mind than a good Oregon Pinot Noir to complement the mushroom menu this time of year, and for that I find it hard to top a bottle from the Dundee Hills, even following an afternoon of wine tasting.
We look forward to our next opportunity to visit this wonderful restaurant.
Only thing this time of year in an historic house such as this is how drafty it can be in the Fall chill. We went from being comfortably warm to cold(we had to put our jackets on) at which point we saw a space heater brought into our corner back room.

BF
Portland
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The Joel Palmer house wasn't just a meal, it was an experience. All of the dishes were great, but there were a few that totally knocked the ball out of the park. There were six of us and we did a mix of the three course and four course menu. If you're going with a group, I would definitely recommend the three course + addons as this gives you the most flexibility in what you can try. For the appetizers, we tried everything except the mixed greens and the beef tatare. The clear winners were the Three Mushroom Tart and the Soup. The Risotto and Escargots were both excellent as well, but not in the same league. For main courses, we tried everything but the Stroganoff, which I regret. These were all on par, but if you've never had duck or lamb, this would be a great entry into those cuisines as they were both cooked perfectly and were delicious. My personal favorite was the addon of the 55 day in house dry aged NY. The steak was cooked perfectly and topped off with an amazing chimichurri. Fried shallots on the side were the exactly right side note. Lastly for dessert, the creme brulee was flawless with a slight maple flavor, the gorgonzola cheesecake was a delightful new take, reminiscent of honey on top of gorgonzola with a cracker, and the bread pudding was amazing. The chocolate peanut butter mousse was also a table favorite, but not my cup of tea. Overall, I'd highly recommend the experience and can't wait to go back. The only suggestion I have for the restaurant is to offer a paired menu with selected wines to further enhance the excellent meal. We ordered a local Oregon pinot and it was excellent, but I think there is an opportunity to make the meal that much better.

CH
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Service was great! The mushroom tart is amazing. I chose the salmon which ended up being cooked more rare than I wanted so I didn’t eat most of it. My husband enjoyed the soup but found it to be very salty. Overall I think we enjoyed it more the very first time there versus the 2nd visit.

OT
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef visits every table personally. Also, they do a lot of dishes that include mushrooms. I don’t like mushrooms, but ate the dishes how they came and they were excellent!

DS
Portland
11 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic Oregon win country ding spot. Amazing device b

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience1

We were literally the only people
In the restaurant. The service was impeccable most likely as we were the only ones there.

BB
Portland
7 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Dayton is a lovely drive from Portland, the house is easy to find, and their welcome is inviting. However, the food and service are above par from most thoughtful, high-end dining venues. Wine selections are decent and recommendations are spot-on. Their menu has many surprising alternatives, and dining here was an enjoyable two hour experience because we were able to relax and enjoy conversation between courses. (The service staff is amazingly cognizant when a patron is ready for their next course).
The drive home was filled with complimentary comments for a fine meal, discussions of remarkable courses, and promises to return.

J
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The lovely old world charm of this historic house in Dayton is only one of the many things that made us fall in love with this restaurant. Despite being from Seattle, where we have an untold number of restaurants for comparison, we came away completely impressed. The food was outstanding - and having an incredible amuse bouche between every serving really added to the experience. The wild mushroom tart was like nothing I have ever had - deeply flavorful with a surprising and lovely texture. One amuse bouche was served in a shot glass and was a stunning palate cleanser, with delicious citrus and vegetable flavors that burst in our mouths. The wild mushroom risotto was more flavorful than any I have had in the past. The desserts were also awesome - we had a perfect chocolate peanut butter mousse and an amazing gorgonzola cheesecake. The service was outstanding - many of the servers were very charming, all were helpful, and they showered us with extra taste treats including a little bit of an amazing apple cider sorbet and two bite-sized spicy chocolate and coconut treats. The servers incorporate their very formal training in all the best ways, but also create a relaxed and joyful atmosphere. Servers go out of their way to be helpful and patient and pleasant. I loved how they gave me and my husband the first taste of the bottle of wine we ordered - why should only one person get to test the wine? Likewise, they were very accommodating when I asked for an appetizer to be made into a main meal. Would go back in a heartbeat!

MH
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We celebrated our son’s 24th birthday here. It was absolutely perfect! Our evening will be a cherished memory.

CF
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food. We each had the Mushroom Madness, chose different options and shared. A great way to really sample all the goodness. We really liked everything we had. The service was well paced and well done. Asked for, and got, great wine pairing advice. Since we traveled an hour to get there, was nice that could taste wines up the road at Stoller until 5ish... grabbed a 5:30 reservation and 2 hours later, at a still reasonable time, were heading home. Can’t wait to return!

LF
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service is first rate and food was excellent. They specialize in using all kinds of mushrooms and do it very well. We had the 3 course option which was plenty of food. Not inexpensive but what you got with food and service was well with it.

SP
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We had a very nice meal and attentive service. We were aware of the 18% gratuity that would be charged in advance. We do have a problem that the gratuity was charged on top of the bottle of wine we purchased. The service did not change based on the cost of the wine we selected. This should be re-thought.

KH
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Unfortunately we were in a small room (just two other tables) which is not the restaurant’s fault, it’s just how it’s layed out because of the historical house it’s in. The unfortunate part is one of the others parties in the small room didn’t realize they were at a fine dining establishment in a small room with other diners trying to enjoy their evening and continued to carry on a VERY loud, sometimes off color, conversation the entire night. We asked to be moved to another table not long after we were seated as we could see how unpleasant this was going to be but were met with a very unhelpful staff member who without even checking or apologizing for our predicament told us there was no other tables to move us to.

We sat for quite some time before being acknowledged by our assigned waitstaff to be helped with a wine order. Had to ask to see a wine list. When our entrees arrived which were all ordered “medium rare” we had to send all three back to be redone because all three were severely overcooked.

Highlights of the meal were the appetizers which were quite good, and a couple of the waitstaff who seemed to take over for our initial server who never once said “your welcome” to our many attempts at thank you’s were very nice.

Overall we were extremely disappointed in our evening. We are from out of town and had this restaurant on our list as one we wanted to try for some time. We had heard many great things and I’m sure the unfortunate dining companions in our “room” helped sour our experience but the lack of any effort at all on the part of the waitstaff to accommodate our request to be moved didn’t help.

OT
Portland
9 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely amazing! Had been wanting to come for a long time, finally made it. Mushroom everything. Started with the mushroom soup - Devine. Then mushroom risotto - perfect portion. Finished with the mushroom tart - never had anything like it - superb. Accompanied by an 08 Pinot Noir Le Sud from Prive. The perfect evening. We will be back, soon!

D
Los Angeles
39 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Difficult to find (the entrance and parking are in the back and the sign in the front of the restaurant is impossible to see in the dark). But the exquisitely flavored and deliciously creative food make the effort to get there well worth it!

SB
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Decor a little old fashioned. They can modernize the decor and still maintain the character.

JB
Portland
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

YUM! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!L!L!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!L!L!!!L!!!!L!!!!

K
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated our daughter’s 21st birthday here. Fantastic service, delicious food! The house is beautiful and the wine list was great too!,

S
Dallas
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve dreamed of returning for 8 years; it did not disappoint! The experience literally brought me to tears. I won’t wait another 8 years to return again! Thanks to the entire staff, and especially Chef!

t
Portland
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I couldn’t choose a better place to celebrate my husband’s birthday. The food was outstanding! Can’t wait to get back. The owner/chef made us feel welcomed. Great wine selection

LS
Tampa
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My husband and I selected the 3 course pre-fix and tasted each other's selections and everything was delicious.
Must haves are The Mushroom tart, the Beef Stroganoff, candy cap mushroom crème Brule.
Great wine list and suggestions by our server.

OT
Detroit
3 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A fabulous meal. My wife and I shared our 3 and 5 course tasting meals so we could enjoy most of the menu. It did not disappoint. All of the dishes were very good but the stars of the show were the wild mushroom tart, angel hair seafood pasta, beef stroganoff and duck breast. Local Oregon wines are the specialty in their robust and deep list with many older vintages. Our 2008 choice was a perfect pairing with the array of dishes. Bravo on an impressive dinner.

TP
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went on a recommendation from a friend for my wedding anniversary. The meal was wonderful, and the servers were great. We both went with the beef stroganoff for dinner, and it was creamy and the risotto was a nice compliment for the beef and mushrooms. We will be back.

CC
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exceptional restaurant that has been part of the Willamette Valley wine scene since the 90’s. The mushroom tart and soup were excellent. The main courses were all superb, especially the beef stroganoff “old school”. The staff was attentive but respected your privacy. The wine list is well thought out with some great options and reasonably priced. Take time out to enjoy a restaurant that deserves your support.

c
Naples
42 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An excellent meal in a great setting.

Must go if in wine country.

SM
Portland
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding! Definitely the best food I have ever eaten.

TB
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome food
Awesome location
Awesome service

Doesn’t get any better!

JO
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It is was I expect from a high end dinning experience.

DF
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

This is truly a unique restaurant. The food was outstanding especially the mushroom tart and the beef stroganoff. I have never tasted a better, richer stroganoff. The portions are large. Probably a bit too large for today’s diners but we managed to finish almost everything that was served.
The setting is quaint. We would have enjoyed sitting outside and although there were diners out there, we were told they weren’t serving outside that particular night.
The service was amateurish. The young staff were enthusiastic but overly attentive. They seemed to be everywhere and filled our water glasses about every 3 minutes. They kept trying to remove plates or silverware and after a bit we felt like we had to hold on to things or they’d be taken away. It got to be amusing.

EH
Portland
4 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful evening at the Joel Palmer... loved the food, the service was outstanding and we could hear ourselves talk to each other. The menu has two options: a nine course tasting menu (for $90?) or a three course prix fixe meal for $65. We all got the $65 dinner and shared the appetizers. The entrees we tried (rack of lamb, pasta with dungeness crab and beef stroganoff ) were each delicious. .. the deserts were creative and delicious.. warm bread.. fine wine. Definitely a special place for a special dinner.

RH
Orange County
5 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great dinner on the outdoor patio. Joel Palmer House is a really great place to enjoy Oregon’s best dining experience.

MR
Portland
42 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food. Notable wine list and knowledgeable sommelier. Highly recommend for any occasion.

SR
Portland
6 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the best, if not the best, restaurants in Oregon wine country.

BA
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic experience. A must do for any foodie visiting the area.

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