The Joel Palmer House
600 Ferry Street
Dayton, OR 97114
OREGON WINE A-LIST Q&A
Read what Chef Chris Czarnecki has to say about supporting local wine in the quaint town of Dayton.
2015 Restaurant of the Year: The Joel Palmer House
Internationally known for their mushroom- and truffle-inspired menu, The Joel Palmer House in Dayton has become just as lauded for its cellar. Diners can choose from more than 550 Oregon Pinots from 175 different wineries in the Oregon-only collection that has been meticulously built since the restaurant opened in 1997.
Almost from the moment he arrived in Oregon, owner Jack Czarnecki began reaching out to members of the Yamhill Valley wine community rapidly evolving around him. He personally tasted and selected the wines for his cellar, which was installed in the basement of the Victorian residence built in 1857 for Oregon pioneer Joel Palmer.
Only a handful of fine dining establishments in Oregon boast a full-time sommelier. Those striving to gain a reputation for special attention to and expertise in wine, feel compelled to fill this position. When Certified Sommelier Andréa Fulton-Higgins joined the staff in 2009, primary responsibility for maintaining and augmenting the cellar was in the hands of Czarnecki’s son, Chris, who assumed the proprietor/executive chef role in 2008.
Chris welcomed her ideas on future selections with the mandate to maintain the lofty standard set by his father more than a decade earlier.
“Our wine list is exclusively Oregon because we want to offer a broad selection of the old, the new, from the northern Willamette to the south,” Chris said. “We want to show the diversity that our area has to offer, including producers whose wines aren’t available out of the state.
“As a person who loves to travel, I love tasting the wine and foods of the places I visit. In France, I eat French food and drink French wine. When I get to Japan, I will eat Japanese food and drink saké. When people travel to Oregon, they want to experience all we have to offer.”
This philosophy in conjunction with the overall passion for the Willamette Valley and involvement in the wine community has earned The Joel Palmer House the A-List’s highest honor: Restaurant of the Year.