Tuesday, October 26, 2010

JORY Restaurant at The Allison: Where Willamette Valley Vintners Gather for Oregon Wine Country Cuisine and World-Class Pinot Noir

On any given evening at JORY Restaurant in The Allison Inn & Spa, Manager and Sommelier Tom Bean can look around and point out the movers and shakers of the Willamette Valley. The vintners in particular have consecrated JORY the favorite new gathering place because of the culinary team’s relentless passion for Oregon Wine Country cuisine that complements the winemakers’ pinot noirs so exquisitely. “Local vintners hold formal meetings in the private dining room or spur-of-the-moment casual dinners here nightly,” Bean says. “That’s the biggest compliment we could ask for.”

Designed for leisure getaways, foodies and executive retreats, The Allison sprouted from the fertile ground in late 2009 much like the crops and vineyards that surround and support the resort. “In all my years running hotels around the world, I have never witnessed a level of commitment to cuisine that matches what we have been given at The Allison,” notes Pierre Zreik, Managing Director. “Nearly a half-acre has been dedicated to the Chef’s Garden, enabling our chefs to create the freshest seasonal cuisine for guests each week.”

With more than 70 varietals tended by a master gardener, the Chef’s Garden is like a foodie’s ultimate playground. In addition, Oregon’s finest produce purveyors bring their best crops into The Allison on a daily basis. Eggs come from a family farm just up the road from the resort. The model is most like cooking in Europe.

“Every morning on my way into work, I first stop at the Chef’s Garden to see what’s ready,” says Sunny Jin, who was recently promoted from Chef de Cuisine to Executive Chef. “I sit on the ground with my notebook and brainstorm menus. I love how ‘in the moment’ our cooking is at The Allison.” After graduating at the top of his class from Portland’s Western Culinary Institute where he received the Grand Toque Award, Jin worked for Napa Valley’s famed French Laundry, Sydney’s Tetsuya, the top-rated restaurant in the southern hemisphere, then El Bulli, the world’s top-rated restaurant in Catalonia, Spain. Known for spending his day off foraging chanterelle mushrooms, Jin is already on his way to making JORY (also vernacular for one of the beloved wine grape-growing soil types of this region) one of America’s finest examples of farm-to-table, sustainable wine country cooking. Esquire magazine just named JORY one of the U.S.’s “Restaurants Not To Be Missed” in their Best New Restaurants of 2010 feature. If world-class cuisine isn’t enough, The Oregonian also just singled JORY out as the restaurant with the best view in Oregon: “…dramatic views of Yamhill County’s rolling hills…while watching the sun set.”

JORY’s new pastry chef, Shelly du Plessis, who had the distinction of working with Managing Director Pierre Zreik also enjoys the bounty of the Chef’s Garden. “Good pastry starts in the ground,” she says. Fresh Allison strawberries, raspberries and all kinds of herbs find their way into her delectable dessert creations. du Plessis can appreciate the finer points of the quality that an on-site organic garden imparts to the cuisine – before chef school, du Plessis graduated from UC-Davis in plant biology and did a fellowship at Harvard: “I like the ingredients to be able to speak for themselves.” One of her Chef’s Garden-inspired trademarks is lavender crème caramel with primrose sauce.

JORY’s ‘Garden-to-Table’ culinary concept, a step beyond the ‘Farm-to-Table’ trend, was a key ingredient in the creation of the 100-seat restaurant, Open Kitchen, Chef’s Table and private dining rooms as well as a 12,000 square foot event space for catering and meetings and the 24-hour in-room dining for the 85 accommodations. JORY also takes advantage of the many delicious native edibles that make up Oregon Wine Country cuisine including mushrooms like morels and wild truffles, hazelnuts, cherries, huckleberries, blueberries, Dungeness crab and salmon. “The Allison has received immediate acclaim for its food and wine programs, which is deeply gratifying,” states Food & Wine Director, Ercolino Crugnale.

Food & Wine Magazine recognized The Allison for having one of the top seven sommeliers in the U.S. for JORY’s wine list, which features more than 700 labels and 50 wines-by-the-glass, including more than 100 pinot noir producers from Oregon. According to Food & Wine’s Megan Krigbaum, the “list has the perfect balance of Oregon wines and terrific selections from the rest of the world.”

Tom Bean, recently promoted to JORY Manager and Sommelier, was influential in choosing the award-winning wine list. Having earned three Wine Spectator awards for wine lists he created throughout his career, Bean worked with Zreik at another Oregon property before The Allison. Bean has been an indispensable principal in the creation of JORY’s dining experience.

The Allison will produce its own wine bottled in 2011 from its five-acre vineyard located amidst the property’s rolling 35-acre setting. The vineyard is being managed by Oregon’s renowned vintner David Adelsheim and features three of the state’s best-known soil types, Willa-Kenzie, Woodburn and Jory, all of which are anticipated to provide signature wines with great distinction.

But guests do not have to wait until 2011 to experience viticultural variety at The Allison. The restaurant promotes a weekly wine-tender program featuring a local ‘celebrity’ from Oregon’s wine industry sharing complimentary pourings of their varietals for guests and neighborsalike. A full calendar of upcoming wine-tender appearances, jazz entertainment on Friday and Saturdays evenings in the Living Room and holiday menus can be found on the event calendar at http://theallison.com/calendar/index.php.

JORY’s beverage selections extend beyond wine to include signature cocktails and an exciting offering of beer, befitting a state and region well known for rare Oregon microbrews, from McMinnville’s Heater-Allen beers and Ashland’s Rogue Mocha Porter to Eugene’s Ninkasi ‘Tricerahops’ Double IPA. The bar’s extensive appetizer menu may also be enjoyed in the Living Room or on the terrace.

As more accolades roll in each month for The Allison (The New York Times,Oct. 14, 2010: “an idyllic retreat”), it continues to enjoy many sold-out dates, even during weekdays. As one Californian enjoying breakfast at the Chef’s Counter recently put it: “Why would you stay -- or eat -- anywhere else?”

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About The Allison Inn & Spa

Sitting on 35 hillside acres with views of adjacent Willamette Valley vineyards, meadows and gardens, The Allison Inn & Spa features 85 deluxe guest rooms, inclusive of 8 suites (all with fireplaces, terrace or balcony, window seat and spa-like bathrooms). The Allison Spa consists of 15,000 sq.ft. with twelve treatment rooms, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and Fitness Studio. There is a dedicated entrance with 12,000 sq. ft. of function space with views and outdoor access as well as a dedicated Board Room. Opened in September, 2009, the property achieved LEED Gold certification in April 2010.

Their 100-seat signature restaurant, JORY, showcases Oregon Wine Country cuisine, a five-acre working vineyard and a half-acre Chef’s Garden

Located 60 minutes from Portland International Airport, less than an hour from downtown and two hours to the Oregon Coast, The Allison Inn is a proud member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Boutique segment and has received the AAA Four Diamond Award. The Allison is located at 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, Oregon 97132 (503) 554-2525 or toll free 877 294-2525. www.theallison.com.

1 comment:

Michele Tetlley said...

I just read your review and you left something out I think is critical to Allison's success. The staff and management are all very happy and friendly and obviously enjoy their jobs.
I have eaten at Jory a number of times and attended several functions there. The food is fabulous and the decor elegant, but it is the people who work there who make it a really memorable place!
Michele Tetley, Virginia