About The Joel Palmer House
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.
Contemporary American, Northwest
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday through Saturday for Dinner: 5pm - 9pm
$50 and over
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Parking Lot and Street Parking available
2 Electric Vehicle charging stations free for use in our parking lot
Private Party Facilities:
The facility is perfect for special events such as birthdays or rehearsal dinners as well as business meetings. A/V equipment and setup available. Multiple fixed menu options from which to choose.
Private Party Contact:
Christopher Czarnecki: 5038642995x
Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Available for private lunches of 10 or more. Call for more information.
Special events listed on our website: www.joelpalmerhouse.com and see regular updates at www.facebook.com/thejoelpalmerhouserestaurant
Send a Gift Card
Buy now and send it instantly by email, or print a card to give in person.
The Joel Palmer House Ratings and Reviews
Very impressed that chef Chris was in th ...
Very impressed that chef Chris was in the dining room taking orders, talking about wine and checking in on the diners.
Chef Chris is a third generation cook. H ...
Chef Chris is a third generation cook. He specializes in fine foods elegantly presented. His mixture of taste is wonderful. We would go back in a heartbeat.
This is the place the rest of the Willam ...
This is the place the rest of the Willamette Valley restaurants are judged by. The service is unmatched. The food is never less than superb. I love eating inside or out.
Special Occasion or Just a Night Out...
Joel Palmers House doesn't disappoint. Waitstaff the best. Wine List killer. You can't go wrong with the family recipe mushroom soup or the mushroom tart. We like to see what the chef has found in his garden that day, always a surprise and memorable. We don't go often enough.
Everything was done very well, with one ...
Everything was done very well, with one minor exception, that being that the mushroom soup was just a little over-salted. Great service!
Overall food was very good but the mushr ...
Overall food was very good but the mushroom soup was more like mushroom gravy. We sat outside and there was a loud obnoxious potty mouth group (oblivious to other diners including kids). They really spoiled the lovely setting for us.
Service was surprisingly slow
Been here before and had a great dinner experience. But, the night we were there, it was busy and probably was the reason service wasn't spot on. Staff is very friendly though and obviously were working hard.
Although the service was great, the staf ...
Although the service was great, the staff serving is very young and not knowledgeable about what they are serving. The food was wonderful, but I feel like the vegan dish should be at a reduced price. How can 2 mushroom patties equal the same as elk steak or duck. The rock star dish is the creme brulee.
We are reluctant to share this special place, but the they absolutely over achacheive, and deserve the recognition. Our most favorite place, and always leave thankful.
Overpriced, average food.
Limited menu is not good when the restaurant is out of items early in the evening. The selections were scant but scanter when they are out of an item or two, very early in the evening. They said they print the menu everyday but apparently they were unaware of what was in the pantry. Generally when the menu is short and the kitchen is out of an item there is a substitute item as a backup plan by the chef. The portions were very small. Short list of the variety of wines by the glass. Once again they were out of some selections. We eat in some very expensive restaurants and this was priced up there but the food was not up to par. Our recommendation would be to lower the prices to see more repeat customers.
Exceptional from start to finish
From the greeting to attentive yet not smothering service, our experience at The Joel Palmer House was exceptional. Both prix fixe options are flexible and varied in their offerings, and the seasonality focus was perfect. We'll be back for certain, and I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone.
Went to Joel Palmer House for the first time (even though I have lived in Oregon all my life) to celebrate my wife's birthday. Dayton is a sleepy little town and we drove past the restaurant the first time. What a gem! The setting was wonderful. The old house is amazing, but since it was a beautiful day, we sat outside (yeah, in Oregon, in April!) The staff was all very professionally friendly. The maître d' was very knowledge able and we enjoyed 1/2 glasses of a local Sauv Blanc as well as the Joel Palmer House Cuvee 2011 Pinot (which was amazing, check out 2011 whenever you can). The food was incredible. Wild mushroom soup, wild mushroom tart, filet mignon with wild mushroom sauce and foie gras, lobster pasta with mushroom essence, all delicious. Only note that kept the service from being excellent (5 out of 5) was a small breakdown in timing with the kitchen and the servers at dessert service that lead to a slow wait and some incorrect deliveries of product (wrong table?) Overall, well worth the money and a treat for any occasion.
Fantastic food, wine overpriced
Fantastic food, nice ambiance, overall the wait staff was attentive (other than the sommelier). The wine was very overpriced, even for a restaurant of this class - you're better off bringing your own and paying the $20 corkage fee per 750 ml bottle. Not a great price performer but probably worth going to for a very special occasion. I doubt I'll be back very soon.
Good food, terrible service.
We dined there last Saturday night. The food was excellent, but the service was terrible. We had to wait a long time between courses and had to ask for a second glass of wine. Also, for such great food there was no explanation as to what was on the plate.
Outdated, overpriced, over salted The c ...
Outdated, overpriced, over salted The charger plates had a layer of dust on them which echoed the decor which appears to have not changed in 40 years. The only stars were attentive service and a great wine list Food (other than dessert) was deplorable. Both pastas were overlooked into a mush, dishes were slathered in salty sauces. A scallop dish was so fishy rendering it inedible.
Joel Palmer House, Nails It!
Regan and team were simply a delight and true hosts. We had a rare night with friends away from kids and they ensured it was special. The food was excellent, along with the wines. A special place. GO!
Joel Palmer House hit it out if the park. Food was great as we're all the servers who helped us.
We enjoy foraging and cooking wild mushr ...
We enjoy foraging and cooking wild mushrooms and after hearing about mushrooms on the menu at the Joel Palmer House, we knew we needed to make a reservation. We were impressed by the numerous options on the menu and loved the Stroganoff and the perfectly cooked elk. Every course showed attention to detail looking like a beautifully sculpted, photo worthy, piece of art. The 5 course option allowed us to try multiple dishes and the portion sizes were perfect.
Joel Palmer House
Very good for a romantic special occasion. The service was excellent as was the food and drink. Our waiter made us feel very special.
Although we had reservations, were told our table wasn't ready because they had so many walkins. Some foods were not available due to overbooking . Service was also slow for same reasons. Manager openly admitted this. She did apologize profusely and waived 20$ corkage fee. We were embarrassed however, as we were entertaining guests.
The 2 choices ($59 or $85?) were exorbitant for the size, quality and service. Mushroom soup was nothing amazing ... veggie polenta was very disappointing ... they forgot our desserts .. and they automatically charged a table of 2 an 18% gratuity. We will not be back and we will make a point to inform our wine friends to avoid the JP House at all costs.
Good food and gracious staff
Our food was perfect from beginning to end, the wine list was impressive, all presented by a very skilled and friendly staff.
We were so looking forward to our first dining visit to The Joel Palmer House, four in our party. We made our reservations for mid-week menu special. Have to say without going in lengthy detail that this visit was disappointing. We hope that we have a better experience on our next visit. If The Joel Palmer House wishes to contact me regarding our dining experience, that would be fine.
Don't believe the hype
We were so excited to try the Joel Palmer House after going to the Willamette Valley for 5 years straight and hearing about it. We stayed away initially as my husband isn't a big fan of mushrooms. The rest of us in the part are and he agreed to try it. We were so disappointed. The mushroom soup should have been called mushroom gravy, there was not a truffle to be seen, it seems that this restaurant invented their menu in the 1970s and never updated it as that was the feel of the place and the cuisine. If you're looking for an amazing dining experience in the valley, check out The Painted Lady. You will not be disappointed. For a less formal affair, La Rambla and Gem are great in McMinnville and Jory at the Allison Inn is always a winner, especially for brunch.
We have dined here several times. This place never disappoints. The quality of the food along with the excellent wine list and the wonderful service makes this one of our favorite places.
Valentine's weekend prix fixe
My wife and I were in McMinnville over the Valentine's Day weekend and had reservations at the Joel Palmer. The restaurant itself is nice, in an old home. Waitstaff was great and very professional. The food was sort of try-hard, though. It was a 5 course meal that included some odd dishes, such as a mushroom soup that tasted quite bitter and a between-course puree that contained onion/garlic I tasted for the rest of the night. The food was well-prepared, but nothing spectacular. My wife and I both scored our courses as 3-1-1, which isn't as good as I would like based on the $200+ bill. We were overcharged based on the food, in my opinion, but it was the Valentine's Day weekend, so it's to be expected. I would say it's a fair restaurant with aspirations to be great, but didn't quite clear the bar. We won't be going back as the experience wasn't worth the expense. I think folks should give it a try it for themselves, though, as it might be geared toward regional tastes.
Great Anniversary dinner
The service and dinner at the Joel Palmer House were truly exceptional, with little "extras" thrown in that were themselves quite tasty and reinforced the exceptional quality of the experience. The sommelier described the wines with precision which made picking the right wine for me much easier - and she led me to a wine I was very happy with. The service was attentive without being overbearing, but never long waits "for someone to appear". The quality of communication from our waitress was excellent: good, live communication and full respect and sensitivity to her customers. The Joel Palmer House remains a go-to place for us for special occasions.
Great presentation. Excellent food.
Attentive and professional servers and staff. Excellent place for special occasions.
Our favorite restaurant in Oregon
We have enjoyed the Joel Palmer House each year for our anniversary and each of our birthdays and it is always the same: Perfect! Perfect food, service and atmosphere.
Outstanding wine list. Great food. Wonde ...
Outstanding wine list. Great food. Wonderful wine country must. We will be back.
The Joel Palmer House never fails to deliver an outstanding meal. The staff is informed, personable, attentive & friendly. The sommelier is very helpful. The food is inspired, delicious & beautifully presented. The mushroom tart is out of this world!
Always really great.
Always really great.
The wine gal, Andrea, opened our wine and left
It would have nice to have her return and our the rest of the wine. The desert was very unimpressive.
What a treat!
Truly distinctive food, marvelously prepared. You don't have to be a lover of wild mushrooms, but it helps greatly. Advice: Rely on servers and the sommelier -- they won't steer you wrong.
5 Stars!! Delicious tasting menu. Great ...
5 Stars!! Delicious tasting menu. Great cocktails and wine list. Friendly and attentive service. Cool venue - listed on National Historic Registry. Great background dinner music. We loved it!!
There were 4 of us for dinner. The food ...
There were 4 of us for dinner. The food was so delicious and beautiful & the servers were so polite & friendly. When the weather is warmer we plan on going back to dine outdoors. We had a wonderful anniversary celebration!
I've been coming here for years and the quality of the food hasn't dropped off a bit. Only slight quibble would be that I would like to see them return to the wine pairings that they used to do. You can't go wrong with the mushroom madness tasting menu.
Pleasant but missing something
The atmosphere is quite pleasant and intimate and the food for the most part enjoyable. The disconnect for us was service. Being in wine country we had brought a bottle of locally produced pinot noir from our tasting experiences, which was presented as an option on their website. We were surprised though that never once did they offer to or initiate pouring the wine. I understand that not purchasing wine from them could be a negative in their eyes but if so, simply do not make it an option. If though you are going to charge a corkage fee it might be nice to do something for it rather than view it as a penance payment. It was a nice food expereince but not a memorable one. Part of me wonders if they may be reliant on past reputation.
Moderate portions exquisitely prepared
From bread to crème brûlée, mushroom soup to beef stroganoff, it was a meal to savor, not wolf down. The subtle mushroom flavors were well balanced in the rich sauce. Very pleasant staff. We were grateful to take advantage of the free car charging as well.
Best of the mushroom
We come back every year to this special restaurant I really love the mushroom soup. I try something new every time and have not been disappointed once. A real Oregon Jem.
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.