Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 5 Years in a Row!
2. La Rambla “A charming bistro located in historic McMinnville where Proprietor-Executive Chef Timothy Hodges delivers pastoral elegance in Spanish inspired tapas”
238 NE Third Street in Historic McMinnville, Oregon – Call for Reservations at #503.435.2126
Tucked away in historic McMinnville is a culinary delight – a restaurant called La Rambla. Executive Chef Timothy Hodges creates Willamette inspired Spanish tapas dishes that pair nicely with the local wines. The combination of flavors and presentation of the food were a nice surprise followed by an afternoon of wine tastings while traveling the back country roads of McMinnville. Many locals and wine visitors in the area stop here to either enjoy a house specialty cocktail at the long copper bar or sit at a bistro table under Gaudi-like hand-blown lamps for some tapas prepared from fresh local ingredients.
Wine Spectator bestowed the honor of the “Award of Excellence” and “Award of Distinction” to the deserving winner – La Rambla.
Chef Timothy Hodges greeted us with a glass of cuvée and a sampling of tapas including:
Cold Tapas – jamon serrano and jamon Iberico with arugula covered flatbread and olive oil
Vegetable Tapas – roasted delecata squash with thyme and caraway honey
Seafood Tapas – pan seared ahi tuna with fig and olive tapenade, capers and olive oil
From their website, here’s an introduction what’s behind the restaurant name.
La Rambla, named for Barcelona’s famous avenue, specializes in the cuisines of the Iberian Peninsula. Our menu is full of traditional favorites as well as lesser-known delicacies awaiting discovery by intrepid diners. Tapas allow for perfect parings of wine and food, and allow diners to experience a variety of our treats. We strive to use only the freshest, local ingredients in our recipes. Our wine list is one of the most extensive in the state, with more than 350 entries from Oregon and from Spain – and of course our well-informed wait staff is always ready to make a suggestion.
2012 Superior Cellar Award Winner
Oregon Wine Press
September 2011 Issue
No other nation has mastered the art of “bar food” quite like Spain. And, when you get hungry in a sleepy little wine country town like McMinnville, tapas usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Luckily, for locals and visitors alike, there is the charming and upscale La Rambla, right in the heart of town on historic 3rd Street.
Named for the famous avenue in Barcelona, La Rambla offers traditional Spanish cuisine, inspired by the Iberian Peninsula and tempered with fresh local ingredients. This level of authenticity and attention to detail would be hard to find in any small American town, but at La Rambla it is done with flavor and style under the masterful guidance of Chef Tim Hodges.
The potatoes, braised with an over-easy egg, is a wonderful starter, as well as the steamed clams, the seared scallops with fava beans and the decadent braised smoked pork belly. It is rare to see a menu this extensive and varied handled to such a high standard of quality.
You can visit La Rambla online for a complete menu, but a few of my favorites include the Iberico ham, Dungeness crab and bay shrimp cakes, sautéed garlic chili shrimp, the meatballs braised in a piquillo sofrito, and best of all the duck breast with croqueta (made from duck confit).
Their wine list is an eclectic affair, with a wealth of Spanish gems and a well chosen selection of local Oregon favorites, including Domaine Serene. They even have Oregon wines made from traditional Spanish grapes! Regardless of your thirst, every wine is picked to compliment the diverse and delicious menu and there is a wine for any taste or occasion. There is even house made sangria, which can be a delight on a hot Oregon summer day.
During your next visit to Oregon Wine Country, indulge your inner explorer and enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner at La Rambla. You’ll be glad you did.
Buen provecho! – Ken Evenstad
Long time no see! I have moved to the town of McMinnville, Oregon. I am no longer working as a concierge. Instead I am co-managing a small pizza shop with my husband Brian. It’s a big change, but a good one so far.
Here in the midst of wine country, there are a handful of quality restaurants using the fresh, local meats and produce this area is known for. So far we have tried Cuvee, Thistle and La Rambla. Didn’t have my camera at the first two, but here are some shots of our lunch at La Rambla. It’s a Spanish tapas place.
First up was this partially-devoured chef’s choice meat and cheese plate ($12). It came with housemade chorizo, serrano ham, a hard cheese, a bleu cheese and some candied walnuts. We had this with some good bread and olive oil. Next up was the manila clams with chorizo, sherry, garlic and herbs ($7). I could eat these all day. We used the clam shells to scoop up the rest of the juice left over in the bowl. These were one of the best things we ate here: Piquillo Peppers stuffed with northwest crab, goat cheese, harissa ($12). Tons of crab spiked with the spicy harissa wrapped in a roasted pepper. Mmm, mmm, good…
Great Girl Trips!
We had dinner at your restaurant late April to see if the service and food met our criteria to recommend it on our website. Good news — is we had a fabulous meal!
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