Pair of Newberg eateries are finalists for prestigious national honors

Two Newberg restaurants have been recognized as offering some of the best services in the country, earning spots as semifinalists for the 2017 James Beard Awards.

The Painted Lady and The Allison's Jory Restaurant were selected as being in the top 20 restaurants in the country for outstanding service and outstanding wine program, respectively.

"It's a big honor. I mean, we're one of 20 programs nationwide. This isn't a regional award; it's a national award," said Ken Bolick, restaurant manager and wine director at Jory.GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - The Painted Lady, 201 S. College St., is one of two Newberg restaurants named as semifinalists for the national 2017 James Beard Awards. The Painted Lady was recognized in the category of outstanding service and The Allison Inn & Spa's Jory Restaurant is in contention for outstanding wine program.

The semifinalists for the 27th annual James Beard Awards were selected from a list of more than 24,000 entries from around the country in 21 categories, according to a press release from the James Beard Foundation.

"I think it's just a tribute to the hard work that our front-of-house staff has put into making sure that our service is up to the standards … one of the best in the country. It's amaz­ing," Allen Routt, chef and co-owner of The Painted Lady, said about the restaurant reaching the semifinalists for outstanding service.

He said The Painted Lady, 201 S. College Street, is no stranger to the awards with the restaurant having earned a mention among the best new restaurants when it opened in 2005 and having himself been a semifinalist for best chef in the Northwest last year.

"It's an honor to be nominated for the best chef in the Northwest, but at the same time I'm more proud … to be one of the restaurants that is nominated for the best service in the country," Routt said. "It's a small group of restaurants and it's a tremendous honor."

Bolick noted that Jory is one of very few Oregon wine programs to get this kind of recognition through the James Beard Awards.

With thousands of tourists coming through the Allison, 2525 Allison Lane, each with only enough time to visit a few wineries during their visit, Bolick said it's his job to make sure visitors have access to what he and the hotel see as the best wines the Willamette Valley has to offer.

"We're very fortunate to be a part of the Oregon wine country experience, so our commitment back on that is to make sure we represent the best of the local producers in as responsible of a fashion as possible," he said. "I'm always trying to represent Oregon in the best possible light. That's really the foundation of what we do."

The list of semifinalists for each category of the James Beard Awards will be narrowed down to the nominees on Wednesday, with the final winners to be announced April 25.

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