Beyond the mesmerizing wall pattern of hand-screened thistles and the irrefutable focus on intimacy – by both measures of diner to chef, and chef to the ingredient – Thistle restaurant has been pulling city dwellers down Highway 99 toward McMinnville for another agreeable reason. As of last November, owners Eric Bechard and Emily Howard began pairing well-regarded Portland chefs with local wineries to generate an exhilarating five-course dinner and drink occasion on select Sunday evenings. These dinners, limited to 25 seats, are an opportunity for the guests to experience lustrous preparations of local fare, while helping out the local community. Proceeds from the dinners benefit the YCAP (Yamhill Community Action Partnership).

Past dinners have welcomed charcuterie specialist Morgan Brownlow of Tails and Trotters with wine from Daedalus Cellars, Chef Grabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon with Cristom Vineyards, and McMinnville’s Remy Wines paired with Executive Chef Naomi Pommeroy of Beast.

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Here is the upcoming dinner schedule (though details are subject to change):

January 31st
Jake Martin, Carlyle and Deponte Wines

March 28th
John Taboada, Navarre and Westrey Wines

April 4th
Jason French, Ned Ludd and Patricia Green Wines

April 18th
Jason Barwikowski, Clyde Common and Bergstrom Wines

May 2nd
Scott Dolich, Park Kitchen and R. Stuart Wines

Guest Chef Dinners are $50 per person, plus $25 with wine pairing. Call for reservations 503-472-9623.