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I'm working on a story for a regional magazine about Northwest restaurants that emphasize fresh, local and seasonal produce on their menus. In particular, I'm looking for places that have special growing arrangements with local farmers, or that operate small farm plots on their own to provide produce for the restaurant.

I'm in Seattle, and know which places I'll cover here, but I'm looking for recommendations on Portland restaurants that are really doing something notable or special with local produce. (I'm also looking for places in Vancouver, BC, and Montana or Idaho--I'm posting notes in those forums, too, but if anybody here has a suggestion, give a shout.)

Thanks,

Paul

Paul Clarke

Seattle

The Cocktail Chronicles

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Check out Whitefish Lake Restaurant in Whitefish, MT.

You might want to contact Steve Rogers from Singing Pig Farms, a small organic grower in Portland and see who he's selling to these days. Also George Weppler, I think I saw his name on the menu at Lauro Kitchen last year in Portland.

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Higgins has already been mentioned, but make sure you talk to Greg. He was among the first to champion local, seasonal, sustainably produced food. It must've been at least 10 years ago when he proudly told me he had made it through the winter without bringing any greens from out of state. He not only has growing growing for him, he grows a lot of what's served at the restaurant himself.

(disclosure: Higgins uses the Necton flor de sal I import, and once he goes through the barrel of olive oil he imported himself from Spain, he'll be an olive oil customer again)

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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Not exactly a restaurant, but the food service at University of Portland has an arangement with an apple grower that saved his orchard. Last summer he was considering ripping out his trees and trying to develop his land because he was having trouble selling all his apples. U of P started buying many cases a week and spread the word to other colleges and now the guy is planting more varieties.

In late summer and early fall, there are some organic growers who are on standing orders to just bring in so many cases of whatever they have a week. They make something like 1500 meals a day and that's alot of food!

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