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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hotel Diamond~The Wine Dinner

My Man and I went for a belated birthday dinner for him a couple of weeks ago, and I'm still in awe over the food and wine we had that evening...well, my dinner date was pretty good too!

The following is the article I wrote for the monthly Horsefly publication that I help with. The Hotel Diamond is my favorite place to eat in Harney County...enjoy~~

Hotel Diamond

The Pacific Northwest/Scandinavian Wine Dinner

Harney County may not have a lot of fine dining choices, but one that you don’t want to miss is Hotel Diamond. Located in the Diamond Valley about 50 miles south of Burns, the little community of Diamond hides among large ranches and many wide open acres of public lands. With a population of just seven, yes seven, you wouldn’t think there would be much to do or see, let alone eat. But Hotel Diamond is like stepping back in time; a time when cattle barons, sheep herders, Native Americans, and settlers struggled to survive the rugged land.

As we drove across the desert from Princeton to Diamond, the views were astounding. The Pete French Round Barn sits quietly with cows grazing around it, miles of hundreds of cows up to their bellies in meadow grass that had been bunch raked for fall feeding, and dozens of deer feeding in the fields as the sun quickly lowers itself to sunset.

David, Shirley, Gretchen and other family members have been researching and planning this Wine Dinner for months. They are paying homage to their family’s Scandinavian heritage. Shirley Thompson, David and Gretchen’s mother, is Danish-American. Quoting from the dinner menu “Shirley’s Danish heritage is very important to her, and she has passed on this pride to her children and grandchildren. Her grandmother was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. And when that grandmother married in London, she and her groom rode down the street in the same coach in which years later Prince Charles and Princess Diana would ride after their wedding.” Isn’t that a fascinating and romantic story?!?

Another little twist on this dinner was that they also offered beer with three of the seven courses, as well as wine with five courses. Yes, you heard me right; a seven course meal and each course was superb! Highlights of the menu included pickled shrimp with Danish havarti cheese with homemade crackers; Winter squash/vegetable soup in a homemade bread bowl (garden veggies were from the family garden of course); a pear, avocado and tomato salad with homemade pumpernickel bread; Salmon Nadine with a sherry mushroom sauce; and the main course was ROULADER (Slow Simmered Beef Rolls), RØD KAAL (a sweet red cabbage) and new potatoes (from the garden). Last but not least, as if we needed anything else to eat by then, we were served a triple desert: Kringle, Chocolate-Mint Brownies, and Sharp Cheddar with homemade Apple Butter served with Peter Heering Original Cherry Liqueur from Denmark; topped off with the County’s best coffee.

The delicious Winter Squash and Vegetable soup

served with Blue Mountain Cider Company's Raspberry

Hard Apple Cider, Oregon. Wonderful choice!

And look at the lovely soup bowl...delicious as well!

Pear, Avocado and Tomato on fresh greens w/

Parmesan Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese

Homemade Pumpernickel bread

Served with Airlie Winery Muller Thurgau 2008

North Willamette Valley

My Man, even though he's not much of a wine

drinker, thoroughly enjoyed himself.

The fish course:

Salmon Nadine w/ Sherry Mushroom Sauce

Served with Sokol Blosser Evolution, Lucky Edition,

Dundee Hills Oregon.

Tucked inside the puff pastry were scallops and crab too!

As if we were hungry by this time, here comes the main course:

Roulader, Rod Kaal, and New Potatoes with fresh parsley & butter.

Served with Sokol Blosser 2006 Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills Oregon

The triple dessert...that should have 3 s's right?

Kringle, Chocolate-Mint Brownies, and

Sharp Cheddar with Homemade Apple Butter.

Served with Peter Heering Original Cherry Liqueur, Denmark

My favorite was the Sharp Cheddar. David said it was

15 year old Tillamook cheese. Oh so good!

I'm enjoying the best cut of coffee in the County...

and so full I can't move. I had to have a box for

most of my main course.

This is one of the best dinners I’ve ever had. The wine and beer choices were perfect, and the service and atmosphere was downright Harney County friendly. They only offer a couple of wine dinners per year, so if you are interested, give them a call to get on their list for next year!

Wall decor inside the "Ice House" which really was

an ice house in the days before electricity.

The doorway from the Ice House leading into

Frazer's pub where we ate our dinner.

Hotel Diamond is open seasonally between April and October. They have lodging, nightly dinners (reservation only), and their little pub Frazier’s offers lunches. Bookmark their website address at or give them a call at 541-493-1898. Maybe I’ll see you at the next wine dinner!



Carol said...

I'm stuffed just reading about it. Sounds wonderful...but I think I'd prefer a dinner around the campfire. I guess you do that all the time, Huh?

Reddunappy said...

Oh wow, what a wonderful meal experience!!! And you guys looked great!!

Paty Jager said...

We keep saying we need to get over there for a meal.

lisa said...

That looks like you had a wonderful evening and yours scarf looks great! I want to buy some wild rags and wear those rather than turtle necks shirts. I don't know how they are tied though and I wonder how warm they are!

gtyyup said...

Carol~no, we don't do the campfire thing too much at all. But, we eat at home most often. Going out to dinner is a very special occasion for us being that town is 42 miles one way. But the Hotel is only 30!

Paty~yes...all four of us should go! They're closed now for winter, but next summer would be great!

Lisa~depending on how cold it is, I sometimes wear the wild rag over a turtle neck! I cheat and just tie mine in a square knot. I'd never been able to figure out the buckaroo know. But I just found this blog, and the directions are really clear. I'll have to try it again.

Jame said...

I'm drooling just reading your descriptions, let alone the pictures! Seems a bit fancy for me though... the sum total of Tristan's & mine's fancyness is changing from our normal workwear of Carhartts as we head to the local cafe in Bristol :)
Glad you had fun :)

Anonymous said...

Looked like a pretty nice date to me! Birthday wishes to your fella. :)

Paint Girl said...

Looks like a really neat place for dinner, and so much food!! I am so hungry now, I am going to have to go make something to eat!
So glad you had such a great time!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow, and I though y'all lived in the sticks! With a menu as gourmet and International as that one, I'm convinced you don't live in no backwoods now!
Wow! I've been to Europe and New York and have rarely enjoyed a meal as deluxe as that one you enjoyed.
Can you tell I'm impressed?
And you're write up was top notch, too!

I sure hope you wore some denim duds with an elastic waist. You sure looked purty in your antique Wild Rag and your sweet smile, Karen :)


Tracey said...

Well, I guess I know where to go eat next time I visit, eh?

Harney County really never ceases to amaze me, though. Last visit we walked past someone out cooking on the street...golly it smelled good! Rhojo's?

Sarah said...

That sounded like so much fun! I just read your blog after reading my sisters, and she went on a wine dinner too in Nashville. Now I'm feeling all inspired to go find something like this in my area. Thanks for sharing!

Paula said...

That sounded completely FUN! I've never heard of wine dinners but I'm checking into it! Your Man looks like he is really having a good time.

thecrazysheeplady said...

What a fun evening and what a menu! Your write up was well done - makes me want to make a really, really long drive :-).

C-ingspots said...

YUM!! Now I'm so hungry I could eat a horse...that looks like a great way to celebrate a birthday. Sokol Blosser Winery was right next door to my mom and dad's place when I was a kid. My neighbor friend/riding buddy and I were continually trespassing through the vineyard and eating tons of those wonderful Pinot grapes (the horses too)!! I love their wines, but have a soft spot for the grapes even today. Good times!! Thanks for the memory Karen...glad you and your man had such a wonderful evening out!! Maybe one of these days we'll do something like that too. We were so close to you a couple of weeks ago, went right through Burns and had lunch there.

Celeste said...

Yummy! What a delicious sounding dinner and so much food, I think I might have had to take a walk half way through to jiggle enough space to keep eating :) Happy Birthday to your man.

gtyyup said...

Laughing Orca Ranch-Lisa, I can't buy underwear in Burns but I can go to Diamond and get a 7 course dinner...that's Harney County! LOL! The whole Thompson family are excellent chefs. They bought the old Pine Room in Burns and spruced it up and it's my second favorite place to have dinner...always something just a little out of the ordinary, but excellent.

Tracey-Yes, next to Bella Java. I've yet to eat there, but I've heard it's very good...we can try it the next time you're down!

C-ingspots~And you didn't let me know you were coming through!!! Next time you've got to call me!

Kitri McGuire said...

Sounds like a wonderful meal - can't wait to stop by next time I'm in Eastern Oregon. We sincerely hope you liked the pairing with our Evolution white wine blend - it sounded delicious!

All the best to you, and cheers!

Kitri McGuire
Marketing Communications Manager
Sokol Blosser Winery

Shirley said...

Wow what a meal! And what a great way to celebrate a birthday, come on, do tell it must have been a landmark birthday to merit such a treat!Thanks for the wild rag link; I've been tying the square knot too but I think I'll use the other one now. It looks great tied!

gtyyup said...

Kitri~What a nice surprise for you to stop by my blog! Yes, everyone loved the Evolution...and your Pinot Noir too! My Man thought it was the Evolution was the best of all the wines that evening.

Shirley~No landmark birthday...but I was at the Mike Bridges clinic on his birthday and felt pretty bad he had to spend the evening by himself...and his co-workers blew it off...not even the usual cake! We've been on their Wine Dinner list for a while and finally decided we were going to do this one; and it was well worth it!

lytha said...

wow, it sounds like a german meal that i have grown to love since living here, just spelled a little differently!

rot kohl (red cabbage) is my favorite side dish!

kohl rouladen (cabbage rolls) with beef, mmmmm!

but you had cheddar cheese? that i cannot find in germany, except at the fancy import counter.

pumpernickel, apple butter, and cherry liquer, definitely european, but chocolate mint brownies? no, those are strictly american. if you can find a package of brownies here, they have a big american flag on the package!

thanks for sharing,

~lytha in west germany

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