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The Lindsay Lodge recently partnered with Troon Vineyard to source their vegetables. The result? A creative and locally inspired menu.

 A big part of the joy of going to The Lindsay Lodge is dining along the Applegate River. “This is the dead-center of paradise,” I always declare when we score an outdoor table on a warm summer evening. The river whooshes below the deck and the historic bridge spans green and beautiful across our view.

Another joy of going to The Lodge is the creativity of their menu, which has been updated since the new owners, Anna and Mike Eastman, acquired the business, formerly known as The Applegate Lodge.

I salivate over the dish descriptions, which read like culinary poetry:

Focaccia with Jacobsen Sea Salt, Rosemary and Tuscan Oil

Burrata with White Nectarine Rose Jam, Watercress Chili and Herb Oil

Grilled Half-Chicken with Buttermilk Brine and Herb Pistou…

The team at The Lindsay Lodge touring Troon Vineyard.

It all sounds incredible, yet when my partner orders a burger and fries, I can’t help but follow along. My animal-self is reflexively drawn to salt and fat. If other dishes feel like a risk, I know I’ll love this classic. Plus, the beef is sourced from Plaisance Ranch, a nearby business that I hold dear.

“I love the burger, too,” concedes the Lodge’s chef, John Blevins. But he encourages diners to branch out. “Part of my job is to make the customers trust me,” he says. He has a credentialed background, previously working at the award-winning Gather restaurant in Berkeley, as well as opening his own place in Oakland, called Clove & Hoof. He specializes in Whole-Animal Charcuterie.

Lindsay Lodge Chef, John Blevins. His menu is inspired meticulously-grown produce from Troon Vineyard located just down the road.

“I’m a big fan of offal and off-cuts of meat,” he explains. But lately he’s been inspired by the fresh produce the restaurant has begun sourcing from Troon Vineyard down the road.

Many are aware of Troon’s achievements in wine: It’s Oregon’s only Demeter Biodynamic and Regenerative Certified farm, and was recently nominated “American Winery of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.  Fewer might know that Troon also grows vegetables. As part of the new partnership, The Lindsay Lodge staff recently toured Troon’s farm.

“Troon is rad,” says Blevins. Aside from their meticulous and biodynamic approach to growing, he also loves that they are willing to work with small orders and grow unusual breeds of herbs, peppers and other vegetables. He often designs his menus based on what they have in surplus, appreciating the creative outcomes spurred by this approach.

For example, last year Troon had an abundance of green tomatoes. Rather than let them go to waste, Blevins collected and preserved them through the winter. This spring, the tomatoes will make an appearance in The Lindsay’s brunch offerings as part of the Eggs Benedict.  The brunch hours start in May.

The Lodge owners are committed to sourcing local as much as possible.  Anna explains:

“Since purchasing the Lodge, Mike and I have both known we wanted to support as many local products as possible. As you know, we only carry local Applegate wines, we use lavender from the English Lavender Farm, Apple Outlaw Ciders, Blossom Barn Peary, Plaisance ground beef, and have continually used produce from local farmers as they have available.”

After talking to Blevins and learning about their partnership with Troon, I’m committed to getting out of my burger-and-fries rut and changing my ways.

“It’s very beautiful here in the Applegate, very seasonal,” he says. “I really enjoy what Mike and Anna let me create. I think it’s a big step in a different direction than what was here before. We’re proud of what we’re doing.”