Willow IS Portland's Best New Restaurant!

After a month of voting in May, Willamette Week has announced their finalists for their Best of Portland reader's poll. Willow has clinched the Best New Restaurant title and is looking forward to a very busy summer and fall.  Book your seats here while you still can!



Willow Restaurant now accepting reservations!

Mattie John Bamman over at EaterPDX has announced that we are officially accepting reservations for dinner beginning March 1st!  This is a big moment for Willow as it is the first time that we will be able to open our doors at a brick and mortar.  Located in SE Portland, at 2005 SE 11th (SE 11th & Harrison), Willow Restaurant is going to be open for dinner 5 nights a week, with two or three seatings per evening.

Designed around a tasting menu format, which a special emphasis on technique and vegetable cookery, Doug and John have created a restaurant concept that is focused entirely on the guest experience.  Offering 6 courses for $50, plus additional pairings and gratuity, Willow is sure to be a place that you return to often.

Please see our home page or visit willowpdx.tocktix.com to make your reservation! 

Willow Restaurant & Matthew Peterson Design

We are very excited to be collaborating with Matthew Peterson for a custom Counter top at Willow Restaurant. Crafted from planks of a single Tan Oak Tree, harvested here in Oregon, this counter will be the heart and soul of our restaurant and firmly root us to the Cascadian region. We spent a morning picking out the wood at Goby Walnut Products on NW St. Helen's Road and you can see below which pieces will be featured for our 20' counter top.

Matthew has collaborated with other restaurants around town, crafting custom pieces and beautiful carpentry work for Restaurant June, Expatriate and most recently, Chesa. We invite you to check out his website and see some of what he's made in the past. Can't wait to have you all in to see his work in person!


Danielle Dutson to be Featured Artist at Willow opening.

One of the goals for Willow Restaurant is that it will serve as a venue for local craftspeople and artisans to showcase their work.  In addition to Portland's Growers and Farmers, John Pickett and Doug Weiler hope to collaborate with local Potters, Carpenters, Musicians and Artists.  It is through this ongoing collaboration that we hope to cement Willow as a truly Portland Kitchen.  A restaurant that reflects the creativity, hard work and vision that helps to define the city.

Danielle Dutson has agreed to be the first Featured Artist at Willow by painting three custom pieces for the restaurant, to be hung for opening day.  Her work, often on canvas with acrylic, oil and charcoal, is a welcome addition to our space.  We are very excited to hang her artwork in our dining room.  

After graduating from Idaho State University with a BFA in Painting, Danielle moved to Portland.  While her 'day job' is as Private Dining Captain at Bluehour, Danielle remains committed to creating art full time.  

Willow Restaurant to take over former Fenrir space in Ladd's Addition

Mattie John Bamman at EaterPDX just published an article letting the Portland community know that Willow has an official home!  As of this past Friday, when Doug Weiler and John Pickett signed a lease, they will be at 2005 SE 11th Ave, in Portland OR.  

Though details are sparse at the moment, an expected opening date is late-December or early-January.  If you're interested in trying the food they hope to serve at Willow, join Doug and John at their a la carte pop-up on November 15th, from 6-9pm.  

Read the full article here.

John and Doug on XRAY.fm with Jefferson Smith

On October 7th, John Pickett and Doug Weiler were on 'Thank You Democracy' with Jefferson Smith and another guest, Adam Kohl.  The four were talking about Outgrowing Hunger, a non-profit that Willow Restaurant hosted a pop-up in collaboration with on October 11th.  

Outgrowing Hunger is a non-profit based in East Portland that helps build sustainable communities through gardening.  Listen in to hear what they have to say.


Willamette Week announces its 'New and Incoming' Restaurants for Fall 2015

The Willamette Week has announced its list of Portland Restaurants and Bars opening in the Fall of 2015.  Willow Restaurant, backed by its pop-ups and anticipated location, is thrilled to be on their list.  Chefs John and Doug are very excited for the potential for Willow over the next few months.  In addition to their tasting menu pop-ups, the Chefs have been hard at work for another Korean style Ssam pop-up, soon to be announced.

Thanks so much for the mention in your article, WW, we hope to be open and serving Portland soon.

John & Doug back on XRAY.fm, this time with Jefferson Smith

On October 7th, at 12:30pm, John & Doug will be on XRAY.fm as guests on Jefferson Smith's show: Thank You  Democracy.  Joining us in the studio will be Adam Kohl, Executive Director of Outgrowing Hunger.  We will be discussing the importance of non-profits like OGH and exploring some of the menu details for our pop-up on the 11th.  We hope to have you tune in for our broadcast and to have you join us at the pop-up!

The future of Food and Dining in Portland, OR.

Mattie John Bamman at EaterPDX is looking to the future and asking local chefs where they think the food scene in Portland is heading.   Willow Restaurant is honored to be included in a great article and to help shape the future of Food and Dining here in Portland.  

Doug Weiler and John Pickett are constantly inventing ways to improve their food and the vision for Willow Restaurant.  Some of the concepts they are working on for the anticipated brick-and-mortar are already in play at their pop-ups: fruit-based vinegars, pressure cooking foods and a kaiseki-style approach to their tasting menus.  

We look forward to seeing you soon, see our events page for upcoming pop-ups so that you can come and see for yourself what we are working on!

John and Doug on XRAY.fm

Join John Pickett and Doug Weiler on XRAY.fm (91.1 / 107.1) at 8:30am September 4th.  They will be back on Carl in the Morning to talk about their upcoming pop-up to benefit EarthArtAg.  It will be a great chance to hear some specifics about the menu, the great cause they are supporting, and how Willow hopes to get involved with future outreach programs.  Hope to have you tune in!

Crossroads Collaborative video

As many of you know, Willow Restaurant had its origins in the pop-up series by Crossroads Collaborative.  Alongside Tony Wilkie, Doug Weiler and John Pickett began to hone their vision of Willow and have an opportunity to put that vision into action.  In the Fall of 2014 and in the first half of 2015, Crossroads presented 5 distinct pop-up menus over 8 nights; these menus ranged from 8 to 16 courses, including one entirely vegetarian menu, and included the now-signature 'Snacks and Surprises' element of our pop-ups.  

The video link below was shot by Blair Warner over the day preceding our last Crossroads pop-up,  in mid-April.  We had Blair focus on the day-before because so much of our success is a direct result of the things that our guests never see: washing skin-on heirloom carrots with a small brush instead of peeling, a blanch-shock-season-puree-dehydrate method for a simple garnish.  There is a lot to see and taste at our pop-ups, but the real magic happens before anyone ever arrives.

Many thanks to Blair Warner for an outstanding job and a beautiful video that helps showcase our passion and the devotion this work demands.  Huge thanks to Tony Wilkie for his creativity, his diligence and his dedication to the craft.  We must also thank the many farmers, growers, market staff and purveyors who helped us source some of the best product a Chef could ask for.  Finally, we thank our guests: foodies, friends, family, co-workers, former instructors and chefs who came to our pop-ups and supported us and the vision of beautiful, local and sustainable cooking.

Enjoy the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_4u6Ok2u7k

Willow's 'endless Banchan' and Mian at Fish Sauce

Eater posted a short blurb Willow's 'endless Banchan' and some cocktails by Mian.  Everyone should come on down to Fish Sauce and enjoy our lettuce wraps, kim chi, and pork butt!



Eater unveils Willow Restaurant to the Portland Food Community

Carolyn Alburger, interim Editor of EaterPDX has set the bar high for Willow's debut.  That's great, as we love a challenge.  Our first pop-up, August 16th, is going to be an ambitious start to an ambitious project.  Doug and John are not satisfied with simply playing at service--they genuinely believe that having the Chefs serve act guest eliminates barriers and creates a more intimate and memorable experience.  It will be a constant work in progress and something to refine over time.  When doors open at the brick-and-mortar, they will have the confidence and experience to serve as well as they cook.