Vaulted wooden beams and a wood-plank floor, handcrafted furniture, hand-woven drapes, and a lion-size stone fireplace set the scene in Timberline Lodge's esteemed restaurant, from which views of neighboring mountains are enjoyed, except when snow drifts cover the windows. The atmosphere is traditional and historic, but chef Jason Stoller Smith is a former wine-country wunderkind whose resume includes orchestrating a salmon bake at the White House. The dinner menu's
local/organic emphasis embraces, for example, cedar-plank steelhead with artichoke-polenta cake and saffron-tomato jus. The daily Taste of Oregon lunch buffet is itself worth the drive up—it highlights different seasonal ingredients and purveyors each week, from Dungeness crab to local hazelnuts to Oregon cherries. Pick up a few culinary tips by attending a chef demonstration.