Ashland is best known as the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
But it also makes a nice home base for exploring the wineries of southern Oregon, and for dining out.
Among the best wine-focused restaurants in Ashland is The Loft, a brasserie and bar with an imaginative menu and a wine list that offers everything from Rogues to Rhones.
Jeremy Vidalo is the talented chef behind the French-style comfort cuisine. Among the palate-awakening (and delighting) dishes you’ll encounter:
• Penn Cove Fresh Mussels — Steamed with Chardonnay, shallots, garlic, spinach and Pernod butter, and served with pomme frites.
• Frisee Aux Lardons — Tossed frisee greens, smoked bacon lardoons, garlic croutons, warm Sherry vinaigrette and soft poached egg.
• Butternut Squash Parisian Gnocchi — With roasted parsnips, foraged mushrooms, walnut-and-kale pistou and shaved Parmesan.
The wine list emphasizes selection from France, naturally, but also includes a solid lineup of local bottlings that complement the cuisine.
During the warmer months — which are coming soon! — al fresco diners can enjoy views overlooking Ashland Creek.
So if you’re planning to visit Ashland for a Shakespeare fix, make time to enjoy a meal at The Loft.
“Be not afraid of greatness,” Shakespeare wrote in “Twelfth Night.” “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”
At The Loft, be prepared for great food and wine to be thrust upon you.