Bios and Restaurant Philosophy
Allen Routt, Chef/Owner
At the age of 10, most Boy Scouts aren’t spit-roasting Cornish game hens on campouts, but such was the passion of Allen Routt. He took a job in a Mexican restaurant when he was 16, a fortuitous decision, since that restaurant was next door to another run by Jose Santos, former chef at Sign of the Dove in New York. Routt made his presence known to Santos and was soon hired away from the Mexican restaurant. After a year, Santos strongly encouraged him to study at the Culinary Institute of America where he enrolled at 19.
While at the CIA, Routt interned with Bradley Ogden at One Market in San Francisco. “The quality and sheer variety of product Bradley was bringing into the kitchen every day boggled my mind,” says Routt. After graduating in 1994, Routt landed a spot on the line at Patrick O’ Connell’s Inn at Little Washington. From there he took a job with acclaimed Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, at his Seafood inspired, Pesce, “Jean-Louis’ intensity and creativity as well as his overall approach to life were major sources of inspiration for me.”
After a trip abroad in 1998 to eat his way through France, Spain and Italy, Routt moved to Miami to open Mark’s South Beach with Chef Mark Militello. Mark’s group was at the forefront of the South Beach culinary scene which Routt cites as, “One of the strongest markets for technique. Chefs there have been leading the trend away from heavy reductions into different dimensions, such as, refreshing salsas and purees.”
On the recommendations of friends, Routt then set his sights on California’s Napa Valley, where he landed the Executive Chef position at Calistoga’s Brannan’s Grill. “Brannan’s was an excellent opportunity, and a chance to run a large Brasserie style restaurant in one of the World’s great wine regions”.
All of these varied experiences serve Allen Routt well at The Painted Lady, where he has access to fine local wines, as well as a superb variety of fresh produce and coastal fish. Most of Routt’s dishes are natural matches for the regions wines as he partners with local growers and purveyors. He enjoys bringing his varied influences to traditional American dishes using modern techniques to lighten them for today’s palate. “But mostly, he says, “I really enjoy making people happy by feeding them and giving them an enjoyable and memorable meal.”
Jessica Bagley, General Manager/Owner
Jessica Bagley-Routt was raised in Southern Oregon. She enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned a business degree with a concentration in accounting. Upon graduation, Jessica moved to Portland in 1995 where she worked for Anheuser-Busch for 2 years, gaining valuable marketing experience. After this job she took an extended trip to Europe.
Upon returning Jessica knew she wanted to follow her passion for fine dining and quality food. She enrolled at Western Culinary Institute in downtown Portland. She graduated in 1999 with top honors and completed her internship at the highly acclaimed Higgins Restaurant. Jessica continued to work at Higgins until she was contacted about an opportunity to open a new fine dining venture in South Beach, Miami. Mark Militello was opening his flagship restaurant, Mark’s, in the Nash Hotel.
After two years, and having met her future husband, Allen Routt, the pair decided to relocate to California’s Napa Valley. Ms. Bagley immediately began working with one of the region’s top toques, Hiro Sone, at Terra Restaurant. Jessica was then offered a management position as a Sous Chef at Brix restaurant in Yountville. In 2004, the couple moved to Las Vegas to work towards their dream of their own property. Jessica took a position at Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurant, which provided a valuable reintroduction to the “front of the house.”
Jessica and Allen sought out their dream location in Oregon’s Wine Country while working in Las Vegas. They found the perfect Victorian house in Newberg. They moved to the area and worked around the clock for 2 ½ months to open their restaurant, The Painted Lady, by Memorial Day weekend of 2005. Jessica assumes all General Manager and Beverage Director responsibilities, while assisting in menu development.
The Painted Lady Movement
Allen Routt and Jessica Bagley know that the heart of the painted lady movement is the loving restoration of a home. Started in San Francisco and now spread across the United States, the painted lady colorist movement restores Victorian homes while fulfilling three requirements: paint in three or more contrasting colors, a balanced and felicitous blend of colors, and color that must bring out the building’s decorative ruffles and flourishes. The reinterpretation of classic, older houses with a new twist of color and vibrancy is exactly what Allen and Jessica wanted to do with the wonderful location of their restaurant and with their menu: classic dishes updated for a modern, refined palate. Allen and Jessica have not only restored the Victorian home in which The Painted Lady Restaurant is housed, they’ve been inspired to commit the following rules for their cuisine: use contrasting and exciting ingredients, balance the dish in a felicitous way, and always highlight the food’s natural flourishes and flavors.
The Painted Lady Restaurant is a home for Newberg, where parties and celebrations take place, where familial warmth is shared. A dining destination opened out of love, it keeps the guidelines of America’s painted lady homes as a touchstone while Allen and Jessica continue to grow roots in Newberg, Oregon among the award-winning wineries, organic farmers, neighbors and friends.