Willamette Noodle Company

~update 7/9/12 Willamette Noodle Co is now closed 

How great is it to go to a restaurant where it's not only acceptable to draw on the tables with crayons, but encouraged?  Speaking as a color deficient person, I love that the color names are stamped out clearly on each little stick of wax.  Boosts my self confidence to know my tree is definitely green.

Earlier in the day I read in Willamette Noodle Company's monthly newsletter that they are serving Chicken Cannelloni as one of their April specials.  Sounded like something I'd definitely be interested in.  Although, the Spring Risotto sounded good, too.

I had to do a double take when Dustin, one of the waitstaff and bartender from Willamette Burger Company, walked up to take our order.  He said that they moved him over after the decision to add cocktails.  WNC doesn't yet have the same great choices of beer that WBC does, but Dustin suggested we give Stella Artois a try.  I found Stella to be a delicately flavored beer with some floral undertones.  A nice choice to go with a mellow pasta meal.

N ordered the Bacon Mac and I went with my initial urge and chose the Chicken Cannelloni.   Our basket of crusty Ciabatta bread arrived to tide us over during our wait.

When my chicken cannelloni was set before me, I couldn't wait to cut into the layers of pasta, chicken and cheese.  The fresh flavors of the combination of 3 cheeses, sage, mushrooms and chicken, found me savoring each bite with eyes closed.  The housemade sheets of pasta were tender in texture and light on the tongue.  This was a dish to be lingered over and savored.  N was short on talk between bites, unless you count "mmm, mmm, so good!", as talk.

During previous visits we'd missed the chance to try one of their desserts.  Dustin suggested the cupcakes with chocolate ganache, but once we heard him utter "lemon", we both knew we'd share a piece of the Limincello.  Delicious!

As we walked back to our car, we wondered why we don't head to WNC more often.  I have a hunch that will be changing.  Soon.

380 High Street
(503) 362-8667
Mon - Thurs: 7:30am - 8pm
Friday: 7:30am - 9pm
Saturday: 11am - 9pm
Sunday: 11am - 8pm


Anonymous said...

Seriously? You've never had a Stella before?

Anonymous said...

Interesting. We were there on Friday night, and left thinking that we probably won't spend our hard earned $ there again. I'd rather spend the same amount at somewhere like La Capitale and get a great meal than a so-so one. Our gripes: no music. The room was filled with diners, but it was dreadfully quiet. What's up with that? At least have something quiet and festive playing...something, anything. Our waiter didn't tell us they were sold out of any of the specials until we tried to order them...uh, back to the drawing board. My husband ordered the ravioli in mushroom marsala sauce. The only flavor that came through was the bitter taste of burnt garlic. Ick. If you burn the garlic, start over! For the price, the food is rather uninspired. I guess our expectations are lowered here.

Bryan said...

I have to agree, my wife and I went Saturday night for dinner. I had the spaghetti with meat balls and she had the baked ziti. The food was so bland we weren't sure if we were at WNC or the cafeteria at Capitol Manor. The bread was good though.

KandN said...

Bryan and anonymous, I've heard this from one or two others. N and I have dined at WNC about 3-4 times and have been happy every time.
I do understand about the music though. I like something playing in the background, too. When we went to Spoons for dinner, we were wishing the lights were dimmer. Not sure why I didn't think to say something to them about that. I'm sure they'd like to know.

Willamette Noodle said...

Hi folks- I really wish you would have said something to your server so that they could remake your dish... we clearly don't intend to serve anything with burnt garlic... but we do have human beings in the kitchen and mistakes can happen. We are ALWAYS willing to remake something or add a little spice or extra flavor to a dish in order to ensure that you leave happy. But as I've said before, if you don't let us know... well, we can't fix it.

Thanks to K&N for the review - it always opens the doors for people to complain, which saddens me since it is now to late for us to send them away happy.

As for our servers not knowing the specials are out - we sold out of a couple of them very quickly on Friday night... they have been doing very well and since we have more than one server on and several tables working at once we do occasionally have to go back and disappoint someone when the kitchen is out. Again, we never intend to "short" someone - our goal is to provide tasty and high quality food and we do sometimes run out.

I have no idea why the music wasn't on - we do have background music playing but perhaps someone turned it down too far.

Again - anyone that has questions or concerns is welcome to contact me directly at Janet@WillametteNoodle.com so that I can make it right for you. I would much rather have a personal conversation so that I can gain the information I need to correct any issues that I might not be aware of.


Bryan said...

I would like to thank Janet for addressing this so quickly. We have corresponded by e-mail and she is going to make this right. Nice to see someone take such pride in their product.

KandN said...

Bryan, This is one of the reasons why I feel we're so lucky to have restaurateurs like Janet and her family in Salem. They're a part of the community and they care about their customers. She wants to know what you think. I'm glad the two of you communicated.

Bryan said...

This is an update: My wife and I went down to WNC for a late dinner last night and it was excellent. She had the lasagna with the marinara on top instead of the usual Alfredo sauce and it was delicious. I went for the spaghetti and meat balls again since this was what I had a bad experience with before. And I will have to say my prior bad experience must have just been an off night for them because last night my food was the shiznit! We also tried some of Rob's special cheese and garlic bread. And let me just say it would of been easy to just order basket after basket of it and skip everything else for dinner. My faith has been restored and we will be back to The Willamette Noodle Co. again! Next time we will have to eat a little less of our dinner so we have room for desert.

Bryan said...

One more thing one very important thing our server last night, Lisa was simply the best.

Anonymous said...

Saturday night after our favorite bar had closed, my husband and I decided we weren't ready to turn in yet and tried to think of somewhere else downtown that would still be open. It was 11:30. I remembered WNC's new hours and cocktails. We opened the door; no one was inside except two remaining staff members. They were so gracious to let us come in even though it was so close to closing (which is 12am), and we couldn't detect a hint of attitude from them for being made to stay at work longer. Thanks for that.

We ordered a basket of calamari and each chose a cocktail. The cocktails weren't cold, but they were delicious and STRONG! Whew. And it's true, they only serve Oregon-made spirits, and we even learned about a few new ones we didn't know about while speaking with the bartender. The calamari was a disappointment -- chewy and overcooked -- but we were glad to be in a place open late, serving strong drinks, and willing to fire up the kitchen -- and the staff was so kind. We'll go back.

Willamette Noodle said...

Thanks Bryan! I'm glad you and your wife enjoyed your visit... and I really appreciate that you updated here as well. Our entire company is dedicated to making sure our customers leave satisfied. I think everyone knows that mistakes can happen - but if you let us know, we will fix it. That's a promise I will stand behind.

To our new "late night" friends - our employees really enjoyed having you stop in! Thanks for the heads up on the calamari, I will make sure that they are watching the timing on that.

We look forward to seeing more of you downtown during our late night hours soon!

Anonymous said...

excited to see what kind of specials WNCo will make for us this month!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the finger licking good dinner! Even if I did use a fork. :-)