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AgriVino's in Carlton, which is moving to Newberg this winter, was called one of the 100 best restaurants by OpenTable

GARY ALLEN - The high-end Italian restaurant AgriVino, which will move from Carlton to Newberg this winter, was recently listed as one of the best 100 restaurants in the country by the reservation service OpenTable.

A high-end Italian restaurant that will move to Newberg this winter was named one of the best 100 restaurants in the United States by OpenTable, one of the most popular reservation systems in the country.

The Italian restaurant AgriVino, which will move from its Carlton location to a vacant building on 714 E. First St. in Newberg on Valentine's Day, was the only Oregon eatery listed on the list, which was also featured in Forbes magazine. AgriVino owners Dario and Sheena Pisoni signed a lease on Oct. 15 and will change the restaurant's name to Rosmarino Osteria Italiana.

The building the restaurant will occupy building has been vacant since 2015, when the Mexican restaurant Cancun Restaurant closed without notice. Tom Tesmer and Terry Emery purchased the building with plans to restore the structure back to how it originally appeared in the 1920s when it was built.

OpenTable gave AgriVino roughly 4.5 stars out of five, based on 536 reviews. This was good for a 99 percent recommendation rate. It also listed the restaurant as a "special occasion," "authentic" and "worth the drive."

According to the OpenTable website, "The 100 Best Restaurants in America for 2018 are consistently putting out delicious dishes, providing impeccable service and paying attention to every detail to orchestrate one-of-a-kind dining experiences time and again. The list features restaurants of all types and allows diners to find the right restaurant for any occasion. The list of honorees is based on an analysis of 12,000,000-plus reviews of more than 28,000 restaurants across the country — all submitted by verified diners."

According to the Forbes article, New York and California had the most restaurants on the list, with 24 and 15 respectively. Illinois had nine, Texas had eight, Pennsylvania seven and Washington D.C. had six. Florida and Georgia each had four. Forbes also stated Oregon was new to the list and listed AgriVino as "remarkable."

American and Italian cuisines were the most prominent on the list, which were followed by French, Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean.

The Pisoni's decided to move from Carlton to Newberg because of the support they received from Tesmer and Emery, as well as to be closer to other businesses and local wineries. They had been asked for the past two years to come to the city to fill a void, as there is not higher end Italian restaurant in Newberg; the only other Italian eatery, Pasquale's, closed a few years ago. They decided to move to Newberg to give the city "the best pure Italian cuisine."

Their kitchen in Carlton was getting small for the volume they were making, and they settled on Newberg after looking at other locations for expansion.

"Newberg needs a good Italian restaurant. We do not have any around here," Tesmer said in December 2017. "It will not be a five star, tourism type of place, but one where people can sit down and enjoy a good Italian meal and not spend too much."

Tesmer and Emery redesigned the building, which now includes large glass French-style doors that will open the main dining room to First Street in the summer. A patio has been constructed behind the establishment, with ample room for eating outside when the weather is nice. Tesmer and Emery decided to leave the old Darby's sign hanging on the back wall as part of the buildings' historical memory. New flooring and other interior redesigns were also completed.

The Pisonis said the new restaurant will continue the same concepts as the previous one, but will be open one more day a week, likely on Mondays, for people to come in for a less formal setting than the five-course dinner.

"We would like to give the chance to everybody to enjoy our cuisine and recipes," they said.

The five-course dinners will continue to be by reservation only, as meals are cooked to order.

Business in bref

Care organization to launch new partnership

The Yamhill Community Care Organization announced a new collaboration with the Performance Health Technology and Providence Plan Partners to begin Jan. 1. YCCO is responsible for the care of Oregon Health Plan members in the county and surrounding areas. PH Tech and PPP will work with them to build a provider network specific to YCCO, help care management and provide pharmacy benefit management.

YCCO members will not see a coverage change. Most members will continue to be served by their primary care providers, although some rearrangements may occur. Notice of this was mailed to all members in November, and new identification cards will be mailed out in the final week of December. Members can contact customer service at 1-855-722-8205.

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