People have many reasons to love Richland’s Tagaris Winery and Taverna, but there may be one more. A little-known fact sets this establishment apart in a way that is not only good for patrons, but also for Earth.
“The least known about us is the organic connection to the food chain,” said Tagaris Winery president Penny Morgan. “In my opinion, one of the big things in coming years will be knowing the food source.”
Organic and whole food distinguishes this independently-owned business. Morgan said Taverna makes everything fresh each day, including breads, soups, pastas, sauces and desserts.
Area farmers and ranchers provide an assortment of meats, and fish are delivered whole. Then they’re cut for that day’s menu selection.
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“Our food doesn’t come to us par-cooked and shrink-wrapped,” Morgan said. “A farmer from Red Mountain brings eggs, another fresh herbs and lettuce. It’s so great to see a farmer come with a big black bag filled with fresh basil. It smells so good — heavenly.”
The garden-fresh meal that reaches the table is an interconnected decision, Morgan said of the restaurant’s high-quality dining experience. The chef, the winemaker and the restaurant manager participate in the design of the food and wine.
“I think it’s experiential,” Morgan said of the thought and time that goes into the menu. “It’s not just feeding your tummy; it’s about feeding the whole person.”
Michael Taggares built on the quiet site near the Columbia River a decade ago. An established winery since 1987, the restaurant features wines from its vineyards on the Wahluke Slope. Wine tasting is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with cocktails served after for those who prefer something other than wine.
“Coming here is an experience,” Morgan said of the Mediterranean-style food and Tagaris wines served in an Old World ambiance or near the rock fountain on the spacious outside patio.
“There’s nothing greater than sharing food and wine with good conversation, good surroundings and good people. Our souls thirst for it.”