Story

At Celilo Restaurant, we are committed to a healthy and sustainable future. We source high quality, fresh food, grown miles from our doorstep. We make every attempt to buy naturally raised products and organic products when available.

Scroll down to meet our Executive Team.

Muscles.jpg

Our story

Executive Team

Ben Stenn is the chef and managing partner of Celilo Restaurant and Bar. He graduated from NYU in 1992 with a BA in political science and a minor in French Literature. As it happens, the minor degree had more influence than the political science (thank goodness) as it got Ben to France where he found his raison d’etre. Ben spent two years in France, first at La Varenne, Ecole de Cuisine and then at several restaurants that rounded out his early learning. He returned to New York City and the restaurant world before coming to the Pacific Northwest.

 

After arriving in Hood River in 1995, Ben operated the Sixth Street Bistro and Loft for ten years. This offered Ben the opportunity to establish a family of producers and food people, the foundation of Celilo. Ben’s simple philosophy is “Know your food. Know what it is, where it comes from, who grew it, when it was harvested, how it was prepared. It is an honor to be a part of this simple ethic.”

 

 

 

Jacqueline Carey is the house manager and partner of Celilo Restaurant & Bar. A Cape Cod native, Jacqueline decided to broaden her horizons and move across the country to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. After graduating with an English degree, Jacqueline moved to Hood River, Oregon in 1993. After working on Mt. Hood for a few years and also teaching pre-school, Jacqueline decided to join the team at Sixth Street Bistro and Loft full-time in 1996. She started hostessing, then moved on to waitressing, then managing, and finally became a partner in 1999. When the partners sold Sixth Street in December of 2009, Jacqueline remembers feeling so grateful for all of the people she was able to work with during those years, many of whom went on to open their own restaurants.

 

One of Jacqueline’s favorite parts of her job is the research for the wine list. In the Spring of 2015, she passed her Level 1 Court of Master Sommelier’s Course.  By attending classes, seminars and tastings, she is continually learning about the overwhelming subject of wine.

 

Over the years, Jacqueline has also concentrated on ensuring that the restaurant is a sustainable business. By attending seminars and researching information, Jacqueline tries to stay current on important environmental and local issues. She lives in Hood River with her partner Kevin. When not working, she enjoys traveling and seeing music, especially her favorite band, The Mother Hips.

 

“We live in such an amazing place, where so many different types of food grow abundantly. Farms, orchards, and vineyards are continually expanding and helping our community to thrive. The more we can buy locally, the less dependent we are on outsourced foods.”

 

 

Maui Meyer moved to Hood River and co-founded The Sixth Street Bistro and Loft in 1991 after graduating from Cornell University with degrees in hotel finance, food & beverage and real estate development. He and partners, Ben Stenn and Jacqueline Carey, opened Celilo Restaurant & Bar in 2005 to rave reviews, establishing a national reputation as a food & wine lovers destination.

 

Currently, Maui is the managing principal broker at Copper West Properties, located next door to Celilo. Maui remains involved at the restaurant however, and through the operations of several other community-related businesses, he continues to work for the greater good of the region. He was a Hood River County Commissioner for 12 years and is currently a Board Member of Rural Development Initiatives (RDI) and Board Member of FCA (Farmers Conservation Alliance). He lives in Hood River with his wife Jan and their 3 children.

 

Accolades and Media

We are very grateful to the following people for their encouraging words and their belief in our work.


Foodie paradise along Oregon’s Hood River

By MARTHA ROSS for The Mercury News

Stenn’s self-described epiphany about the area’s fresh-food treasures came from the easy availability of morel mushrooms. At the upscale restaurant in New York where he worked, no expense was spared in shipping these delicacies in from Oregon, foraged in the same forests near where he now lives. “Working here, the pickers show up at the back door with baskets,” he said. “These are the same morels I got in New York, but they came out of the woods that morning.”  Read More...


2017 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

It’s an honor to be chosen as a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winner – Celilo is one of only 33 restaurants in Oregon to receive the award this year.

Come peruse our wine list for yourself and let our staff make recommendations from our extensive list.

 

Read More...

AE17color.jpg

EATER, PDX

"The Columbia River Gorge is famous for top-notch berries, pears, apples, and salmon, and its most refined restaurant, Celilo, offers these local ingredients through a Mediterranean lens, with pastas, paellas, and more. Chef Ben Stenn works with local farmers and ranchers no matter the season. A recent risotto featured foraged mushrooms, mirepoix vegetables, and fennel, topped with fennel-chive oil, micro sprouts, and grana padano cheese." Read More...


 

425 Magazine

"The scenic Columbia Gorge boasts a diverse climate traveling from rainforests in the west to arid desert in the east. At Celilo Restaurantthe town’s top farm-to-table eatery, located in the heart of downtown, Chef Ben Stenn’s commitment to sourcing both locally and organically pays off with amazing results." Read More...


2017 Oregon A-List Wine Award

This award is presented by Oregon Wine Press and Oregon Wine Board. It is given exclusively to notable restaurants that display a distinguished commitment to Oregon wine by featuring a distinctive selection of wines from Oregon on their by-the-bottle and/or by-the-glass wine lists. The Oregon Wine A-List designation will be awarded to as many nominated restaurants as, in the opinion of the judges, meet the qualifications for an A-List Award.


2016 Oregon A-list, regional spotlight award 

“Whether guests order a glass or a bottle from Celilo’s extensive list, there is no doubt the dining experience will have a lasting impression.  For this and its dedication to our wine industry, Celilo has earned a 2016 Oregon Wine A-List Regional Spotlight Award.” Read More...


2016 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 

This award is given to “lists that offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Typically, these lists offer at least 90 selections”.


1859 oregon's Magazine 

“One of our favorites on the loop is Celilo Restaurant & Bar, with a modern ambience and a laser focus on seasonal and locally procured ingredients. Pasta is made superb with roasted Hood River organic shiitake mushrooms. Hanger steak dances on the plate with Dancing Roots Farm kale. Sunchokes take center stage in several dishes, from a purée drizzled over black cod to sunchoke chips topped on a simple green salad.”


 

DK Eyewitness Pacific Northwest

“Celilo is driven by a devotion to using fresh and local ingredients, and the kitchen turns out seasonal delicious dishes.  Superb home-made pastas.  The decor resembles a timbered lodge.” Read More...


Pacific Northwest’s Best Trips: 33 Amazing Road Trips

“A modern and beautiful restaurant that uses quality, sustainable ingredients.”


Frommer’s Review

“…utterly hip in concept and is a sophisticated alternative to the homey restaurants that have long been popular in Hood River. Think timber-town natural-wood decor meets modern urban design aesthetic, and you’ll have a good idea of what this place is like. The concept of fresh and local drives the kitchen here, so you can count on the menu sticking to whatever is in season–luckily, that can cover a lot of territory in this fertile region. Dishes with house-made pasta are always a good bet, and, in the fall, you might get your noodles sauced with fresh chanterelle mushrooms. Lots of fresh herbs flavor many of the dishes here.” Read More...


 

Day Trips From Portland, Oregon

“Seafood, pasta, and steaks are served creatively with an emphasis on local foods at this downtown restaurant.  The menu changes with the season but the quality is always to notch.  Celilo makes every attempt to buy naturally raised produced and organic products when available, and even converts their used vegetable oils into biodiesel to burn in the company car.” Read More...


 

Moon Travel Guides, Northwest Cuisine

“Another great addition to the Hood River dining scene is Celilo Restaurant and Bar with a daily changing menu and an updated lodge look that features hefty wood beams and splashes of soothing color. The food is very well executed, with up-to-the-minute preparations such as seared scallops with truffle oil and fresh porcini mushroom salad.” Read More...


 

Travel + Leisure

“The restaurant puts local produce to good use: foraged chanterelles in pasta, roasted organic beets with fresh fish.” Read More...


National Geographic Central Cascades GeoTourism Project

“Celilo’s owners established the restaurant to be an outlet for the amazing food products that come out of this region. From the interior crafted by local artisans to their commitment to local food and culture, Celilo brings out the best of the Hood River region and the Pacific Northwest.” Read More...


 

The Oregonian “Good Grub in the Gorge For You”

“The sale will allow the bistro’s formers owners to concentrate on their other project — Celilo Restaurant and Bar, the gorge’s most elegant dining establishment. Partner Maui Meyer said the menu is built around local farms and what he calls the Northwest regional foodshed. ‘We want it to taste like Hood River,’ he said.” Read More...


 

Wine Enthusiast Magazine “Washington Wine Country for the Insider”

“Celilo Restaurant and Bar in downtown Hood River sources everything—tea and coffee, produce, seafood, pork, lamb and beef—locally, sustainably and in an environmentally responsible fashion.” Read More


 

The Oregonian, Ultimate Northwest Magazine “25 Great Oregon Restaurants”

“Celilo Restaurant (16 Oak St., Hood River; 541-386-5710; celilorestaurant.com) is the kind of place you’d expect to find in Portland. Craftsman-style construction, quality local art, a sustainable business ethic and a Northwest-focused menu that changes weekly make it all feel truly fresh.” Read More...


 

The Culture Trip

Specializing in Pacific Northwest cuisine, Celilo Restaurant and Bar is a friendly eatery serving lunch and dinner alongside complementary libations. Procuring the freshest local ingredients available to them, which often include naturally raised and organic products, Celilo’s team — headed by managing partner, Chef Ben Stenn — delights customers again and again with its seasonal fare. Within an inviting space adorned with local art, guests can feast upon highlights such as the house-made pasta with local mushrooms and asparagus sautéed with garlic, herbs, and extra virgin olive oil then topped with grated lemon gremolata and grana padano cheese and the hanger steak finished with a red wine sauce and served with golden potato purée, collard greens, kale, and pickled red onion. Read More...

Local Purveyors

We are proud to have built partnerships with producers who continue to amaze and delight our customers with their world-class food products, while ensuring our community’s healthy future via sustainable farm practices. Here are just a few of Celilo’s producers.

 

Carlton Farms
Carlton, OR
naturally raised pork

 

Cascade Farms
OR/WA
naturally raised beef

 

Cascadia Creamery
Trout Lake, WA
dairy farm and farmstead artisan cheese

 

Cattail Creek Farm

Junction City, OR
naturally raised lamb

 

Columbia Gorge Garlic
White Salmon, WA
“WA State certified” organic garlic

 

Draper Valley Farms
OR/WA
naturally raised and free range poultry

 

Flower to Flour Farm

Parkdale, OR

organic vegetables and greens

 

Fresh From the Farm
Stevenson, WA
organic quail eggs

 

Green Pastures Farm

Trout Lake, WA

farm fresh eggs

 

Hood River Blueberry
organic blueberries

 

Heritage Seeds
Mosier, OR

small batch milled,
organic whole grains and corn flour

 

Hood River Organic
Dee, OR
cultivated organic crimini mushrooms

 

Imperial Stock Ranch

Shaniko, OR

free range lamb

 

Idiot’s Grace Farm

Mosier, OR

Tilth certified organic cherries


James Organic Blueberries

Hood River, OR

organic blueberries

 

Kiyokawa Orchards

Parkdale, OR

Heirloom varietals of apples and pears  

                
Nature’s Finest Farm

Hood River, OR

organic produce


Newman’s Seafood Co.

Portland, OR

environmentally sound
harvesting practices, no gillnetting

 

Payne Family Farm

Carlton, OR

naturally raised pigs 

                                                    
Prairie Creek Farm

Joseph, OR

tilth certified organic potatoes
and root vegetables


Provvista Specialty Foods

Portland, OR

importer of artisan and small batch producers


Raisin Hill Farm

Lyle, WA

organic fruits, produce and tomatoes

 

Raymond Ranch

Snowden, WA

aquaponic micro-greens


Saur Farm

Hood River, OR

organic produce and specialty greens


Siragusa Orchard

Hood River, OR

apples, pears, apricots, peaches,
pluots and cherries


Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Portland, OR

“Roaster of the Year”


Strand Tea Co.

Sandy, OR

organic teas grown ethically and sustainably


White Salmon Baking Company
White Salmon, WA
brioche burger buns

 

Wild Columbia Salmon
Hood River, OR
Columbia River, native fisheries salmon

 

Wildwood Farm

Hood River, OR

organic vegetables, tomatoes and greens

 

Zion Farms

The Dalles, OR

“Tilth certified” organic greens