Restaurant Reviews

"When a special occasion calls for a special meal, consider Chateaulin."

This enjoyable French restaurant has been a fixture near the Ashland Plaza for more than two decades. The enduring partnership of host Michael Donovan and chef David Taub has made it a respected dinnerhouse, at or near the top on many a diner's list. 

Beef, veal, lamb and seafood dishes come with elegant sauces and an abundance of vegetables, artistically presented. The bread is superior and the house coffee makes a gourmet statement. Appetizer and dessert menus are notable. Food servers recite lengthy lists of specials as if they were appearing on the stage of the nearby Angus Bowmer Theatre. 

The wine list exceeds 120 labels, among them 15 or so by the glass. Other bar selections are plentiful, including various varieties of brandy and cognac, port, sherry and coffee liqueur drinks. 

If you like strong aromatic coffee, you'll love the after-dinner variety served at this restaurant.

in Southern Oregon

by Cleve Twitchell
of the Mail Tribune

"During the Shakespeare season, the place bustles with before-and after-theater crowds gathered for the fine French cuisine or for drinks at the bar."

Less than one block from the theaters, you'll find a romantic cafe reminiscent of New York's upper West Side; the dark wood-and-brick dining rooms are accented with copper kettles hung from the ceiling and displays of vintage wine bottles. During the Shakespeare season, the place bustles with before-and after-theater crowds gathered for the fine French cuisine or for drinks at the bar. House specialties are pâtes and veal dishes, but seafood is also impressive: the delicate butterflied shrimp in a subtle sauce of sherry, cream, tomato, and brandy were delicious. Chef David Taub changes the menu seasonally, and several daily specials feature entrees prepared with classic French flair. The cafe menu is a favorite of the after-show crowd: baked goat cheese marinated in olive oil on feather weight squares of toast, an outrageous onion soup. Service is polished and smooth even during the rush of theater crowds.

Chateaulin ***

11th Edition
Northwest Best Places

Stephen Irving
David Brewster

David Taub

Our Chef and Co-Owner

David Taub was born in Brooklyn, New York on August 17, 1949. He graduated from the University of New York at Buffalo in 1972 with a degree in Sociology. He worked as a social worker in New York followed by a year of traveling in Europe. David was hired as a chef 's assistant at Chateaulin in 1973, then left to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.and graduated in 1977, when he returned  to become chef and co-owner of Chateaulin with Michael Donovan. He is married to Mary Jane, and has two children: Alan and Jake. 
To this day, the seasonal menu remains at the heart of Chateaulin's philosophy of serving the highest quality products according to season. For nearly three decades, Michael and David  encouraged a network of local growers and ranchers in the Pacific Northwest to supply pure and fresh ingredients. His "food philosophy is to buy the freshest, best ingredients available, and prepare them in a colorful, uncluttered style," Taub says.
He has received numerous awards, including being named one of the six best chefs in the Northwest by Pacific Northwest Magazine in 1994. The other chefs named were Monique Barbeau of Fullers in Seattle, Karen Barnaby of the Raintree in Vancouver, B.C., Klaus Monberg of Jarbo's in Manzanita, Oregon, Kerry Sear of the Four Seasons in Seattle, and Philippe Boulot of the Heathman Hotel in Portland.

From Pacific Northwest Magazine, November 1994

Thanks to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland is more cosmopolitan than its small-town sister communities along Interstate 5, but it's still a far cry from New York City. Yet David Taub, native New Yorker, chef, and co-owner of Chateaulin, feels perfectly at home here. Still, Taub attributes his love of food to his New York roots. "I can still remember the smells of my favorite Chinese restaurant." 

Taub says he really learned to cook after leaving home to attend college in upstate New York. "During my college years, I taught myself to cook in order to get a good meal." While earning a degree in sociology at the University of Buffalo, he took his first restaurant job at that city's Anchor Bar, the place that saw chicken wings going to waste and popularized them as "buffalo wings." 

After graduating from college, Taub traveled in Europe before migrating to the West Coast, eventually landing in Ashland. It was 1973, and Taub was hired as a chel"s assistant at a new French restaurant called Chateaulin. Thoroughly enamored with the business, Taub returned to New York in 1975 to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating in 1977, he returned to Ashland and became chef and co-owner of Chateaulin. The partnership works. Not only is the food at Chateaulin good, but the service never lags, even when the place is overrun by theater crowds. 

Taub collaborates with local and regional producers, buying Oregon berries; Rogue Valley pears and haricot beans; edible flowers, lamb, and baby lettuces from local sources; and farmed and wild salmon, Penn Cove mussels, Manila clams, oysters, scallops, and spot prawns from the waters off Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. "My food philosophy is to buy the freshest, best ingredients available, and prepare them in a colorful, uncluttered style," he says. "Although I nearly always use French cooking techniques, I also take advantage of Northwest ingredients and cooking methods." But Taub refuses to be limited to regional ingredients, incorporating New Zealand venison, Hawaiian swordfish, Nicoise olives, and buffalo-milk mozzarella, among other ingredients, into his cookery. 

But what does a chef who first taught himself how to cook while in college really eat when he's at home? "My favorite comfort foods include spicy Thai dishes, marinated and grilled foods, simple salads and pastas," he says. "I have also been known to enjoy re-heated enchiladas at home after work." Perhaps the secret to Taub's success lies in his love of food coupled with a lack of pretentiousness.

Chateaulin Restaurant & Wine Shoppe
50 East Main Street, Ashland, Oregon 97520
For reservations please call (541) 482-2264

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