People say that Valentine's Day is a grossly over commercialized holiday so that the Hallmarks of the world can make tons of money, men can be burdened with romantic responsibilities, and single people can eat ice cream and watch sappy romantic comedies. Well that may be true, but I'm guessing Portland restaurants aren't complaining! Most restaurants create preselected menus for five course meals...of course paired with wine if you'd like. So this Valentines, if we had money, these are the places I would have tried to choose between.
Din Din - Location Changes - Meets Once a Month
This is quite possibly one of my favorite ideas. It's similar to Simpatica in that the menu changes and it's on an email/reservation basis, but with Din Din you get to experience different venues that aren't your typical restaurant. Yes, I added myself to their email list so I definitely plan on attending one of these soon. For Valentines, Courtney has created a sexy menu ($75 + gratuity and wine pairings) for their dinner series on February 12, 13, and 14 at Art Department, a collaborative art+design space in the heart of the Central Eastside Industrial District's Distillery Row. This is an obvious first pick!
Le Pigeon - 738 E. Burnside St. - 5-10pm Mon-Sat - 5-9pm SunI have only heard great things about this charming french inspired restaurant on East Burnside. The restaurant is small so reservations are the only way to guarantee a seat, but the bar is reserved for walk ins (prob not on Valentines though...) where you can sit and watch the staff at work. This restaurant is absolutely on my list so look forward to a full review.
If they're full, I wold recommend checking out Little Bird Bistro at 219 SW 6th Ave. It was opened by the same team as Le Pigeon and I'm positive will be just as enjoyable!
BEAST - 5425 NE 30th - Seatings 6pm+8:45pm Wed-Sat, 10am+12pm Sun
This successful NE restaurant offers a six-course prix-fixe dinner four nights a week ($68 + $35 for wine pairings) and a four-course prix-fixe brunch every Sunday ($28 + $20 wine pairings). The menu changes weekly and is updated online for you check out before making reservations. This week there is a cream of celery soup, a charcuterie plate, duck breast, smashed potatoes, red kale, and demiglace, a butter lettuce salad and a selection of desserts. If this menu isn't your cup of tea, check back next week!
I'm sure there are more. There always seems to be numerous Portland restaurants I am itching to try, but these are the ones that stand out to me the most this morning. Though, no matter how tempting these choices may be, I won't be spending upwards of $150 this Valentine's day so a bottle of champagne, a home made din, and some chocolate dipped strawberries will do just fine!