Valentine’s Day in Portland: Where to Dine Out
Treat your special someone to an elegant and eclectic four-course meal from Aviary’s Sarah Pliner, with romance-inspired cocktails from bartender Justin Garcidiaz. For dinner, Eastern influences find their way into dishes like braised beef cheek dumpling with jicama, cucumber, and peanuts and a prawn salad with snap peas, coconut, and taro root crisp. Entrée options include red cooked Kurobuta pork short rib and a pineapple curry-glazed black cod while sweet selections of chocolate cremeux cake and pistachio dacquoise round out the evening.
$65 per person; $35 optional wine pairing. Call 503-287-2400 to reserve your seat.
The Pearl’s Bluehour offers a St. Valentine’s Day Dinner both Saturday and Sunday nights. Begin the evening with first course aphrodisiacs like Northwest Pacific oysters on the half shell or “Ménage á foie,” a foie gras crème brûlée with brandy syrup. For your entrée, choose from smoked duck breast, Iberico pork tenderloin, and olive oil-poached cod, or even split a veal chop for two. End the night by sharing the decadent, if not dramatic, “Death by Chocolate.”
$65 per person. Call 503-226-3394. Saturday & Sunday, February 13 & 14 at 6:30pm.
Offering Northwest cuisine influenced by perhaps the two most romantic cultures, the French and the Italian, farm-to-table restaurant Clarklewis is a sure bet this Valentine’s Day. A special 4-course menu features grilled Pacific oysters with white wine and espelette butter, lobster and Oregon white truffle gnocchi, braised Painted Hills beef short ribs with crispy polenta, Oregon steelhead with roasted purple potatoes and sunchokes, and a winter vegetable lasagna with house made ricotta. For dessert, savor a ginger cakelette with meyer lemon semi-freddo or classic tiramisu with mascarpone and espresso syrup.
$65 per person. Call 503-235-2294 to reserve your seat.
The Heathman Restaurant and Bar
The classic “dinner and a movie” date gets an upgrade at the Heathman with a six-course tasting menu paired with a screening of the seductive food film Big Night, starring Stanley Tucci and Minnie Driver. Executive chef Michael Stanton has designed an indulgent menu featuring consommé with smoked scallops, porcini risotto, king salmon, roast pork shoulder, and quince panna cotta.
$75 per person; $35 optional wine pairing. Saturday & Sunday, February 13 & 14 at 6:30pm.
Things get hot and heavy at Imperial as executive chef and Top Chef finalist Doug Adams prepares a feast featuring specialties from the restaurant’s wood-fired grill. The evening’s à la carte menu features specials like scallops a la plancha with persimmon and blood orange, crispy parsnip and foie gras, duck confit with sweet potato, sweet onion salad, and foie gras terrine with pickled huckleberries and sorrel, as well as fresh oysters on the half shell. Pastry chef Danielle Bailey creates a selection of delectable desserts while bar manager Lindsay Baker offers a Honeymoon cocktail.
Call 503-228-7222 to reserve your seat.
Drop by this intimate, shellfish-centric eatery on the Friday and Saturday before Valentine’s Day for special dishes and drinks leading up to Cupid’s holiday. On the actual day of love, enjoy a 3-course prix fixe menu that features chef Aaron Barnett’s butter lettuce salad, a chicken liver pate tartine, two mussels selections—the Classique and the Normandy—as well as pan-roasted duck breast and Parisienne gnocchi with roasted vegetables and truffle butter. Options both sweet—a dark chocolate with espresso caramel and whipped crème fraiche—and savory— Cascadia Creamery cheese with Bee Local honey and house crackers—round out dessert.
$55 per person. Call 971-339-2822 to reserve your seat.
This Italian-inspired Northeast tavern—helmed by Jacob Harth, formerly of Davenport and Ox—is pulling out all the stops this Valentine’s Day, serving a special menu featuring handmade pastas just like your Italian grandmother would make. Starters include radish salad with pickled kohlrabi, mint, egg yolk, and bottarga, as well as an avocado salad with frisée and grapefruit. Cauliflower soup with chicken crackling and a shaved beef bruschetta with tonnato lead up to fresh pasta dishes—rye cavatelli with potato, dill, and trout roe, and bucatini with spigarello, black trumpet, and cheddar.
Call 503-894-9840 to reserve your seat.
Olympia Provisions spreads the love over three nights, offering a five-course tasting menu with optional wine pairings at each of the restaurant’s locations beginning Friday the 12th and ending Sunday the 14th. Begin the meal with a fresh shrimp salad and toasted bread before moving onto a selection of Italian cheeses or house made Spanish-style meats. Select a butter lettuce salad or escarole with lardons before an entrée portion of seared scallops with fingerling potatoes or roasted pork loin in a chanterelle mushroom sauce. Cap off the meal with a trio of dessert selections including a chocolate champagne mousse cake.
$60 per person; $30 optional wine pairing. Call SE 503-954-3663 or NW 503-894-8136 to reserve your seat.
With Valentine’s Day coinciding with Smallwares’ 4-year anniversary, chef Johanna Ware is cooking up something extra special, offering a four-course menu with optional beverage pairings or champagne flights. In addition to an abbreviated regular dinner menu, Ware offers diners first course choices of scallop sashimi, winter citrus salad, or cured duck breast. Grilled shrimp with harissa, root vegetable fritters, and short rib ravioli round out course two, while a seafood hot pot, wild mushroom risotto, and lamb sausage comprise main course options. For dessert, indulge in baked chocolate ganache or affogato with coconut cardamom ice cream and five-spice shortbread.
$65 per person; $30 optional beverage pairing. Call 971-229-0995 to reserve your seat.
Okay—this technically isn’t dining out, but Farm to Fit’s V-Day delivery service is every bit as good as white tablecloth dining. Unlike the service’s typical diet fare, Farm to Fit’s Valentine’s Day special includes Oysters Rockefeller, a frisée and blood orange salad, choice of coffee-rubbed Painted Hills Filet Mignon or cocoa nib-crusted Columbia River salmon, and a chocolate salted caramel tartlet to finish. All you need is an appetite and a microwave.
$100 dinner for two. Book online or call 503-688-9248. Orders must be placed by the end of the day Wednesday, February 10th.