If you’re looking to have some fun along with romance this Valentine’s Day, this list is for you.
When it comes to romance, I am not a roses and candles type of gal. Fun and adventure is the way to win my heart. The best dates with my husband include great conversation, laughs and some food that I can’t cook for myself at home. So if you’re looking for a restaurant for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or just date night, here are 6 restaurants to help you woo your love, and have a little fun too:
- Marrakesh: This tops my list because it’s more than just dinner. While the food is excellent, the experience is what really makes it memorable: you sit on the floor, eat with your hands (they wash them for you) and 5 nights a week there are belly dancers! Be careful, they may make you join them. The 5-course dinner is $20/person. 1201 NW 21st Ave.
- Beast: Not only is this one of most famous restaurants in Portland (the chef, Naomi Pomeroy, has appeared on Top Chef Masters and was named 2014 Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest by the James Beard awards) but it’s also a real adventure with a prix-fixe menu and communal seating. Be prepared for treats like foie gras bonbons, steak tartare and quail eggs. I’ve only been for brunch (you can read about it here: Beast Brunch) but I have no hesitation recommending dinner as well. Make reservations far in advance, they are usually booked. $150/person for dinner with wine parings. 5425 NE 30th.
- Toro Bravo: This is still my favorite Portland restaurant because I always have so much fun. It serves non-traditional Spanish tapas, so you order a LOT of food and it’s fun to try so many dishes at once. I’ve ordered a la carte and the chef’s tasting menu, both are great experiences. They don’t take reservations so be prepared for a long wait (2 hours sometimes!)120 N. Russell Street
- Tanuki: Ok, I am breaking my own rule here, and recommending a restaurant I haven’t been to myself. But my husband ate here and loved it, so that’s good enough for me. This is an izakaya, with loud music, gory movies playing, amazing japanese and korean food and lots of sake. They serve a lot of seafood which is why I’ve not gone. Order a la carte or tell them how much you want to spend and they’ll chose for you. 8029 SE Stark
- Urban Fondue: I’m a sucker for fondue. It’s alway over-priced but it’s just so much fun. Rather than give your money to the big chain, The Melting Pot, try the local option: Urban Fondue. Right off of NW 21st, it’s a great spot for date night, with Cinema 21 and lots of bars nearby. You can make reservations on Open Table, but they’re already booked for this Valentine’s Day. 2114 NW Glisan
- Hubers: Ok, enough with the super expensive restaurants. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a romantic date. How about a fancy drink instead? Stop in at one of Portland’s oldest restaurants, Huber’s, for their famous Spanish Coffee. It’s not just a drink, it’s a show too, as they make the flaming cocktail right at your table. They have a decent happy hour food menu as well, but the drinks are the highlight. Spanish Coffee $10.50. 411 SW 3rd Ave