Well, 2020 has come and gone, and 2021 is proving to be a difficult and different kind of year as well. Crazy as it seems, Valentine’s Day is now almost upon us, and if you need some dining ideas, I have a few.
Read below if you’re simply tapped out and need a hand coming up with a more memorable 2021 Portland Valentine’s Day!
1. Batson River
If you’re looking for romantic vibes, swanky cocktails, and delicious food, Batson River’s new Portland location checks all of the boxes. Think elegant library sort of feel with a fireplace near the bar, plenty of seating, several levels, and of course, more than enough space to spread out.
Did I mention it’s simply stunning? Yeah, my mouth quite literally dropped open when I stepped inside to pick up my takeout on New Years Eve because it is so beautiful.
You’ll definitely gain some major points bringing that special someone here for Valentine’s Day! Oh, and if you’re not comfortable with indoor dining, you can easily order takeout for much of the menu, including their delicious pizzas!
2. Broken Arrow
Okay, another obvious choice for Valentine’s Day is the new Broken Arrow, which has some of the best food in Portland right now. If you go for Valentine’s Day, they have a special menu, but if you go before, the menu is filled with Maine classics that have been taken to the next level.
The space and the food are sophisticated and a little sexy. If you want to forget that we’re living in the middle of a pandemic for a little while, you can do it here.
The food will blow you away because the flavors are impeccably crafted and paired. A very small number of diners are allowed inside at one time due to COVID regulations, so buy your tickets sooner than later to be safe!
3. ViA VECCHiA
It makes sense that if you need a special spot for the day of love, you would choose somewhere like Via VECCHiA. I mean, it’s swanky beyond all belief. With gold silverware, low lighting, and food that’s beyond Instagrammable, you and your date will definitely have a great time.
There’s no doubt that you will need a reservation, because this is one of the hottest restaurants in Portland, so reserve your spot soon. Oh, and make sure you order a cocktail and definitely check out their bathrooms..they are the exact same aesthetic as the rest of the restaurant and the ladies room alone is just begging for a mirror selfie.
Whether you want to share an entree or you want to order apps and a little of everything, there’s no such thing as a bad meal here.
4. Little Giant
Assuming the miserable cold snap we’ve been stuck under for the last week or two eventually lifts, Little Giant has finally reopened! Their brand new outdoor patio is one of my new favorites.
I mean, if you’re going to eat outside in February, it helps if you stay warm while drinking a delectable cocktail, right? The Sea Witch is a great choice since it features actual seawater that’s been filtered.
The menu is small, giving it an exclusive feel. Items are always changing based on seasonality and what’s available, but I can tell you the black rice with crab is bursting with flavors and worth ordering if you see it on the menu.
5. Izakaya Minato
If you and your Valentine love sushi or Japanese food, why not get takeout from Izakaya Minato? It should be no surprise that Izakaya Minato is my favorite restaurant in Portland. They just celebrated their fourth birthday, even during such a difficult time as in the middle of a pandemic.
If eating at a restaurant, even outside, makes you feel nervous, their takeout option for omakase is a perfect solution. First of all, the omakase menu at Minato is seriously one of the best meals in Portland, hands down.
$35 per person and it almost always includes their incredible JFC (Japanese fried chicken for those not in the know). Said JFC is life-changing.
It’s hard to explain if you’ve never had it, but hey, Valentine’s Day is a pretty great time to try it for the first time. And then you’ll have it over and over and over again, because, it is that good.
Imagine enjoying your omakase menu in the comfort of your own home, along with some sake, of course. Sounds pretty great, right?
If you want to order the omakase menu from Izakaya Minato, you’ll need to contact them a few days in advance to let them know that you’re ordering this amazing meal for takeout. This will be a real winner if you choose it for your Portland Valentine’s Day, trust me!
Okay, so, Terlingua is not a new restaurant. I mean, there’s a good chance you’ve been there for a meal before in the last few years.
They serve good food! But what you may not have realized is they moved locations. They went about two doors down and moved into the old Silly’s location (RIP Silly’s but they have kind of reopened too).
Now, what’s seriously remarkable about this reopening is Terlingua is no longer a tiny space. They have an incredible amount of space, a new market, and probably most importantly, especially right now, they’ve added a lot of outdoor dining.
With that outdoor dining, there’s a lot of heaters, meaning you won’t be cold when you’re eating outside in February. It is a truly beautiful space, but more than that, if you need a spot for Valentine’s Day, this could be a great place!
The food is off the chain, the cocktails are strong and delicious, and it feels chic and sophisticated. It’s not too upscale but you’ll still feel like you’re having a meal out.
During this new COVID landscape that we’re all living in, it’s about the little things like a great meal out, supporting your favorite establishments, and forgetting for a few hours that the world is as uncertain as it is.
Obviously, there are plenty of places that you can go in Portland for Valentine’s Day this year, so let me know in the comments or on social media where you end up celebrating this holiday of love this year!