Happy Valentine's Day! Whether you're celebrating Valentine's or Galentine's Day, it's a day worth celebrating the people in your life who you care about.
But where to go? Leave it to a Portland local and check out one of these understatedly classy places to dine out with your loved one. No steakhouse dinner required.
Start the day off rosy with WHOLE Trade Roses from Whole Foods Market
Call me a romantic but whether it's for someone special or as a treat for yourself, buying flowers is one of the sweetest gestures. Below are a few of the meanings behind the classic blooms.
Red - True love, passion and respect
Pink - Admiration and romance
Yellow - Friendship, warmth and joy
Lavender - Love at first sight
**Thank you, Whole Foods - Pearl for the lovely bouquet of roses this year. As always, dear readers, all opinions are my own. (I actually bought these flowers for myself last year because I love them so much!)
Let it pour! Coopers Hall has one of the best local wine selections (including wine from their own production.) There is truly something for everyone and the list is expansive. The large, industrial space is beautifully lit at night with strings of lights and candles a plenty— setting the mood for a relaxed, yet romantic night out. Order a flight of wine and a few appetizers such as the crispy octopus or duck confit with apricot and brandy soaked cherries to share on a rainy Saturday or Sunday night.
LITTLE BIRD BISTRO
This understatedly classy French bistro tucked off of lower West Burnside delivers all of the essential makings of an excellent dinner date out. Little Bird is classy yet unbuttoned in a way that it feels like a bistro stumbled upon in Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. It's the sister restaurant to acclaimed Le Pigeon by Chef Gabe Rucker, so come prepared to treat yourself to a delicious dinner spread.
Between the wood burning fireplace, the cozy atmosphere, and the stellar drink menu, Fireside is an ideal spot for an authentically romantic Valentine's Day. Fireside, located in what used to be the historic Music Millennium record shop, is a locals' spot to unwind. Service is friendly and the food is excellent. Take a stroll down NW 23rd after dinner and drinks to end the night.
If you're over the whole day, and just need a piña colada...
Escape the lovebird crowd and check out Hale Pele. This tiny, incredible tiki bar in a strip mall off of NE Broadway. This is hands-down one of my favorite places to go with a group of friends. For those who are unfamiliar, Hale Pele is a magical throwback to Golden Era, 1950s Hawaii where island time reigns supreme. In order to reach the classic tiki drinks such as the Blue Hawaii, the Lava Flow, and the Hurricane (a personal favorite), drinkers must cross the moat leading to the decked-out tropical oasis. Embrace the kitsch, it's all a part of the experience. Hale Pele is a place to kick back, order a drink as big as your face, and not take life so seriously. Bonus points if your drink comes on fire. Extra bonus points if you can swing the pick up line, "so, do you like piña coladas?"