Even though Valentine's Day is almost here (shudder), there are still plenty of spots left at local restaurants for you and your sweetie to get stuffed. Regardless of your budget or culinary preferences, it's not too late to secure a seat—so pick up the phone now.
Here are a few we found, categorized as only we can.
Seriously committed – but slightly boring
The View Point Inn
If you're willing to drive 22 miles east from Portland, you'll enjoy the view and quiet luxury at this historic 1928 inn perched at the edge of the Columbia River gorge. Foie gras, an oyster beignet and braised pork belly are on the menu, and the mahogany paneled dining room will be filled with the gentle and romantic sounds of the Echo Jazz Trio. And then, of course, there's the view. The View Point Inn, 40301 E. Larch Mountain Rd., Corbett, 595-5811, $85 per person for six courses, $110 with wine pairings, http://www.theviewpointinn.com/
Looking to get in their pants
Trying to find a way to get the action started? This restaurant has re-named all of its menu items with suggestive titles, and working from first base to home run. Start with the Ooh La La and finish strong with the Smitten Kitten – practically impossible to say with a straight face. Equinox, 830 N. Shaver, 460-3333, $40 for three courses or $47 for four courses, http://www.equinoxrestaurantpdx.com/
Taking it up a notch
Enjoy four courses in Kenny Hill's new-ish neighborhood shrine to sustainability, Mexico and local artists. He'll prepare Petrale sole with a chipotle orange puree and pork loin with a peanut mole, and turn up the heat on romance with low lights and music. Trebol, 3845 N Albina Ave., 517-9347, $45 per person, http://www.trebolpdx.com/
Just been dating a few months
Whipped @ The Jupiter
Meet, greet, eat and shake your seat. Around 300 singles and couples will mix and mingle in a party tent pitched in the courtyard of the Jupiter Hotel. Dance to tunes spun by DJ Mr. Mu Mu. and nosh on a serious buffet and desserts from Pix. Whipped @ The Jupiter, 800 E. Burnside, purchase tickets at www.roxanahannah.com/whipped or at the door, $40 per person.
Small budget, big ambitions
Foster and Dobbs
Ditch the restaurants altogether and instead come out for a dip in hot chocolate romance after your home-cooked meal. You'll have your own fondue pot for two with all the goodies and a couple of glasses of wine. Love songs and mood lighting included. Foster and Dobbs,
2518 NE 15th Ave., 284-1157, $40 per couple, http://www.fosteranddobbs.com/
Love life needing a kick in the pants? There's bound to be some full-on, no-holds-barred, groping and heavy petting at Saucebox… well, after the music gets started anyway. Come for a fine meal of Asian delights, and stay for the dancing – and perhaps some ideas for later. Special Valentine's menu, in the kitchen and in the bar. Saucebox, 241 SW Broadway, 241-3393, full menu, dancing starts at 10 pm, no cover, http://saucebox.com/
Avoiding/ dreading the obvious, but still want to eat out
Hate the holiday but still want to do something special? Biwa will create a few new menu items for the day, including free chocolate treats using Japanese ingredients… hmmm… pickled plum anyone? The special V-Day menu even includes simmered chicken hearts and kabocha squash croquettes. Hot. Biwa, 215 SE 9th Avenue, 239-8830, full menu, http://www.biwarestaurant.com/
Image courtesy of www.superchefblog.com.