407 SW 10th Ave., 503-546-8537, pepelemokopdx.com. 4 pm-2 am daily.
Though we pride ourselves on our uniquely casual strip clubs and plastic-wrapped sexual progressivism, Portland is not a particularly romantic city. This makes Jeffrey Morgenthaler's bunker-sized Pépé le Moko, a candlelit basement cocktail and oyster bar with just a handful of seats, a kind of conspicuous outlier. You enter a tiny foyer, where you're greeted by a host who asks whether you have a reservation (if you're looking to celebrate a special occasion, calling ahead is a good idea) and a lone chef setting plump chunks of Spanish sardine on crackers ($8). They'll lead you to a den of couples tightly packed into leather-backed chairs, quietly snacking on a sizable bowl of complimentary house corn nuts while sipping Morganthaler's exceptional takes on classic cocktails served on linen napkins. An amaretto sour ($14) made with Old Granddad 115 bourbon is rich with fruit but delicately balanced, while the Cynar collins ($11) transcends its vegetal namesake to taste like elderflower. But the real reason you're there is the grasshopper ($15), a luxuriant treat for two served with red-and-white paper straws. It tastes exactly like its mint-green color would suggest, except with a rounded herbaceous base note thanks to the world's most perfect amount of Fernet. Look around and you may see a middle-aged couple holding hands over empty glasses and melting ice.