Valentine's Day is one week away! This fact will probably elicit one of two reactions from you: 'meh' or 'oh shoot, I need to decide where to take my date!' Well, if you already have a steady and want to go out to eat, there's plenty of nice prix fixe offerings at restaurants around town (see Portland Food Map's event calendar for a list). And any of the romantic restaurants would be lovely to dine at while gazing into each others' eyes (Bar Lola, Bresca, 555).
But for this month's blogger project (see last month's Burger Reviews), we decided to make Valentine's Day dinner recommendation for a first date. And that one little word, "first," changed everything. I would NOT recommend taking your first date to an expensive, romantic restaurant! First dates should be more casual. Plus, on a first date, you'll be nervous. And when I'm nervous, I tend to drink really fast. So, don't risk becoming "that guy" by being all drunk and loud in a tiny restaurant!
Anyway, because of that one little word, I'm recommending that you go to Local 188. It is one of the more solid restaurants in Portland, for both good food and service. They have inexpensive bottles of wine (or expensive ones, if that's how you roll), fantastic housemade cocktails, and a good tap list.
And of course, the food is great, too. Their menu lends itself to sharing intimate bites (did our hands just brush over the plate of olives?) or getting a giant steak all to yourself if the date isn't going very well.
Make a reservation for a formal date or sit in the lounge or at the bar for a more casual one. However your date ends, you'll be sure to have great food and drink at Local 188.