Valentine's is like going down to your cool friend's basement, where he's set up his own little bar. "Check this out!" he says. "It's ginger bourbon! Yeah? Try it with lime juice!" You sip it, and damn if it isn't amazing. "Oh, and I made up a cocktail," adds your cool friend with a basement. "I call it the Valentino. It's got peppadew in it. Try it!" You try it. It's wonderful. Everything in your cool friend's basement is wonderful. Everything there speaks to fun, experimentation, and sideways thinking. You feel, for a moment, comforted to know such smart, interesting people. Valentine's is just like that, except it's a real bar, and it's not in a basement. JOE STRECKERT

Restaurant Details

A dark, laid back, indie, loungey space with a DIY aesthetic, located on that alley of a street across from Berbati's and the Shanghai Tunnel. The menu lies in the tapas/small plate realm, relying on fresh and local ingredients whenever possible, and they also serve sandwiches from The People's Sandwich of Portland. A plate of three entrées and some bread will cost you $8 (get the egg salad, it really is that good). Mega-hip art covers the walls and the upstairs smoking lounge area is like being in your parent's basement, but upstairs! Sometimes DJs spin, sometimes it's; live music, poetry, performance, movies, etc. (Show nights are Sunday through Tuesday)

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Price: $
Payment Type: Visa/MC
Happy Hour Info: Daily 5-7 pm ($3 well drinks, drafts, and house wines)

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