When chef Jesse Kinchloe wants to show some love to his wife and business partner, Erica, he knows just what is on the menu: hand-rolled gnocchi. They know more than a little something about romance and food, being the visionaries behind Valley Commissary, one of Willamette Valley’s must-visit restaurants.
“The ingredients or “stars” of a dish make it romantic,” Jesse said. “But far more important these days is having a dinner focused around your loved one’s wants and desires is way more romantic and endearing.”
Yes, the way to someone’s heart might be through the stomach, but these days, simply focusing on what your beloved desires best could be the most amorous choice, whether that’s the adoration of a specific specialty ingredient — oysters, anyone? — the most invitingly intimate setting, or the vision of a distinctive voice in the food community.
Who’s having a special Valentine’s Day menu in and around McMinnville?
Red Hills Kitchenhas the coziest booth — it fits just two! — along with elevated dishes featuring PNW food stars and a bucket of gluten-free donuts to share.
La Rambla has the town’s favorite two-person dish, a paella of shrimp, clams, mussels, chicken, Spanish and house chorizo, pork shoulder, green peas, piquillo peppers, caramelized onion, saffron, and tomato.
The Barberrypresents a panoply of Pacific Northwest-inspired ingredients making starring turns, like oysters, salmon, Dungeness crab, diver scallops, black cod, and lamb.
Thistle, home to one of the Pacific Northwest’s most-admired cocktail bars, always has extraordinary, ingredient-forward dishes like garlic soup with duck egg and truffle.
Cuvée in Carlton is always a good choice for an intimate dinner, and has a chef who loves to accommodate menu restrictions.
Pura Vida is the choice if you want the sexy factor of eating with your hands (if you get the legendary tacos) and the unforgettable punchiness of South American flavors.
The Diner is a sweet option for upscale comfort food.
Here are some other ways to serve your beloved in McMinnville this Valentine’s Day:
- Stop by Velvet Monkey Tea for a truffle by Moonstruck Chocolates
- Grab two donuts at Mac Daddy Donuts.
- Share a wood-fired pizza at Pizza Capo.
- Pick up some Baci (Italian kisses) at Pierano & Daughters.
- Pre-order some cupcakes from Confetti Cupcakes.
Spread the love, but remember the napkins!
Read more at Visit McMinnville.