Last year for Valentines my boyfriend and I had a nightmare experience. The restaurant we went to was incredibly crowded, the food took forever, and the server was never around. When the food did arrive, the order was wrong, and both entrees were cold.
This year, on a friends suggestion we went to Carlyle in NW Portland. It was like night and day from last year. Although it was busy, it didn't feel crowded. I would have preferred a quieter table, but it wasn't too bad.
Our meal started with an apperitif (sp?). It was champagne with pomegranate and passionfruit. It was really good. We shared oysters and a duck confite salad, both excellent. Our entrees were amazing. I had what had to be the tenderest and most flavorful lamb I have ever eaten, and my bf chose the Seabass, which he loved. I should mention at this point that the service at Carlyle is exceptional. We felt very "looked after" the entire time we were there.
Dessert was a highlight for both of us. We shared what looked like a large chocolate cone balancing on the plate. It's sort of hard to describe, but its impressive. It was filled with different flavors of chocolate mousse, some sort of cake layer, and all of these wildly shaped cookie things coming out of the top. We both agreed it was one of the best desserts we had eaten.
The only glitch in the evening was some difficulty finding my BF's coat when we were ready to leave. They brought out two leather jackets before they finally found his. All in all though, it was a wonderful meal, and I will definately be returning soon.