Valentine-o-rama: FFAW, Don’t Dwell, J’s Oyster Bar, Tandoor, Bunker Brewing, Variety Pack, Enzo or Eat In

It’s February and the month’s key cultural holiday (no, not President’s Day) is almost upon us. Dedicated readers of this series will recall that last year the O-Rama crew was tasked with compiling suggestions on where a pair of love birds should go if there first date occured onValentine’s Day. As I seem to recall many of the bloggers pointing out at the time it was an improbable and ridiculous set of circumstances, but it was also fun to take Valentine’s Day and turned it up to a Spinal Tap level 11.

This year we decided to explore the other end of the dial. The basis for this year’s recommendations are where to go, whether your single or not, if you want to avoid the more Hallmarkian aspects of February 14th and just go out and enjoy yourself. You may be avoiding reminders on the national day of romance that your single or you might be a couple that’s trying to reclaim the day to define as you wish, either way, the options explored below should give you plenty of ideas.

Appetite Portland – Postpone to March 2

Sure I could (and certainly have been known to) throw down a wad (say $200) for a marvelous prixe fixe dinner with pre-meal cocktails, pricey wine and tip in Portland. But if you, like me, are both watching your nickels and wishing for more together time you’ll need to be more creative this year. So what’s a happily hitched couple to do? Well, Adam and I have set aside half that aforementioned dinner wad to spend for a full day of fun, gifts and noshing. Here’s our agenda: read the full article

Edible Obsessions – Don’t Dwell, Rebel

But, on the other hand, if you’re feeling a bit full of piss and vinegar, then do something dramatically different. Go out. Go out and treat yourself to a fantastic meal to spite all of those happy couples and creepy faced Cupids. Go sit at the bar of Five Fifty Five, Hugo’s, Caiola’s, Miyake or Back Bay Grill–wherever couples are gathering–and treat yourself. Do for you. And you know what? Those people that have to wait on and serve those happy couples aren’t on a date for Valentine’s Day, either. Keep them company. Tip them well. read the full article

From Away – Go to J’s Oyster Bar

All of this will likely cost you half what it would anywhere else in the city. The preparation is basic, but seafood this fresh requires little more. You won’t be the drunkest person there. You won’t be the only one who is lonely, raw, and bitterly sad, whose heart aches and who has lost it all and expects to lose it all again. You go to J’s not because you have no hope, but because you have too much. Love hurts. Life hurts. J’s is there to help. read the full article

Instant Portland – Go to Tandoor

It’s my husband’s birthday. As you can imagine, that poses some logistical challenges if we want to celebrate in any way that doesn’t involve eating cake at our kitchen table. In our younger days, back before every restaurant had a website, we more than once found ourselves wandering around the Old Port trying to find some place for dinner that wasn’t all wine and roses, with a hundred-dollar prix fixe menu. Tandoor has fixed that for us and has become something of a birthday tradition. read the full article

The Blueberry Files – Bunker Brewing @ Sonny’s

Valentine’s Day: a holiday that has been discussed to death in the blogosphere, for sure. If you’re looking to avoid the prix fixe affairs, but don’t want to sit at home on Tuesday night like a shunned single, come check out this first pouring of Bunker Brewing Company. read the full article

Vin et Grub – V-Day Avoidance Variety Pack

After drinking, it’s time to satiate yourself. Head to Schulte and Herr (they start serving dinner on February 1st), Tu Casa, Saigon, or Ruski’s. Personally, I’d go for Tu Casa or Saigon. Plato Montanero or Pho? Ultimate comfort food… certain to ease your pain. The reason why I picked all of these fine establishments is not necessarily because they’re inexpensive (they are though, keep that in mind), but because most couples are more than likely going to bypass these options. read the full article

Vrai-lean-uh – Go To Enzo or Eat In

If you must go out to eat, I would recommend going somewhere that does not radiate “romantic restaurant.” Go someplace brightly lit that doesn’t take reservations. Go someplace where it would feel inappropriate to hold hands across a table. I recommend Enzo. read the full article

As promised they’re all excellent suggestions for someone(s) who wants to go off script this Valentine’s Day. As for my recommendation, I plan on following Kate’s suggestion and will be at Sonny’s for the launch of Bunker Brewing. With three new beers to choose from there’s sure to be at least one I can love.

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