Around the North Coast, restaurants are preparing to celebrate Valentine’s Day by serving themed treats and offering special discounts. While you can’t go wrong with where you choose to get takeout to celebrate this holiday — Coast Weekend spotlighted what a few local spots have in store for the holiday.
Cannon Beach Chocolate Cafe
House made truffles, hot chocolate, coffee, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate bars are some of the treats available at Cannon Beach Chocolate Cafe. For Valentine’s Day, the cafe is selling large edible chocolate hearts.
“We have a seasonal line of truffles for Valentine’s Day along with a ‘Breakable Heart,’ which is a hollow heart made of chocolate that comes with a tiny wooden mallet to break it open,” said co-owner Kelly Mauer. “Customers will have a choice to pick out truffles to place in the center of the heart. We also have a valentine-themed window display … and a lavender hot chocolate.”
Staff create hot chocolate by pouring hot milk over Colombian chocolate. Options include dark chocolate, milk chocolate or Mayan spiced. Milk alternatives are available.
Mauer and Danielle Shipp bought the cafe last April. Shipp, who acts as head chocolatier, studied at the International Culinary School at the San Francisco Art Institute and under the previous owner Tim Krupa. Mauer runs the cafe’s business aspects.
“We have been overwhelmed with all of the love and support we have received from family, friends and customers,” Mauer said.
Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge
Since the 1940s, the Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge has been a comfortable dining and gathering place for residents and tourists.
The restaurant’s extensive menu features a wide array of seafood dishes featuring prawns, calamari, crab, halibut, salmon, steamer clams and Willapa Bay oysters. Other options include generous salads, filet mignon, baby back ribs, rib eye steaks, sandwiches and burgers. Local wines, draft beers and cocktails are available.
General Manager Jordan Meier said the baked halibut is the restaurant’s most popular item and has been on the menu for over 40 years. The restaurant’s clam chowder, also a longtime-favorite, is a classic recipe and has won some recognition.
For Valentine’s Day, they are offering crab legs, filet mignon and prime rib for to-go specials.
Nonni’s Italian Bistro
The family-owned Nonni’s Italian Bistro in Seaside offers Italian dishes including seafood pasta, beef medallions with mushroom marsala and house lasagna.
Dishes are served alongside warm bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, salads and a variety of appetizers. The bistro also features wines from Italy and specialty cocktails.
Doug and Nancy McKeown own Nonni’s, which serves dinner, and the Firehouse Grill next door, which serves breakfast and lunch.
Some of the bistro’s most popular items include artichoke encrusted beef medallions, chicken picatta, spaghetti with meatballs, a caprese tower and “a very yummy berry panna cotta dessert,” said Morgan McKeown, the owner’s daughter.
“Our most popular drinks are the limoncello drop martini and our peach berry martini,” McKeown said. “We offer a complimentary amaretto or samba liquor with every dinner.
The daily risotto comes with a champagne toast this Valentine’s Day.
Sweet Shop Gearhart
Since 2017, Sweet Shop Gearhart has been serving up sweet treats like homemade scones, cookies, muffins and organic coffee from Cannon Beach’s Sleepy Monk Coffee Co. For Valentine’s Day, 10% will be deducted off purchases of chocolates, champagne and sparkling wines.
Owner Traci Williams said wine is one of the shop’s best selling items with several wines from Oregon, Washington state and California.
“Scones are our best selling item, with more than 37,000 sold since we opened less than four years ago,” Williams said. “Obviously ice cream is a close second, we offer 24 flavors. We also have a big following for our homemade soups and casseroles that rotate daily.”
The shop has expanded its selection of local vendors and gifts to fill the space previously used for indoor dining. Some seating is available outside.
McMenamins Sand Trap Pub
McMenamins Sand Trap Pub in Gearhart is a short walk to the beach and is known for craft beers, wines, ciders, spirits and specialty coffees in addition to the pub’s food menu. Food options include halibut fish and chips, creamy crab mac and cheese, steamer clams, burgers, steaks, sandwiches, pizzas, soups, salads, hummus plate and desserts.
“Our Alehouse Halibut Fish & Chips or our Pot Bunker Crab Fondue Pot are both excellent options for sharing with a valentine,” said Hansel Wolff, property manager. “We also have a large selection of vegan and vegetarian options as well.”
Wolff said operating during the coronavirus pandemic has been a “rollercoaster.” The pub’s staff was laid off earlier in the pandemic.
“Thankfully our community has really been a huge help in building us back up,” Wolff said. “We’ve managed to bring back our staff and welcome our guests back while placing a huge importance on safety for everyone.”
Recalling a special Valentine’s Day memory, Wolff said, “Last year we had a guest work with our sales coordinator to create a scavenger hunt around the property that ended in our secret room, tucked away in our hotel annex, with a proposal. She said yes.”