Puttin’ On the Ritz

Planning a classy night on the town to liven up the dreary season? Your friends or significant other will thank you for choosing an elegant, grown-up experience, which – believe it or not – can still be found in this college town. Before you splurge, take a look at these six joints guaranteed to lift your spirits.

The Whisper Project: Location Unknown

A glittery phantom, the Whisper Project’s luxurious zeitgeist is only matched by its mystery. The only restaurant in town that does not stay in one place, Whisper is inspired by prohibition era speakeasies. While Whisper can’t release any information to the public regarding its menu, staff, hours, or even location, the staff does say that they serve cocktails made in an Omakase tradition, wherein bartenders will create a cocktail specifically tailored to their interpretation of each guest’s palette. How to find out more about Whisper? “Through our social media of Facebook and Instagram you will find the answers you seek,” stated an anonymous representative.

Magenta + SNUG Bar: 137 SW 2nd St

A go-to for any classy occasion calling for Asian Fusion and American classics, Magenta is great for those who want an upscale but affordable dining experience. Patrons rave about the superb service upstairs and strong, yet delicious drinks downstairs at SNUG Bar, a quiet, 1950’s-themed underground club perfect for escaping the noise. Made-to-order dim sum is served all day long. Good prices for a nice evening, and they’re open until midnight Thursday through Saturday.

Del Alma: 135 SW Washington Ave

Hip cocktail-bar-and-restaurant combo Del Alma is still reputed as of one of the most upscale restaurants in town. Del Alma boasts a unique variety of Latin and South American wines and cocktails, along with many delicious Pan-Latin dishes to match. Diners should expect to enjoy a modern and intimate atmosphere, as well a lovely view of the river in the background. However, this is not a cheap date; expect $25+ per diner.

Castor: 458 SW Madison Ave

Receiving rave reviews from locals and out-of-towners alike, almost no one appears to have been disappointed after choosing to dine at Castor with coworkers, or attend a Sunday brunch with family. Service is excellent and classic American comfort food is served for all three meals of the day, including filet mingon and eggs Benedict for breakfast. Expect fair prices and a particularly energetic ambiance that can only be found in the Pacific Northwest.

Big River Restaurant: 101 NW Jackson Ave

Big River has been one of the city’s most beloved locations for fine dining since the 1990’s. This simple yet elegant restaurant is the perfect place to impress family or a date – but will also serve you well if you’re looking for a place to hang out during happy hour with a great choice of pub food. Big River boasts locally-sourced meals and a massive drink menu that includes both beer and cocktails. Prices are reasonable, but not cheap.

The Kingfish Lounge: 151 NE 1st St

Corvallis’ premier hipster house, the Kingfish Lounge is far from anything you’d expect on the typical college bar crawl. Carefully-made drinks and unique beverages, like homemade ginger beer and Sazerac cocktails, are available at this dimly-lit, elegant waterfront bar. Limited appetizers, including meats like chorizo, are available. The service is excellent, and you can expect fair prices for a fresh environment.

Tyee Wine Cellars: 26335 Greenberry Rd

With a view of Mary’s peak and beauty surrounding every inch of the grounds, the environment may intoxicate you before the wine does. Their Pinot Noir is held as the crown jewel of this family owned and operated business, where guests are welcome to picnic among sustainable wetlands, woodlands, and wide-open spaces.

By Kiki Genoa

Do you have a story for The Advocate? Email editor@corvallisadvocate.com