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“Disappointing dinner and evening.”
Review of Portabella

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Ranked #3 of 158 Restaurants in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 20 - USD 40
Cuisines: Mediterranean
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Child-friendly, Business meetings
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: In Italian, PortaBella means beautiful door. In Carmel, it's a threshold well worth crossing. During the day, passerby on Ocean Avenue are lured in by the sight of diners happily engaged in food and conversation on the picturesque flagstone patio. At night, heady aromas and laughter waft innocuously out the famed front door each time it is opened. Once inside, you're instantly transported to the sun countries of the Mediterranean with "La Cuisine du Soleil." Inspired by regional dishes, the menu takes you on a gustatory tour of Italy, Southern France and Spain, complemented by a wine list offering an excellent selection of California wines. Vegetarian options are available.
Reviewed 6 April 2018

A very disappointing evening. We were really looking forward to a nice dining experience. We were seated at a table in the back patio right next to the restroom. It was freezing. They couldn't put the heaters on because it was raining and the roof was leaking. There were buckets on the floor collecting rain water! Our waiter cut his finger opening a bottle of prosecco and by the time he served the other drinks at our table, they had blood on them. The evening went from bad to worse. Our waiter didn't return to our table. We thought something had happened to him, but it turns out he was playing guitar at the front of the restaurant! We had to go to the bar, explain our situation and order new drinks. We asked to move tables because it was so cold, but our new table was even colder. There were tarps covering the roof! The food was disappointing as well. It was not a pleasant evening. We ended up speaking with the staff, the manager, and the owner, and after much discussion we came to a mutually satisfied result. However, I would not want to dine there again.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Jo-Anne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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74 - 78 of 364 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2018 via mobile

We loved this place for the family. I had a great dinner with the wife and shared their great soup. Our daughter had a nice pasta dish, which is rare for these nice restaurants. One of the best in town!

1  Thank Matt G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2018 via mobile

On our second pass down Ocean Ave., searching for a parking place, we spotted a double space, half of which we quickly occupied. We checked the TripAdvisor app for nearby restaurants while noticing we were parked next to the Porta Bella restaurant. Based on the excellent TripAdvisor review, we gave it a try. We couldn’t have been more pleased. The staff members were very friendly and solicitous. Recommendations about the menu turned out to be excellent, as was the food. The ambience is bright and cheerful. Next time we return, we’ll eat at the Porta Bella, even if we have to walk several blocks.

3  Thank JayCeeDanville_PA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 March 2018

On Wednesday night, we went to Portabella restaurant in Carmel to celebrate one of our friend's birthday. We had a pleasant dining experience with food of the most exquisite flavors.The employees went above and beyond to welcome us. We were seated immediately and our server was kind, friendly and helpful. The main course consisted of a lemon garlic rosemary chicken and Linguine ai Frutti di Mare which really thrilled us. It was followed by delicious sorbet and rosewater crème brûlée. All the dishes had the warmth of homemade food. The owner of the restaurant and one of the employees played a beautiful song for my friend. My friend was very pleased to have such a great birthday experience. We would highly recommend Portabella to future guests. We can't wait to return!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank ozdenmatsu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2018 via mobile

We had dinner here as it was highly recommended on TripAdvisor so figured we couldn't go wrong. We thought the pictures and reviews suggested more of an Italian restaurant so we were somewhat surprised when there weren't more Italian dishes on the menu. We landed on filet and lamb for our dishes and some nice red wine. However the filet ordered medium was rare and unfortunately had to be sent back...the lamb was delicious and when the filet came back out...it was still rare despite being cooked a bit longer. After round 2 of a disappointing attempt by the kitchen to reprieve itself, we opted to just send it back and not order anything else. The waiters appreciated our disappointment and within no time the owner arrived to explain the issue with the oven and potential reason for the filet being under cooked. The owner was incredibly apologetic and offered a few times to make something else. He was engaging and thoughtful. He talked with us about our trip, the area, his other restaurant we had visited ironically the night before and just made it a point to express the pride he took in his work. He brought us a dessert on the house, offered us more wine and again did everything he could to make up for the bad meal. When the bill came we realized not only had the filet been taken off but so had the lamb and we were only charged for our wine and a soup we started with. So although the kitchen has a huge fail that night, the owner and his outstanding customer service made up for what could have been a horrible experience. We left still feeling appreciated despite this one mishap. Definitely an A+ from the owner and something he didn't need to do. Food was not stellar but the overall experience ended up being more than we expected for sure.

Thank travelingqueen9207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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