bresca
bresca
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bresca

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.restaurantbresca.com/
  • Phone: 2077721004
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Friday and Saturday 5:30pm - 9:00pm
    Lunch: Wednesday - Saturday 11:30am - 4:00pm (walk in only)
  • Payment Options: MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Contemporary French, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Krista Kern Desjarlais
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Franklin
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from bresca
bresca opened in February of 2007 in the historic district of Portland, Maine. The dining room provides an intimate 18 seat restaurant setting in which to enjoy the relaxed yet refined cuisine of chef proprietor Krista Kern Desjarlais.

The menu is designed to be small to take advantage of what each season has to offer and preparations with an emphasis on locally sourced ingredients. The wine list features many selections from California, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. We feature many bottles with lesser-known varietals from smaller producers creating an eclectic and accessible list to complement the focus of simplicity and flavor in the food.

The menu changes daily according to the season and the mood of the cook.
Continued
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bresca reviews from OpenTable diners
  • Great night!
    jpound
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    I took my girlfriend to Bresca for her birthday and we had a wonderful time. My favorite part of the experience was the pace of the meal. Since there are only two sittings per night and a very small kitchen staff, I never once felt the least bit rushed. There were 10-15 minute periods between each course, and each course was definitely strong enough to leave you fulfilled for what you just ate and a little anxious to see what came out next. The menu is small, but judging by what we ate, I would feel confident ordering anything on it because it is all prepared with quality intentions. I would love to add something negative to make the review a little more realistic or balanced, but I can't. We had a wonderful experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The Best of Portland
    stall429
    Dined on 5/10/2013
    To us, there is not a better restaurant in Portland at the moment. With, at most, a dozen options on the menu, the chef allows herself to focus on putting out the most comprehensive, thoughtful and, at times, playful menu. There's no need for gimmicks or trendy food things at Bresca. The chef lets her skill, care and knowledge speak for itself.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding all around.
    BartonKeyesVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2013
    This place has a very limited menu but that's because they make an effort to do everything just about perfectly, and succeed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I've lived in Portland for
    LJMMD
    Dined on 4/19/2013
    I've lived in Portland for eight years and am embarrassed to admit that, despite being somewhat of a 'foodie', I've never dined at Bresca. What an omission on my part! My husband and I had an absolutely wonderful experience there. Service, wine, food and the intimate/edgy setting exceeded our expectations. The shaved Brussels sprouts salad was incredible and the pork chop quite possibly the best I've ever had. Can't wait to try lunch there. Bresca is my new favorite Portland restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We visited as a group of four
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/19/2013
    We visited as a group of four and had a fabulous meal. Everything served showed a great deal of care in the ingredient selection, preparation, and presentation. The black kale appetizer set a high standard with a positively brilliant soft boiled egg, kombu butter, and charred bread combination. We tried the pasta, and the fish special and duck breast and everything was delicious. Seating is a little tight but arranged in a manner so as one does not intrude on one's neighbors. Service was just right, attentive, friendly, but not intrusive. All in all a great meal and a great evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Stellar dining experience.
    Capemet
    Dined on 4/13/2013
    Stellar dining experience. Spring salad, duck breast, Pana cotta--ciuldnt ask for better food in Portland. Looking forward to our next visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • If you want a quiet spot for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 4/12/2013
    If you want a quiet spot for dinner with delicious, surprising, and varied cuisine presented with class, Bresca is for you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Our ratings say it all. Inventive
    PigletVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    Our ratings say it all. Inventive and delicious food, quiet, soothing room, friendly attentive service. Even comfortable seating. A gem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Menu was limited but what
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 4/5/2013
    Menu was limited but what was offered was all excellent. Very subtle, light and wonderful flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not angry, just disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/23/2013
    The space, ambiance and service were excellent. There were thoughtful little touches hidden away nearly everywhere that made us feel welcome and special. The food...was not good. Neither my date or I had any desire to eat more than a third of our main course and only took our leftovers home in order to add ingredients to try and complete the dishes. It's very possible that our type of taste palette is not one that Bresca is aiming to please, but when we came in knowing that we'd be spending a minimum of $120 on a dinner that was celebrating a special occasion, it was extremely disappointing to have to stop for food elsewhere later that evening, especially when it wasn't because the portions were too small.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our first experience and one
    Svensk
    Dined on 3/22/2013
    Our first experience and one we will repeat many times. Bresca is one of those few places where the primary purpose is to enjoy a leisurely meal and truly is allowed to savor the creative dishes. It is small and intimate and thus it is actually possible to have a conversation without having to shout. All in all, a most enjoyable experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice ex[erience. Good food,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    Nice ex[erience. Good food, great desserts, very good wine and service too. The lack of a decent vegetarian offering was a disappointment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • It was good but not great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    It was good but not great and just not worth the cost.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Food in an Intimate Setting
    TudzDrklVIP
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    The food was fabulous. It was meticulously prepared, delicious and creative. Our server was knowledgable, friendly, professional and helpful. The restaurant itself was small and quiet but decorated so as to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience. The wines were interesting, well paired with the menu and fairly priced. This is probably the best restaurnat we've eaten in in Portland.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A cozy spot for great eats!
    Pppportland
    Dined on 3/8/2013
    We had the good fortune to find a table available on a Friday night. Having moved from Philadelphia where we had a number of overpriced meals that just seemed over prepared and under-flavored we were really excited to eat at Bresca. Since there are other local spots that get more attention we felt compelled to put the word out that this place is a real find. Between us we had the duck and cod. An appetizer of toasted bread with braised kale, 6-minute egg, pancetta and butter sauce. All the food was prepared perfectly. The service was great. My only complaint (which is very minor) would be that the adult contemporary music mix was a bit odd for a small, romantic atmosphere. Overall a great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bresca is my new favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    Bresca is my new favorite restaurant. I will make it a point to come here whenever I'm in Portland. The space itself is small, but warm and cozy. The food is unpretentious with simple yet wonderful flavor combinations. The portions are generous and the prices were a steal for the quality of food we were given. I usually love the first couple of courses at a restaurant and find the entree lackluster, but at Bresca I actually found that my favorite plate was my Hake main course. That's not to say that I didn't thoroughly enjoy our first 2 courses, because we absolutely did! Krista is a very talented chef and we can't wait to come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a fabulous evening, great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/22/2013
    What a fabulous evening, great service, innovative menu infused with lots of love, attention to detail. Seamless from start to goodnight. I'd highly recommend Bresca to anyone who loves food and wine. Can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • A perfect experience for what
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/2/2013
    A perfect experience for what was a special occasion. Decadent food, attentive and knowledgable wait staff, great ambiance (even lucked out and had the window seat!)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Absolutely fabulous food.
    jmpmp
    Dined on 1/25/2013
    Absolutely fabulous food. The small, somewhat crowded restaurant is a bit unfortunate. However with food this good, the ambience hardly matters.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We stayed in Portland for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/18/2013
    We stayed in Portland for the weekend, we live in Boston, and wanted a great dining experience and we found it at Bresca. Great food, service and ambiance. I love the small menu and the intimate space, because you know they plan a high quality meal. My duck was probably the best I've ever had. They match a lot of sweet with saviory. The dessert was also outstanding, Panna Cotta with passion fruit syrup, the best PC, light and full of flavor. On a scale of 1 to 10 I would say 11.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food was superb. Arrived for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 1/5/2013
    Food was superb. Arrived for 8:00 PM reservation. Seated at 8:20 PM. (Those waiting stand awkwardly among the diners in front of the wait staff side board.) Entree served at 9:40 PM. The wine was superb. The service was state of the art, but they simply can't get the food plated and out of the kitchen in anything aproximating a timely manner, even though they are only serving 20 diners. The lovely elderly couple seated next to us waited even longer than we did. But, if you are willing to tolerate the extended wait (we cannot and will not be returning absent some mitigating exigency), the food will delight.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/29/2012
    We loved every bite! The wine list is not full of well known wines but small gems from small winemakers - just ask and the server can explain. they are very helpful. Its a tiny place and you may sit close to the next table but it is worth it. The portions were generous and the flavors outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dining room is way too small!
    KAM56
    Dined on 12/28/2012
    Portions were too small for the price. You are practicley sitting on each others laps because tables are two inches apart. Service and food was great but ther dining room is too small!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Portland's Best
    YumYum
    Dined on 12/26/2012
    Of all the high level restaurants we visited during our Christmas stay in Portland, Bresca's was the outstanding example. The intimate scale (only 18 seats), the ambience ( quiet and stylish), the food ( Franco-Catalan?, a superb attention to detail, originality and combinations), and the wine selection ( full of attractive, unfamiliar options), all of these features give Bresca's a rare and memorable distinction. We ate there twice and next time we return to Portland we shall eat there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Surprising and Sublime
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 12/21/2012
    The food was spectacular and this is now my favorite restaurant in Portland.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Was anticipating and was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 12/20/2012
    Was anticipating and was not disappointed was a great intimate spot for date nite, food was amazing, service just the right amount. As a pastry chef I am always disappointed, with desserts not here I SAVORED each and every bite. Will definitely return
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding - Chef Krtista
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/19/2012
    Outstanding - Chef Krtista Desjarlais is clearly a James Beard pick!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • tiny gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/15/2012
    Bresca is very small. The restaurant seats 18 and that includes 4 seats at the bar. If you want outstanding food and great service, albiet with a limited menu (3 entrees), make sure you call ahead for a reservation or use Open Table. Once you are seated, you will be glad you are there.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This is a very small, special
    KAmartiniVIP
    Dined on 12/14/2012
    This is a very small, special place. The setting, food and service are all first rate. The duck is a spectacular dish.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Simply fabulous. My favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 12/13/2012
    Simply fabulous. My favorite restaurant in Portland.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our fourth time there. That
    jnbraiderVIP
    Dined on 12/7/2012
    Our fourth time there. That should probably be all that need be said.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fabulous food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 12/7/2012
    The food was creative, delicious, and beautiful. It was also very, very rich. The desserts were exceptional. My only suggestion is that Bresca discontinue the tradition of putting bread on the table before the meal. Who wants to fill up on simple carbs before such carefully and thoughtfully prepared dishes? A small amuse bouche would suffice, if they insist on putting something on the table before dinner. We hope to go back someday.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good, but not as good as before
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 12/1/2012
    This was my second time at Bresca. My first time ranks up there with one of the best meals I have ever had. This time the food did not shine quite as much. I think the main problem was the menu just didn't appeal to me as much. The wine list lacked any California wine at all, and they were out of the one Oregon pinot on the wines by the glass list. My entree was beef cheek goulash and it was just too heavy and the goulash was over the top with so much paprika that it tasted almost chili like. My husband had the duck and the fat layer was not rendered as much as he was expecting so it was a little fatty. Don't get me wrong; we both enjoyed our meals. The food was good, just not amazing like it had been in the past.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The menu at Bresca is impressive.
    rotorouda
    Dined on 11/30/2012
    The menu at Bresca is impressive. Everything sounds so good, it's hard to choose. But then the food comes and it turns out that while it is fantastically delicious, it's all made with the same two basic ingredients: butter and sugar. My dinner companion had a pork chop; it had some kind of buttery, sugary sauce. My fish filet with lentils also also sweet and buttery. Don't come here if you are watching your weight or worried about health. Also, the tables are very close together, so shhhhhhhhhhhh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Bresca is intimate and comfortable.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/30/2012
    Bresca is intimate and comfortable. Great use of color on the walls, with attention to details that let you know they care about your experience. We enjoyed the ambient music, which was eclectic and interesting but not intrusive. The servers were friendly, helpful and attentive. The foods have surprising combinations. We had the beef cheek goulash and the pork chop, and they were both more creative than they sound when I write them, and simply delicious. We had a wonderful evening there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bresca - a consistent gem
    Schusschef
    Dined on 11/24/2012
    We have dined at Bresca on numerous occasions and have always had excellent food and generally good service. I still remember this amazing fresh pea soup with crab salad that I had years ago - to die for. We took friends here for their first visit and they loved it. The only negative to this trip was the long delay in the waitress bringing our bill after we had finished and politely declined dessert. This is a great spot if you like local, fresh ingredients and inspired cooking. Krista always has a great selection of small bites/appetizers and local, seasonally inspired menus. If you can't handle only 5 or so choices for entrees, then look elsewhere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Let me begin by saying that
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/24/2012
    Let me begin by saying that we really like this restaurant and it's only a few small improvements away from being excellent. The food can be very good to excellent but is not always consistent. Servers are friendly but need training relative to product knowledge and continuity of service. I can't say the service at Bresca is ever above fair. It's a small restaurant with a very nice ambiance but if a group of loud people sit next to you it does not make for a very nice dining experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Cozy, intimate spot, great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/17/2012
    Cozy, intimate spot, great for a special night out for a couple or small group. In any other city the size of Portland, bresca would be "outstanding" in every category. We are lucky and spoiled to have a number of restaurants offering great food, service, and ambiance, and bresca can be counted among them. Service was friendly, professional, and knowledgeable. Entrees were very good, but the starter dishes were particularly interesting and tasty. The small size means they don't offer a full bar, but they had a few specialty cocktails, and a good selection of quality beers & wines to choose from.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We were charmed by Bresca.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 11/17/2012
    We were charmed by Bresca. The service was attentive and the food beautifully prepared as well as delicious. There wasn't a single missed beat. We will be back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Intimate restaurant with fantastic
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 11/9/2012
    Intimate restaurant with fantastic food. Friendly, unobtrusive and knowledgeable servers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate