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  • Nel Centro

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Nel Centro
Nel Centro

Nel Centro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.nelcentro.com/
  • Phone: (503) 484-1099
  • Hours of Operation: Monday through Thursday: 6:30am - 11:00pm
    Friday: 6:30am - 12:00am
    Saturday: 7:30am - 12:00am
    Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, French
  • Executive Chef: David Machado
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Private parties, meetings and banquets are available in our five attractive private dining rooms.
  • Private Party Contact: Brianne Rudolph (503) 484-1096
  • Entertainment: Live jazz in the bar on Friday and Saturday nights, led by jazz guitarist Mike Pardew. Please check our website for details. http://bit.ly/ybu03B

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Columbia
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet parking is available adjacent to the restaurant at the Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay Street.
A word from Nel Centro
Nel Centro

Aromatic herbs. Classic recipes. The sweep of history. Nel Centro is a modern, light-filled aria to one of the world's most revered cuisines.

Nel Centro (Italian for "in the center") explores the classic dishes of the Riviera and chef David Machado's passion for grand culinary traditions and locally sourced, seasonal food.

Reservations accepted for the main dining room only. Bar & patio seating are first-come, first-served. Happy hour available only in the bar and on the patio (4pm - 6pm every day).

Private parties, meetings and banquets are available in our five attractive private dining rooms.

Valet parking is available adjacent to the restaurant at the Hotel Modera: 515 SW Clay Street.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
Diner Reviews
  • "We had a table of 9 and except for one missed second glass of wine all went well. Interesting and extensive menu. One waitress handled all of us. We appreciated her willingness to break down our orders for payment and we weren't charged 18 percent for a large group."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Takes full advantage of in-season ingredients. Creative, but unpretentious, preparations. Fava bean salad with pecorino & mint with superb. The bar is busy with the after-work crowd and the restaurant is full with the pre-show crowd, but the service is up to the tasks. Nice selection of wines too."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Very noisy hard to have a conservation. Food good but small portions. Tables too close to each other. Great staff very friendly."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "Had a great dinner here with friends the other night. Our entire meal (salads, entrees, desserts) was excellent from start to finish."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The service was terrible, it took almost fourty minutes to get our lunch. My tuna salad was not very good, greens did not look very fresh and the fish was not very tender. My guest enjoyed her chicken sandwich but we exeeded her one hour lunch by 30 minutes. The outdoor seating was the only good experience."
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "We had a group of 8 at Nel Centro for an early dinner before a show at the Keller Auditorium a few blocks away. They set up a lovely big table, with city window views and plenty of room for all of us. One couple was stuck in traffic and was a bit late, which the staff handled well. Waitress was very attentive and provided great service all night. As we were chatting and having cocktails, she let us know that we should get our food orders placed before the kitchen got too busy , so we'd stay on track for our show time. Everyone was pleased with their appetizers and dinners, and we made it to the show with a few extra minutes to spare. Would definitely go there again in the future!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Our server was terrific with both drink and food recommendations! Everything was absolutely wonderful and our server made sure that we finished in time to walk to the theater. Great time with a group of friends!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "Nel Centro has one of Portland's better happy hours (in terms of price, quality, and variety), but sit-down dinner is fine, too. Tough to recommend a single item, although the pastas are tough to pass up (then again, so are the meat and fish). Full wine menu, knowledgeable staff, and meals seem to be brought by first available staff, which is always a plus. The lack of a separate gluten-free menu doesn't mean a lack of GF options."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The food was amazing, the service was fantastic. My fiance and I had a wonderful time here."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "My husband, teenaged son and I had dinner before a show at the Keller. Our server asked if we we're show-bound to ensure the timing of the meal. Our starter salads were delicious. My steak was cooked perfectly MR. My guys loved their pasta. We even had time for dessert. This is a fun and friendly spot. We'll be back!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "There were six of us for dinner, everyone chose something different and every dish was excellent - taste and presentation! Service was also superb. Our waitress was knowledgeable, willing to ask the kitchen for details, attentive without hovering and very accommodating. Can't say enough. And the prices are reasonable for an upscale place. Very attractive restaurant with lovely city views."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "A group of 4 wanted to have dinner pre-show at the Keller Auditorium, someplace with good food and close by. Nel Centro was a perfect choice. I made an advance reservation with Open Table and was very happy to see that in spite of the restaurant being packed and about 5 minutes late, our table was ready! The food was excellent. Two of us had a salmon special and it was cooked exactly to my request. The restaurant was very busy with pre-show diners and our service was a little slow. We actually had to take our request to pay the bill to the host station as our waitress was not around. I would suggest staffing a little extra, knowing these show nights will be extra busy for a short duration. I would definitely recommend."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "We have dined numerous times at Nel Centro. Always enjoyed the experience and the food. We had 6PM reservations for 4 on a Tuesday night and the place was PACKED. Loud. Horrible service( It took 2 requests and 20 minutes to get my glass of wine.) We had tickets for a show at 8 PM about 3 blocks away and we didn't have time for dessert because the entrees came out so late. They never should have accepted our reservation request since the place was so packed! We made the request 2 days before the dining event. We like the place, but we'll call ahead next time to make sure we will have an enjoyable dining experience."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "On the 90˚ day we dined, our booth next to the kitchen was uncomfortably warm. The food was quite good and well prepared and presented; however featuring asparagus when it is near the end of the season in an otherwise well conceived ravioli dish was a mistake. It was woody and flavorless, the asparagus–a mistake the executive chef, whom we presume does selects and buys produce for the kitchen, should not make. And the service: we waited over a half an hour before our drinks appeared. The server made apologies, stating the bartender was "overwhelmed." This was on an evening when many diners were there in advance of opening night for a major broadway show. Nel Centro prides itself on pre-theatre service. It fell short, very short."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "We had dinner outside in the courtyard. Our meals were fair to good. Cocktails were creative and excellent. Soups fell short of the expectations set by their prices. Tomato soup had a cheerful tomato flavor but no depth, no lingering flavor. Pea, romaine, and mint soup was earthy, layered, though mintless. Salads were fresh, competent, nothing special. Entrees didn't arrive until we'd been there almost an hour and had to tell the servers we needed to leave soon. A salmon special was tasty with interesting veggies. A calamari appetizer was large-portioned and blah, its only flavor too much pepper. Cost for 2: $100. Worth it? Nel Centro is one of the great outdoor dining spaces, but I wonder if the food is being allowed to slide."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "From the friendly greeting, to the cocktail, to the delicious brunch - everything was fantastic. The decore is modern, yet cozy and very natural looking. There is plenty of seating for large groups if needed. The outdoor area is also spacious and provides a nice setting with several firepits. A really nice place to go!"
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "I took a group of clients to Nel Centro (chose the venue based on online reviews). The restaurant was very patient with me as the number in my group kept fluctuating. Great experience, good wine, great food, great service, and a great time with my clients. A good find in downtown Portland where like restaurants are hard to find."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "waiter seemed like serving was a lot of work so the experience of eating at the restaurant was less than it has been on previous occasions."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Went before a concert and they got us in send out without feeling rushed. We split a salad send ravioli. Perfect combination with a 50ml white wine. It was the start of a very nice evening."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "I've been here many times and every time the service and the food is spot on. Their happy hour is great too! I love that the outdoor dining area is enclosed and somewhat secluded from the street and passersby."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "Few places in Portland are as pleasant as the garden courtyard at Hotel Modera/Nel Centro on a warm summer evening. The wine list includes a few very good and fairly priced selections - e.g., Roilette Fleurie "Cuvee Tardive" for under $50 a bottle. But the food cries out for more robust wine - like the bottle of La Bota de Palo Cortado 34 I brought for dinner. A salad of fava beans and pea shoots with slivers of shaved pecorino, lemon and mint, was just perfect - simple, fresh and quintessentially summer. Grilled leg of lamb came with runner beans and salsa verde: perfectly cooked meat, bold flavors to accompany it, a match concocted in heaven for the sherry. Fruit sorbet, good espresso, friendly service made a perfect evening."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "needed an early pre-concert meal. decided to try this place. service was great . food recs seemed spot on. and got to our concert in good time."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Great ambiance, great food, and wonderful views from the windows. Never disappointed, except one time, when the wait person billed our table twice. It was corrected. Love to come for HH after the Keller presentation."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We had a business lunch and it worked out perfectly. The food was delicious and the service was just right, not rushed at all. Wonderful salads and sandwiches!"
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Quiet enough to talk. Great menu. Excellent wine choices. Split the bill for each couple, thanks for that. Food was excellent with one minor flaw. Several of us had the croissnt bread pudding and we all felt it was too dry. Could have used a sauce, duck confit, excellent. Lamb was perfect as was the fish. Wild boar ragu was excellent and upon request served it with polenta instead of the pappardelle pasta. Short ribs also excellent. We are a group that dines together frequently around town."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "I eat at Nel Centro quite frequently and the food and atmosphere are always great. There servers are top in the city."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The food here is consistently good and the staff is very accommodating. Good for work lunches/dinners."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "First time visiting for dinner. The service was fantastic, just the right attention to detail but not annoying. Busy night with a full house. My leg of lamb was done to perfection. My wife's pasta was good but not exceptional. Salad's were tasty and well presented. Overall nice evening and would consider dining here again."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "I usually have dined at Nel Centro for dinner or for the bar menu. I was very pleased to dine there for lunch. The menu, meal and service were all excellent. I was happy that I had made a reservation as there were no empty tables."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Everything we ordered was cooked perfectly, very tasty and creative. Our server was friendly and very helpful in meal choice. Outdoor bar area was wonderful. Wewill go back."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "Dining out on the patio on a sunny warm day, doesn't get any better in a downtown location. The grilled tuna Niçoise salad was well prepared with the tuna seared just enough. There is a good selection of wines by the glass."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Have dined at Nel Centro four times, always most enjoyable. The rotisserie chicken is outstanding!"
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "Service was very very slow. Wine arrived as the meal was ending. We asked to move an umbrella for shade (it was not being used) and were told it was their policy to not move umbrellas. Eventually we were offered another table, which was a great improvement."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Happy hour offerings, dining el fresco prior to symphony performance was fantastic."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "All around, the best dining experience and its located right below a top notch hotel. The food is great, the atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable. Full bar and great outdoor seating. I would not recommend for little kids, but teen kids would easily fit in. Two thumbs way up!"
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "We had a lovely lightly grilled halibut with just a spring salad and a lovely Oregon Pinot Gris. Be sure to arrive early to enjoy happy hour on their lovely outdoor patio. It's a great place to people watch and/or meet friends at the end of the work day!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "I met someone here for a first date about 9:00 on a Friday night. The weather was perfect...the outdoor area was quiet and inviting. Fire was burning nicely in the middle of the outside courtyard. I had some french fries with the special fancy (Harissa) ketchup, a pizza (I think it was the spicy capicollo) and the tiramisu. I arrived first and it took a few minutes for the server to find me, but they did a good job otherwise. We stayed until 12:30 and then they very politely booted us out."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Our party was happy with our evening out at Nel Centro. The food was good, especially the pomme frites. There are no vegan options, so our vegan diner had an option of only vegetable sides. They were well prepared, but it was still just a couple of side plates of vegies. Just a little sad looking. The best thing ever is the citrus beet salad. It's delicious."
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "First time visit and it was a nice pleasant surprise for our party of six. Great bar, wonderful wait staff, and exquisite meal. Not a budget buster either!"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "I always enjoy Nel Centro. I am most often there for lunch and am a big fan of their daily fish special."
    Dined on 5/29/2014