Portalli's

Portalli's

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.portallisec.com/
  • Phone: 4107202330
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 11:30pm - 8:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Keith Holsey
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Free Valet Parking
A word from Portalli's
'The owners of The Diamondback Tavern have partnered with new investors in a separate venture called 'Portalli's' which will be located in historic Ellicott City where Jordan's Steakhouse used to be. Portalli's will be an Italian restaurant with a good mix of unique cutting edge preparations as well as classic Italian favorites. The name 'Portalli' comes from the maternal family of Evan Brown, one of the owners who will also serve as Director of Operations. Local chef Keith Holsey will be running the kitchen, and while the menu is still being developed, we plan on incorporating everything we love about Italian cuisine from all areas of Italy including several traditional Portalli family dishes. The goal is to create an Italian dining destination that will have enough originality and creativity for foodies, but will also be approachable for the casual diner or families looking for a fun night out.'- Lee Biars (owner of Ellicott City's Diamondback Tavern)
Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Portalli's reviews from OpenTable diners
123 reviews since June 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.1
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (67)romantic (65)neighborhood gem (56)fit for foodies (49)notable wine list (31)good for groups (28)great for brunch (21)late-night find (13)vibrant bar scene (10)great for lunch (9)hot spot (8)kid-friendly (6)scenic view (6)great for outdoor dining (3)Show More
  • Romantic setting w/ great food/valu
    jackwhitesideparsons
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    My fiancee and I had driven by this restaurant just about everyday and thought it might be too expensive. However, we got a gift card for Portalli's and we were pleasantly surprised by the romantic setting and the value for such a high quality meal! We both got the lobster ravioli and it was the best we ever had! I highly recommend this restaurant -- especially for a date night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Lovely Spot On Main Street
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    What a great place! It has the "old Main Street" feel from outside to inside. There was a decent Friday night crowd. Our server was spot on with the menu. It did take a while for our bottle of wine but was well worth it when it arrived. The food was amazing. We got the meat tray and rolled mashed potato. Both great choices. We both ordered pasta dishes and were introduced to a peppadew pepper. Mmmmm sweet followed by spicy and blended perfectly with my shrimp pasta dish. Overall a great spot and we will definitely he going back again some day!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simka
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Food was good. Service was great. Bathrooms need work. And if steps are a problem, you will have a problem.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Realiable
    JoeFundo
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Having been to Portalli's a few times now I cannot say I absolutely adore the place. But I do like it, and I do return without hesitation. One note...if you are familiar with downtown Ellicott City you'll be fine. If not, they do offer Valet Parking, which you might want to consider rather than finding parking on your own. So smart for them to offer Valet Service.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not as good as they once were
    rmadla
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    On our last two visits, Portalli's seems to be slipping a bit. Most recently, we were seated at a broken table. After spilling a drink when the table tipped, we asked to be moved, and were - but they reset the table and seated another unsuspecting couple there. I asked about that, and the employee I asked responded, "Oh, the owners know it's broken. We just re-seat people who spill things, if they want." What a disappointing attitude! I was also a bit disappointed that when we commented that we didn't care for the (fairly) new recipe used for the dipping oil that is served with the bread, there was no inquiry as to what else might substitute. We then requested butter, but it arrived only after we'd finished most of the bread dry.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food. Great service.
    HappyDiner
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    We visited during Midnight madness and I decided to take my husband their for our anniversary. He's not easily impressed and could not stop ranting about the squash in the lobster ravioli. Our waiter was excellent. We plan to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    We had a wonderful time! We have gone here quite often. The food is always delicious. The servers are fantastic. They made are anniversary special.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent
    UltracsicVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Our waiter was very good and enabled us to substitute for menu items. My wife's entrée was excellent, but mine was really unique. I had the lamb osso bucco. Not only had i never had this dish, it was superb. The meat fell off the bone and was delicious. Good wine selections.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazingly good; GF menu available!
    GFDining
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Totally amazing! Very romantic setting and the gluten-free menu had extensive options. Also included a gluten-free dessert! Absolutely extraordinary. Highly recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An all around wonderful experience
    Dutch
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We had seafood carbonara, surf and turf, potato croquettes, great martinis. For dessert we had a unique version of s'mores and an inverted berry turnover with fresh cream. The food was fantastic. The prices were very reasonable. A great value. Very attentive service
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was ok
    LC1234
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The food was good, not great. Very over priced for the portion sizes. The service was good, no complaints. It seemed like our server was reading from a script. When we went it was very quiet and we were sat directly next to another table - we were the only 2 tables in the restaurant - so it was overly awkward. It was like we were sitting at a 4 top with strangers. Way too close to other diners. And sine we were the only ones in there, we could hear everything each other was saying. They could have sat one of us somewhere else. No real complaints, other than the awakwardness, but it was NOT worth the price. Our check was almost $100 for 2 people. We ordered an app, 2 entrees, and 2 drinks each. Everything was a small portion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great first experience
    MichaelVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    I had a few gift certificates to Portalli's so I figured I would give it a try. It was a very nice first experience of the place. The waiter was friendly and attentive to our needs. The food and drink was delicious. I would recommend Portalli's to my friends.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Italian Restaurant
    choi4dine
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    I visited twice this restaurant. Each time my family had a wonderful food and great service. Servers were very helpful and polite. Food was great. I strongly recommend Prince Edward Island Mussels for appetizer. Don't forget to ask for extra bread that is necessary to finish the mussels. Seefood Cabonara was wonderful pasta. We visited two Thursdays coincidently. Lobster night. Three kinds of lobster dishes for Thursday were wonderful. Please try each one of them.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Historic Ellicott City Highlight
    MDNeighbor
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I had a generally positive experience at Portalli's; I've been there a number of times before and expect to return. I did not assign top stars in each category because the respective ratings depend upon where one sits in the restaurant and one's choices from the menu. There is in fact a "vibrant bar scene," which makes the first floor rather noisy. We went at 10 p.m. and asked to be seated upstairs away from the noise, a request that was gladly granted. There it was very quiet. We enjoyed our food, as usual, except that I did not like the Black Forest Bottom Cake--too many cherries that really didn't taste very good to me; I probably should have sent it back, but didn't. Have liked their other desserts. Entree was excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • High Expectations Not Met
    LOV2FLY
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We were excited to finally try Portalli's as we have not yet dined here after nearly 2 years of living in the area. I must say that I was less than impressed with the service from the entire staff. It took entirely too long to get water, wine, and even our bill at the end of the evening. There were even multiple times when we would not have one ounce of water in our glasses. And this is with much less than a full crowd dining in the restaurant. I think that the staff is poorly trained to deliver top notch customer service. It would have helped if the food were better but overall, it was quite simple. Thankfully, the wine was good and the prices were reasonable.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    Smillz
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    First date night we had in six months. Everything was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Service and Food
    EnjoyGoodFood
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Portalli's is a lovely restaurant in Old Ellicott City. The location is great. The food was excellent. I had a caesar salad and the grilled scallops and risotto. My guest had lovely lobster ravioli dish and caesar salad. Both of us were very pleased with our food choices. The only negative is that there does not appear to be a lunch menu. We were there for lunch and we were eating from the dinner menu. To be honest, it is too pricey for lunch but the cost is definitely appropriate for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • thank you
    Birthday
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    I had requested the table in the window and it was all set up and waiting for us. It is so nice that someone goes out of their way. Dinner was wonderful and our guests were able to experience our town.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really liked it
    Pricy
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    We received a coupon from a friend, otherwise we may have never eaten here. Really liked the place. Thought it a little pricy and will probably go back for special occasions only. We have eaten at Italian restaurants like this before and don't like them quite as much as traditional Italian. We did, although, really enjoy the food and the service was perfect. Their courses are too large to do multiple as they suggest. The baked oyster appetizer was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • LeFoodman
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Portalli's Italian restaurant is a fine place for the discerning palette, as they're combinations and innovative culinary offerings have the tendency to raise an eyebrow or two. For our evening we all gravitated toward a certain dish via the description, but then everyone (there were six of us) shifted their choices so that we all ordered something different. No one was disappointed and I have been to quite a few dinners with these folks where there was quite a bit of complaining. It was most pleasant, and the atmosphere, the food, and the service were all of a high caliber. I will go there again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Experience
    outalone
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We enjoyed our evening at Portalli's as we celebrated our anniversary. The ambiance was a little dark. The windows and skylights did help though. Shannon and Tyler were quite attentive. Our meals were served hot and were quite good. I would recommend Portalli's when looking for a delicious approach to Italian.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary. We were disappointed when were seated next to a group who were quite noisy and no other accommodations were available.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Local find
    Mrcs4u
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    My wife and I had reservations for Saturday night. Table was ready and we were quickly seated, however after that we had to wait quite awhile till we had our drink order taken and there was only one other table taken. The waiter was the bartender and the food runner. The appetizers were very good, portions were correct. Our main course was very good as well as the portions. Overall it wasn't a bad experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was amazing
    Brian
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We came here for dinner because we had received a gift certificate as a birthday gift. The restaurant is small and a bit dark, but the food was amazing from the appetizers through dessert. The service was also very good. Our server was attentive and made recommendations of what to get on the menu. I went with his choice and it was delicious. This is definitely a good spot to go for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently Delicious
    Shopper20143VIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We've dined here several times and have never been disappointed. Even though it was Restaurant Week, we ordered off the regular menu instead. We started by sharing an order of bruschetta w/o beans which is the best we've had at any restaurant. My husband had a Caesar salad which was large enough to share and then he had the salmon with asparagus and I had the rockfish with fingerling potatoes - both were absolutely prepared to perfection and we both cleaned our plates. This is the first time we've ordered dessert here since they never had too many chocolate options but we tried the black forest cake. We both thought the topping tasted like heavy cherry cough medicine but the cake was moist and delicious. Valerie, our server was great.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • less than average at premium price
    PennStater
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Went there for our 10 yr anniversary dinner. (july 2014) Very disappointed. I think they're going for an upscale ambiance...And it may have been at one point -back in the day. But now it's just old & worn looking (and not in a cool/historic way). Food: Calamari was prepared well but was very bland, lobster ravioli was soaked in butter/oil (not in a good way), Stuffed Veal red sauce was good but overpowered the veal, Tiramisu was horrible. We've had much better quality/tasting food at Macaroni Grill for way less cost! The wine & coffee was great and the service was pretty good. Overall a disappointing meal. We wont be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent
    Enjoydining
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    From the walk into the restaurant until we left,everything was excellent. The food was outstanding as well as the service. Will definitely be going back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • good & bad
    familynightout
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Lovely restaurant. The large room upstairs bounced the noise from a table across the room to ours. It was a happy group but we couldn't hear. Our waitress was wonderful and moved us to the other room upstairs. The biggest food issue was the spaghetti & meatballs! The portion of pasta was so tiny-a handful cooked. The pasta was also swimming in a sharp tasting sauce. The meatballs were good and plentiful. Everyone else enjoyed their meals. I recommend the restaurant just don't order the spaghetti & meatballs.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Made our 24th anniversary perfect.
    rmadla
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    We went to Portalli's for our 24th anniversary a few days ago. Not only did we get seated at the table we'd noted in the reservation as our favorite, they greeted is with a complimentary glass of champagne and did everything they could to make the night special.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • ECFoodie
    ECFoodie
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    First time at Portalli's and was not disappointed. We were able to participate in Restaurant Week, which was a good event to try a new place. Portalli's food was delicious and we plan on coming back to sample some of the other foods on the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • brunch
    Birthday
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Brunch was OK. We did not take the bloody Mary option... So we were not offered juice. Seems silly. Love this place.... But brunch is not their finest hour.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    WE ENJOYED THE EVENING...REST. WEEK MENU SELECTIONS WERE GREAT..
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fun dinner
    SandiVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Five of us went to Portalli's for a celebration. Service was excellent. Everyone really enjoyed their drinks, meal and the desserts. Portalli's is a satisfying experience whether you go for special occasions or just drop in while in Old Ellicott City.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Visit on 7/23/14
    fred
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Waiter was a bit sketchy but as usual food was great. Try fried oysters. Very different prep and wonderful taste.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great
    Court
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    This place was great, the food was a little pricey so maybe a restaurant for a special occasion.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Big Disappointment
    Roblou5VIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Seated upon arrival but the waitress came about 15 min later and yelled " who was seated first". Many dishes were uncovered including the french toast. All of the hot dishes were room temperature. Flies were on the strawberry cake. Paid for unlimited mimosas but received only one and was never able to get a refill. Our omelettes were cooked brown and hard but at least they were hot. My husband enjoyed his order of scrambled eggs with cheese. The breakfast potatoes were tasteful even though they were cold. This place is on my "never again" list.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Brunch
    trojanVIP
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    As always, excellent food, good atmosphere and prompt, professional service delivered with a smile and grace. Large mimosas, omelets ordered at the table without standing in a line waiting for preparation. Actually almost too many items to choose from but appreciated anyway. Keep up the good work. Sorry to see the pear puff pastry no longer on the regular menu (unless I missed it.)
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • RobO
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    I'm glad I found Pottalli's to celebrate our anniversary. Everything was excellent from the antipasto to the panacotta made for a romantic evening with my wife. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great experience
    jojo
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Despite the summer heat which sometimes makes some Italian dishes too heavy, Portalli's seasonal menu is the perfect blend of Italian taste and summer fare. The vegetable manicotti was delicious and the fish selection very flavorful. The veal brasiole was exceptional and the chianti complemented everything. Pair the food with an attentive waitress and the result was another great relaxing evening at Portalli.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Six Stars!!!
    DiningWithDestiney
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    I LOVE THIS PLACE!!! Not only was the staff very accommodating but the food was to die for. I am not a foodie at all but I know that the food was prepared fresh and to order. It was phenomenal. The portion size was not huge but it was more than filling. I am definitely going to make this a regular spot but next time I think I will take a date and try some of their wines. It is also the perfect spot for a nice event or celebration!!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet