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  • Portalli's

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Portalli's

Portalli's Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.portallisec.com/
  • Phone: (410) 720-2330
  • 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 WinnerGreat for Brunch
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "WE ENJOYED THE EVENING...REST. WEEK MENU SELECTIONS WERE GREAT.."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "Waiter was a bit sketchy but as usual food was great. Try fried oysters. Very different prep and wonderful taste."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "This place was great, the food was a little pricey so maybe a restaurant for a special occasion."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "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."
    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.)"
    Dined on 7/20/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • " 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!!"
    Dined on 7/14/2014
  • "Had Groupon for Sunday Brunch. Made an Open Table reservation.When we arrived they wanted to seat us upstairs. I said I could not do steps and so they showed us to a table for 2 downstairs. It was in a dark area and I asked if we could sit further toward the front at another table for 2 that was set up. The person seating us said that was reserved. I told him that I had made a reservation and would like to sit there. He said he had to check and when he returned to us told us that we could have that table. HOW RUDE WAS THAT! Our waiter,Tom,did a great job. He did everthing...took our order,made our drinks and bussed the tables that he had. Food was just okay. Had to cut and toast own bagels..felt like Holiday Inn free breakfast buffet!"
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Although not close to home, we have been to Portalli's several times and have never been disappointed.Only suggestion would be that they should freshen the place up a bit."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "Portalli’s views itself as an up-scale Italian Restaurant. For appetizers we had Green Tomato Caprese (mediocre and the house-made mozzarella had good texture but no flavor) and the Crab and Corn Chowder (very good flavor, rich and creamy). Entrees had nice presentation, but the flavors were blah. Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with a burned tomato tarragon jus over celery & cauliflower risotto (terrible). The whole Maine lobster was like rubber, the clarified butter lacked any flavor, and the asparagus was tender-crisp but lacked any seasoning. The Vanilla and Espresso Panna Cotta was pretty good dessert. The tab for just the two of us with no alcohol was about $80 including tip. I don’t see myself visiting Portalli’s again anytime soon."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Despite having reservations, they were a bit slow to seat us. The server was pleasant but not exactly warm. The food, however, made up for a lot of this. The lobster ravioli was one of the best things I've ever eaten. I liked how the wine list was broken down, making it easier to make a decision. Every dish I had was amazing. We will definitely come here again."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "Nice brunch, but the buffet area gets crowded and most diners will need to go up and down stairs to get food."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "We took our son and his fiancée because we loved it the first time. Sadly the quality had plummeted! Buffet dishes were almost empty, had to wait for dinner plates, no pepper on table or offered, worst of all the omelets were half or even less than the size on our first visit. Desserts were only so-so."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "This restaurant was much better than some other reviews had led me to believe. We visited with a Living Social deal, and were quite impressed. The bruschetta was good, the complimentary bread was fantastic (as was the accompanying oil), and the entrees were incredible. The salmon was one of the best-cooked filets I've had, and my wife's tortellini was equally excellent. The only hitches were some very minor quibbles with the service: the wine glass was removed from the table, poured, and brought back rather than being poured tableside, our water was never refilled, and the waitress corrected my (incorrect) pronunciation of an item. That said, these issues are minor and should not keep you away from this Ellicott City gem."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "We visited the restaurant on sunday 6/29/14. The food was terrible and we will never return. It was as if we ate leftover food from the weekend. The selection was not good, and the food tasted like it was old, not fresh. Most of the people that were there had grouons like us. I would not recommend this place."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "The food: few choices for the money, brunch buffet consisted of the usual breakfast foods and three dinner entrees, which seemed an odd choice- chicken, baked ziti, and fried calamari. All of it was cold even though we arrived just as they opened for brunch. Access: the buffet was downstairs in a small bar area with seating upstairs. The lines were long and difficult OT maneuver in the small space with your plate. Extremely poor layout."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Went to Portalli's to celebrate my three-year anniversary with my boyfriend. The food was excellent (try to potato croquettes! We ended up getting two orders!) and the drinks were also outstanding (had the ruby red martini, creamsicle martini and a bellini...and then another creamsicle martini...). One of the waiters broke out into this beautiful Italian love song (he definitely sounded like a trained singer) and our waitress gave us free dessert without prompt! A lovely night out! Try to get there earlier in the day and enjoy the quaint little street the restaurant sits on before your dinner, or take a stroll after to help digest!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "This was our 3rd time dining at Portalli's. We decided to do a late date night dinner on a Friday evening so we could take advantage of the Late Night Happy hour. We had to be seated in the Lounge/Bar area, which was not that much of an issue. The bartender was extremely busy so some of the other servers stepped in to help him out. The late night happy hour deals on drinks are great and their drinks are amazing and compliment the delicious food that they serve. From a slow start to a perfect finish we had a wonderful date night out that we have needed for some time!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Food was great! We ordered Calamari for an appetizer--very good. I got the hanger steak for my entrée which was cooked perfectly! Great wine list and great cocktails! Awesome service! And they had a pianist playing music as we ate dinner!"
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Everything we ordered was delicious- corn and crab chowder, Chicken Marsala and Steak and Shrimp Penne."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The food was okay, where we've had great food there other times. This was a Tuesday night, so maybe the regular weekend kitchen wasn't up and running? We'll probably give them another chance, but my rockfish was blah and "fishy" instead of fabulous like I'd had a few months ago."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "This was our first time at Portalli's & will not be our last! The staff was friendly & attentive, the food was beautiful & delicious, great portion sizes, everything prepared just right. Sadly, they were out of a few of the a la carte sides we wanted (asparagus & brussel sprouts), but we ended up with Broccolini & it was great! We will definitely be back & will bring friends next time as well!"
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "The menu was great, the price was right Thanks, Groupon), and the pianist had an excellent repertoire."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Found out about portalli's through living social and am glad I did. The food was superb and the atmosphere for perfectly with it. I enjoyed my time and my meal tremendously. Will be coming back and hopefully soon."
    Dined on 6/18/2014
  • "Very good food and choices - it was a Monday so it was quiet. Loved the 1/2 price wine! It was a little warm upstairs - thinking with a lot of people it would be too warm."
    Dined on 6/16/2014
  • "I come here all of the time for brunch (key is to get there early). Was here last Sunday when another restaurant messed up my reservation and I knew aportalli's woukdnt let me down. Great food, ambience and service. They always seem so happy to see me. I also went on my first blind date with the guy I'm now moving in with so it is extra special to me."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "The service was very good. It was a quaint place. It was the perfect ending to my daughter's birthday weekend celebration."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "Food was especially delicious on this visit! Had to wait a while for our check as it was busy but otherwise service was fine. Will definitely come again"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "That's all it was: alright. Food was good, but not worth the price. Food service was slower than I like, but not terrible. It wasn't terribly busy when I was in, but I still felt that the place was crowded. Too many tables and chairs. The server, while trying to get by my table to a table further in, pushed a chair right into my leg, which hurt. Music was also a little loud, though it was good music. Some Mo-town with a little Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole mixed in. Might go again, might not. The area is gorgeous, I've always loved historic Ellicott City."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "We really enjoyed our meal at Portali's. My husband REALLY loved the lasagna. I had scallops over risotto and that was good too. The appetizer we shared (basically fried risotto) was delicious, and the spinach salad was very good too. Very nice waitress, and atmosphere. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Portalli's is a great spot for lunch with a friend. I've been there when it's not crowded, and the wait staff manages to be attentive without being pushy. It's pleasant to linger over the meal and a glass of wine and be able to have a conversation without shouting over the noise level or loud "background" music. The gnocchi is very light -- a bellwether in my book for a good Italian restaurant. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "We met up for a blind date on Memorial Day. Ellicot City was our midpoint. I found Portalli's on Yelp as one of the few romantic spots that open for lunch. We wanted a non-pressure atmosphere, but also a romantic fine dining experience. The ambience was intimate and perfect. The food price was $$ but worth the selection. I ordered the Surf & Turf with the Spinach Salad and a delicious glass of Reisling. Everything was delicious. He thought I picked the perfect spot; although, parking was terrible. There is a 2nd date in order this weekend. We'll always remember Portalli's. Thanks!"
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "My husband and I came in on Sunday night as a special treat for dinner & it was fantastic as always. Kelsey was a true professional and made recommendations where we requested them. We loved our meals and the service was great!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "Good food selection and nice piano player. Note- first brunch place that they premix mimosas and Bloody Mary so you can barely taste liquor. Omelet are Huge and filling. Be sure to have the French toast!"
    Dined on 5/25/2014
  • "I consider myself a foodie so trust me when I say this place has awesome food! Everything was made to order, unique and just plain delicious! The crab cakes and chowder was to die for! Our service was exceptional. Our waiter was so attentive and helped to make our experience special."
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Went for a Sunday brunch w unlimited Mimosas & Bloody Marys. Not a large selection of food to choose from but what they have is quite good. The brunch line is a little cramped since it is shared with the reception area. The main drawback is that after you gather your food you have to navigate a long flight of stairs up to the dining area (not made for non-energetic seniors). The highlight (aside from the unlimited drinks) was the made-to-order omelets where you do not need to leave your table. The excellent service comes by and asks if you woukd like an omelet before you start on the brunch line. They were even able to make a goat cheese omelet which was exquisite. Service was prompt and not overbearing. Recommended. "
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "I love Portalli's for dinner. This was my first time for brunch. The food was tasteless and many of the serving trays were empty when we walked through the line. Not a place I would go back to for brunch"
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "My brunch experience was not so great. I had an 11am brunch reservation, and was seated while I waited for my friend. No one approached my table, even when my friend arrived. She asked a server who was assigned to our table and was told that someone would be right over. At 11:25, when still no one had come to our table, we decided to leave. I was in no rush and had no problem waiting if the food line was busy, but I don't think a "hello" and a glass of water are too much to ask! "
    Dined on 5/18/2014