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  • Portalli's

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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 WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    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."
    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."
    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."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/31/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    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