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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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Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Everything we ordered was delicious- corn and crab chowder, Chicken Marsala and Steak and Shrimp Penne."
    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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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 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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Good Italian with slightly adventurous menu. Excellent service, good wine list."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "We started with 2 well made martini's. The bruschetta app was very good and our Chicken Marsala Fettucini dinner was superb. S'Mores dessert was good as well. Tables downstairs are a little cumbersome to get to through the small bar area. Our waiter was just okay. He got the job done but with little emotion to it. "
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "Friendly service. Overall, a very pleasant dining experience in the heart of Elllicott City."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Look out!!! 20% gratuity added for parties of 6+. Not posted anywhere as far as I could see. "
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Our first visit to Portalli's Saturday night turned out to be a delight. The menu had a nice selection and interesting variety. The appetizers were delicious, especially the seafood in puff pastry. The only disappointment was the Portalli's salad, the poached pear tasted like it had been dunked in perfume. Aside from that pear disappointment the rest of the salad was fine and our meal was top notch and flavorful. We all shared tastes of entrees and everyone agreed that the food was excellent. We were fortunate to sit in front of the window which added to the experience. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We dined as a party of six, and none of us had a single negative thing to say--everything was overwhelmingly positive. From the valet parking, to the service, to the ambiance, to the fantastic food, Portalli's was wonderful. We will definitely come back."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "This was our 3rd or 4th time here for brunch. It's been excellent every time."
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "Our first visit to Portalli's. The food was outstanding, but what distinguished Portalli's from other restaurants was the outstanding staff--professional, knowledgable, and focused on making our evening perfect. One criticism: the piano drowned out all attempts at conversation. We asked to move to another room, and were accommodated promptly."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "We enjoyed our dining experience at Portalli's. Our meals were very good. We chose to sit 3 tables away from the piano player in the large dining room upstairs but that was still somewhat of an intrusion. We really wanted to be able to hear one another and found it difficult to do so over the music. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Absolutely worth it with a living social or groupon deal. Good food, reasonable price, and very good service. It is a great way to start a Sunday. "
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "We rode our bikes into town one nice Saturday, and were in the mood for pasta. This restaurant is a little too fancy for bike clothes, but my husband was in nice jeans and shirt, and I was in a sporty skirt. There were others in jeans but I would rather be better dressed next time. While not over-priced, they do expect you to get an appetizer (to share), soup or salad, and entree. Loved the bread and basil oil which, and they brought butter upon request. We got the crab cakes appetizer and spinach salad with strawberries, both excellent. I got the lasagna - I rarely like restaurant lasagna, but I was in the mood, and this time I loved it. My husband enjoyed the spaghetti and meatballs. Took home half the lasagna. We'd go again for sure."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "This is not the first time I have been here, but I always come back, especially when I am meeting friends to catch up after a long time apart. The food is excellent, the service is very good and they don't rush you, and the bar is a very comfortable place to wait for the rest of your friends. "
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Homecoming for deployed family member was extra special when we took her to Portalli's. We sat upstairs by the front windows at a table put together for the five of us. The wait staff was very good and watchful of our needs and desires. The atmosphere was very good for conversation and relaxation. The food was interesting, delicious and varied, it was all pretty rich tasting, so small portions are good if the price is reduced for the smaller portions."
    Dined on 4/25/2014