Been there a few times for dinner which is always excellent. First time for brunch and it was great. Lots of choices from steamed shrimp to sliced ham and fresh fruit. Piano player was excellent and did not overpower with sound. Only 4 stars for service because our two plates sat at the corner of the table with shrimp shells for at least 10 minutes although there was plenty of wait staff. We will definitely return.
5/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
We have dined at Portalli's a number of times as a family. The service and food selection is good. It offers a wide range of options so that everyone in a big family has something to choose from. For a full service dining experience in the area it is generally fairly priced, not cheap, but not over the top excessively expensive. Overall, everyone has a good time and a good meal. It can be a bit noisy, but if you having a festive time or big group conversations, it fits right in.
5/17/2013 4:00:00 PM
Was pleasantly surprised.
Was pleasantly surprised. Service and food were very good. Portions are not huge (which was great for us) so if you are looking for big meal, you won't get it here.
5/23/2013 4:00:00 PM
2nd time here!!!
This was our second time here. We were impressed last time and brought guests from out of town. The food is excellent yet again. Better than your average Italian place and more on the menu than just pasta. Arancini is hard to find and the desserts make the meal. Ambiance is private yet energetic. As before, the service is lacking; staff is rough around the edges and not that friendly, (like Volt in Frederick) however the food makes up for it. I made our guests aware ahead of time to expect this. The only thing that was bad was the espresso, coffee was stale, stock should be rotated more often, use better beans, or clean the machines. Otherwise awesome, well be back!!
5/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
Consistently good food
The food here is consistently very good and someitmes exceptional - depending on the dish and the night. The upstairs dining room is more spacious but dark and not very inviting so I prefer the downstairs little dining room or the bar area. It is quite noisy at times though - poor accoustics perhaps. The rockfish was great and so have been all the other dishes I have had here. My dinner companions loved their food as well. Reasonably priced for the quality and generally pretty good service/
5/30/2013 4:00:00 PM
The mini crab cake appetizer was delicious, fresh crab meat, nicely seasoned. the pork entree with polenta was very good, the polenta could have been a bit creamier. There were a number of large parties that night which slowed service, however,the food was worth the wait. Recommend a visit if you haven't been yet.
6/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Ellicott City nights
Lovely Ellicott City restaurant to go in the evening. Great food, ambience, and service. The only negative is the over priced wine.
6/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had a lovely dinner at Portalli's prior to the play at Chesapeake Shakespeare at PFI. The service was smooth, although I believe a restaurant of this caliber should send servers out knowing who gets what plate so they don't have to ask. The potato croquette appetizer was not special but the sundried tomato caprese salad was delicious. My mussels and sausage pasta was very good and my dining partner's osso bucco was better. We indulged in desserts which were a different from the normal, which is appreciated. Both desserts were great. The valet parking is a great service in Ellicott City. We enjoyed our first visit to Portalli's and will definitely go back.
6/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Portalli's is one of our favorites
Great food, excellent atmosphere, and great service. There's a lot of great restaurants in the area, and this is one we keep going back to.
6/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
I hate to admit it, but I cannot remember our server's name, however this was not to say that he wasn't amazing. He was very patient as we were not quick to order, had wonderful recommendations and a great personality. He also acts on the side, so I'm certain this leads to his pleasant demeanor but he was the best server we've had in a long time! We brought my I laws who were here from out of town and they were thrilled with the service, food and atmosphere!
6/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Ellicott City Charm
Located in the middle of the block, parking lots are a short block
away. Street parking as always in E.C. is difficult.
Portelli's food preparation and presentation is very good.
Overall wine selections are a bit "pricey" although they do offer 1/2 price on Mondays.
Located in a historic building you get very old charm narrow stairways,
aged wood trim,etc. Our group felt the upstairs dining room needs to be repainted,
but that did not take away from the very good food and service.
7/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
lovely, classy, delicious
They do everything well.
I eat here when passing through once or twice a year.
I just go back there.
There is no need to go elsewhere.
Portalli's is my go to restaurant when I am nearby.
7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food was awesome as usual.
Food was awesome as usual. Wine selection is better than in the past as well. And service was spot on! That also was an issue in the past. So, all in all, great experience. Will return again!
7/17/2013 5:00:00 PM
The food was great, beautiful room, and live piano music the entire time. Our server was quite good but we noticed the food runners made several mistakes.
We've been here twice and would highly recommend it to others.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
A bit noisy, but great food
The food was very good in this modern Italian restaurant. The bar, however, is very small, and the restaurant is noisy during peak hours. When we were dining, there was live jazz piano which was quite nice. There is no close parking, but there is a valet parking service for just $5 which they will take off your bill.
7/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
A new favorite!
We loved Portalli's so much that we went back the next day and split a caprese appetizer as a snack while walking around downtown Old Ellicott City. The food was tasty, portions reasonable, and prices fair. I'm gluten free and they had GF noodles available, or were willing to sub out any pasta with spaghetti squash. I'm looking forward to our next visit! :) This is definitely a restaurant I recommend to friends and family.
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Brunch is always good. Their
Brunch is always good. Their made to order omlettes are great and the other food is a great compliment. Not much fresh fruit this time. Service was a bit disappointing. Slow and she forgot to bring things and needed to be reminded. That has been a recurring theme at Portalli's. Service not so great. One server there is awesome, but she was the hostess on Sunday.
Will go back, but sure hope they improve the service
7/27/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great place to eat. Service
Great place to eat. Service and food outstanding. It is the best Italian restaurant in the DC area, bar none. Coming from outside
the area (5 years) and just coming back from Italy ourselves I can say I found my Italian restaurant.
8/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very good food and a lot of
Very good food and a lot of it. I recommend the flatbread pizza appetizer. Cannoli for desert was also delicious.
8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
nice Italian place, very comfy
in the Old Ellicott City area. Has been there for years. Nice service and good Italian flavors.They hit all of the classics, lasagna, oss bucco, chicken florentine, as well as add in local flavors. nice neighborhood place.
8/15/2013 5:00:00 PM
This restaurant has excellent calamari. I don't see what everyone was whining about as the food was on par with any other restaurant. The portions are more European sized, but otherwise absolutely fine. The only disappointment was that we were the only couple in the place after the other couple finished dining. Definitely give this place a try.
8/17/2013 5:00:00 PM
We will be back!!!
We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and look forward to returning soon.
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very nice lunch
We had a lovely lunch at Portalli's. I haven't been there in a while and I think they've revamped the menu. Our server was attentive without being a nuisance and overall we had a very good experience.
9/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very enjoyable dinner - we
Very enjoyable dinner - we have eaten here several times over the past couple of years and will definitely be back!
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Sunday Evening
We had a great experience at Portalli's. Our waitress, Kelsey was very helpful and helped us to make great food choices!
The eggplant fries were to die for!! Our entrees were also very good. I highly recommend this restaurant.
9/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Two thumbs up for Portalli's
The food at this place is excellent. My wife and I went to dinner not expecting much but we were pleasantly surprised at the quality of food. We will be back.
9/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always have a great experience
Always have a great experience here. Food is exceptional and service is always good. Woudl recommend and will go back again!
9/19/2013 5:00:00 PM
Portalli's very good Italian
I am not a big fan of Italian restaurants (usually too much pasta), but Portalli's had just the right mix on their menu. We were there on lobster night & the special offerings were delicious.
9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
The flatbread was amazing and the food was good. The place just smelt a little moldy and the put chicken on my dish when I asked for no chicken. Otherwise it was a lovely experience.
9/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our favorite restaurant
As always the food was excellent. It was a very busy night, and our waiter was definitely struggling to keep up with the number of diners assigned to him. He forgot to tell us the specials, after asking if we wanted appetizers and recieving a "no", he walked away without asking if we were ready to order our dinner. Even so, we enjoyed our favorite restaurant as always. The short ribs were out of this world.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
It was my wife and I second time there. Both time, food and experience was great.
9/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything was delightful!! The service was excellent and the food was scrumptious. I will be back to visit soon and have already recommended Portalli's to friends.
9/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Ambience was deeply Italian with soft lighting, deep burgundies, and enveloping earth tones. Food was delicious. Service was attentive.
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delicious food at a fair price!
Great food without the prices being too expensive. Food all seemed extremely fresh and delicious. Service was great. Peaceful atmosphere.
10/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food is always good here!! Great place to take guests in Old Town EC.
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
Sunday Brunch Buffet a Winner
Portali's Sunday Brunch Buffet covers all the bases--made-to-order omelettes (and not too large so one can enjoy the buffet), decent assortment of savory and sweet items, and unlimited Bloody Mary and Mimosa drinks. Service was excellent. We especially enjoyed the bagels with smoked salmon (lox), capers, and cream cheese, omelettes, and the desserts. The chocolate truffle cake was outstanding.
10/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
this way my 2nd trip to Portalli's and as the first the food was great and so was the service.
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always a great experience.
We love going to Portalli's and go often, especially on Thursday nights for lobster night, can't beat it!!! Great atmosphere and food.
10/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Ate at Portalli's on Saturday
Ate at Portalli's on Saturday night with another couple. Having been there many times, I knew they were off their game that night in terms of service, waiting times, etc. By bringing up the situation to the GM, he went beyond the call of duty to make sure we were well taken care of. He switched servers, visited our table several times to check up on us, and delivered an excellent bottle of wine on the house.
You learn far more about a restaurant and the owners commitment to customer service on an off-night. Portalli's scored an A+
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Always consistently good food.
Always consistently good food. Enjoy the atmosphere and location. Will return again.
11/2/2013 5:00:00 PM
My wife and I recently had our anniversary dinner at Portalli's. Great restaurant! We will definitely be back!
11/5/2013 4:00:00 PM
Fine dining at its finest.
Portalli's offers a traditional Italian dining experience, with multiple course served slowly over a relaxing evening. I had the seafood fra diavolo and thought it was just perfect, a little kick but not too spicy. Excellently seasoned with a nice presentation. Our waitress was new, but was very accommodating and attentive. Thoroughly nice experience.
11/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
This is my favorite Italian restaurant in the DC area, and in my top 5 of any restaurant genre. I come all the way from Alexandria just to have dinner. Love it!
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
I've been to Portalli's once a couple years ago and wanted to go back again. I took that opportunity when they offered the Living Social voucher - Date Night! It was really great. We had an early reservation and even though we were late they were able to seat us. It seems like the restaurant started picking up as we were leaving (close to 7pm).
The service staff was very friendly and offered suggestions for foods & beverages. The food was served in a timely manner and was delicious.
I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone and am looking forward to going back again.
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Portalli's was great again. Food and service never fail to please.Have been here many times and will be back.
11/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Sunday Funday Brunch
This was my second brunch here, but I must say that I was more impressed with the food and preparation the first time. This time, some of the food was very salty, peel n eat shrimp were overcooked and hard, and the buffet had quite a few empty trays or warmers at once. I overlooked it since our service was so good from Rob. He kept up with our bottomless mimosas and was very friendly.
11/16/2013 4:00:00 PM
food quality diminished
Great service and room.
Food has always been wonderful until now.
Hopefully, this was an off night with disappointing scallops, a smaller serving of calamari, etc.
Will return at some point in hopes that this dinner was an anomaly.
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
Excellent Italian food
We loved everything we ordered. The Osso Buco was fabulous. And, the Black Forest black bottom cake was intense with cherries.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
My wife and I have visited Portalli’s numerous times and it is consistently good. The food and service are among the best in Ellicott City. My only criticisms are minor such as dining room chairs that we not particularly comfortable. After ordering martinis the waitress told us that the bar does not carry many traditional bar liquors and suggested their Russian vodka alternative. She never explained why they don’t carry popular brands or what the philosophy was behind their liquor selection. Also, martinis should always be served in a chilled shaker at the table and not pre-poured in a glass at the bar.
These minor issues did little to dampen our pleasurable experience at Portalli’s. We look forward to returning.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
We left this restaurant happy and satisfied. We especially loved the bottomless mimosas and bloody mary's!
11/23/2013 4:00:00 PM