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  • The Portage

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The Portage
The Portage

The Portage Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://theportagechicago.com
  • Phone: (773) 853-0779
  • Hours of Operation:
    Sunday, Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,
    Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm;
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
  • Catering: We are capable of designing a catering menu to fit your needs. We offer a wide range of American dishes, but can make any cuisine desired.
  • Private Party Facilities: We specialized in hosting bridal showers, baby showers, birthday parties and smaller weddings.
  • Private Party Contact: Quay Tao (773) 853-0779

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Irving Park Rd.
  • Public Transit: Irving Park Bus (#86)
    Central Ave Bus (#56)
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Our patrons can use our FREE parking lot atThe Fil-Am Seventh Adventist Church at the corner of Dakin and Central Ave. This lot is 100 feet from our front door. There is no sign on the lot, but we have an agreement with them for our customers' usage . If you are unsure of the lot, please call us or inquire when you are dining here. Thank you!
A word from The Portage
Named as one of the Best New Restaurant by Chicago Magazine in 2011 and recently featured on the hit show Check, Please! The Portage is a friendly and welcoming restaurant in the heart of Portage Park. We offer refined American comfort food in a home-like setting, whether you choose to sit inside at one of our intimate tables or outside in our zen like garden.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerAmerican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Interesting menu with high quality ingredients combined with excellent customer service. If you are in Portage Park/Old Irving Park area, then this restaurant is worth a visit. A pleasant surprise in the area."
    Dined on 7/22/2014
  • "beautiful patio, great service and attentive staff."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "A year after seeing the Portage featured on PBS' "Check Please" we decided to give it a try, figuring the buzz had died down and we could get good service. We were right. Greeted promptly at the door, shown to our reserved seats. Seconds later, our waiter Jesse introduced himself and ENTHUSIASTICALLY described the specials. He made great recommendations for craft beer choices. We ordered 2 apps, the beet salad and the smoked almond gazpacho. Both rated 5 stars. Our entrees were the Berkshire Pork Loin and the Short Rib/Risotto. Both cooked to perfection, juicy (supermarket pork is NOTHING like a heritage breed hog), smoky, above reproach, imaginative saucing. Never like bread pudding until that day! Enthusiasm and passion for good food"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Small selection on menu probably not my type of restaurant"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "The Portage is exactly what one would hope for in a restaurant. Not only was the atmosphere lovely without being pretentious, but the drinks and food were better than expected. While everything took a little while to get going initially, once drinks were ordered and recommendations made (thank you Casey for your amazing suggestions), my friend and I were able to sit back, laugh, talk without yelling and had a truly fantastic time. I want this place to remain a neighborhood place, but for the owner, recognition should come from all over. Very impressed, will go back as often as check book allows."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Once again, The Portage has outdone itself and bested my last visit. I love bringing family and friends there for the first time - it always wows them! The food is always spectacular, the atmosphere is intimate and friendly and the staff are all great folks. I highly recommend The Portage for a lovely dining experience."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "Difficult to get to, during rush hours.....from City or North Shore. Probably works for those west of xpressway."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "The meal was outstanding, I could not begin to explain all the favors that created our masterpiece."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "The host was welcoming and friendly, as was the bartender. Our server, on the other hand, needed some refinement. We waited a long time for drinks and each course and my water sat empty for a long time. It started raining, so everyone from outside came pouring back inside, which made the noise level intolerable. We couldn't hear one another speak...We learned later that The Portage had been highlighted on Check, Please! the night before. Maybe some of what we experienced was an influx of new guests? One entree (pork) was outstanding, but my fish was mediocre. I really wanted to love The Portage, and I think it has potential, just has to work out more of the kinks."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "Wonderful food and service if you get there early...turns a bit noisy and a little more chaotic after 7!!"
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "The Portage is a great restaurant that looks deceivingly simple from the outside, but is finely decorated and much larger than anticipated. The beer garden out back is perfect for summer dining and the food was exquisite. It really did not matter what we ordered from the menu, the food came out quickly and it was delicious. Since I was dining in a group of 6, e were able to sample most of the appetizers and each one was different but very tasty. The entrees were also very well done and I would dfinitely recommend the chocolate pretzel bread pudding...that was amazing!"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Excellent food, beautiful presentation. Great service. Beautiful evening so dined outside on the pleasant patio. Always enjoy my evening at the Portage."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "This was our second visit to The Portage. Our first visit was ok and since it's minutes from our house, we wanted to give it a second try. On our first visit, we enjoyed the asparagus salad, but my husband thought the short ribs were dry. On this visit we had 7:00 reservations but were not seated until 8:15. We were served a complimentary order of fries at the bar around 8:00, but by then our patience had worn thin, probably because we were starving. Aside from waiting over an hour to be seated, the service was good. My husband enjoyed the gazpacho and short ribs, I had the asparagus salad and crab cake and both were good. Wines by the glass could be better. Could have been our goto weekday spot if we had been seated within 30 minutes."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Great food. Service was a little slow. Worth the wait."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "This was our 3rd visit to The Portage and our first time dining outdoors there. Everything was just lovely. My husband could not say enough good things about his burger."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "This was my first time here. I've heard of it & was excited to go! The fried chicken was bland and I realized after the fact that I did not get brussel sprouts as specified on the menu, rather I was served green beans. I was disappointed and felt cheated. I got my chicken entrée about 10-15 min after placing order, which made me question the freshness of the fried chicken...it was pretty greasy. Dessert was great. The gelato was tasty. I also enjoyed the ambiance. I am willing to give it one more chance. I saw some yummy looking things coming out of the kitchen. Just stay away from the fried chicken!"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "What a great experience, from food and cocktails to impeccable service. Interesting patrons. definitely going to make this a regular occasion."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Awesome food! I'll be back with friends. Our waiter was super knowledgeable!"
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Hearing about this place for months. Live in Andersonville/Edgewater, finally bit the bullet took a ride west to Portage Park. Happy we did, great food and great service. Will definitely go back again and again."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Been meaning to try this for a long time and I'm glad I did ! Food was great. Jesse our waiter was extremely helpful and knew the menu inside and out. Only dissapointment was out of the fish entree and 1 chicken dinner left when 2 of the party wished to have it."
    Dined on 6/8/2014
  • "We had another outstanding meal at The Portage. Since we live close by we are so glad that this restaurant is in our neibhborhood. Food, service, ambience was wonderful as it has been on our other visits. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "It was an all around excellent dining experience. "
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "We've been meaning to come for years.but a late Friday idea, an open table reservation later, and we were there. Gorgeous night to sit outside, vibrant space, a mix of people all happy to enjoy this space. We tried the mystery red wine for $28 as thought the wine list was sort of pricey for a casual dinner. Delightfully surprised. Casey was a knowledgeable waiter and led us thru the menu. We had the potato gnocchi for starters which was delicious, and then the special broccoli salad that was refreshingly different. For entrees my husband had the warm udon noodles that was yummy and I ordered a special fish, the trout, that was done just perfectly. Crispy skin, soft meat with artichokes. It IS pricey but we will be back. Nice to have nearby."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "The food was good however, you need to order an appetizer and salad because dinner portions are small. My husband and I split a salad and after dinner we were still hungry. So dessert was awesome. Great atmosphere. Awesome bartender. Would definitely go back. But portions are small for dinner."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We moved to Old Irving Park a year ago and have been looking for a neighborhood spot so we don't have to drive downtown, and last night we found it! The Portage has a fun inventive menu, classical and new drinks and does a good job pairing wines. Our party of 3 tried several items and found all to be between satisfactory and excellent. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "This was our first time dining at The Portage. We recently moved to the area and had been wanting to try it out, and chose to celebrate a birthday dinner here. The service was very good; very fast and provided great suggestions on drinks and food. The food was delicious! Will definitely be back to eat again and would highly recommend to friends. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Overall not a bad experience but not one I would revisit. If you're looking for a place that can make a solid drink, with good service and an outdoor patio with FREE parking and you live less than 15 minutes from the location I would say go for it! Duck fat fries were not as exciting as anticipated (although the sriracha and pesto aioli provided were tasty). The crab cake was mostly filler. The brisket and scallop with short rib entrees were swimming in an unnecessary amount of sauce that splattered every time you moved something on the plate. My scallops were cooked well, the short rib was not that good. The limoncello creme brulee was just ok. Overall opinion is that this restaurant is just OK. "
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "The food at this place is incredibly delicious and creative. Imaginative pairings, great sauces and interesting textures. We had the kale salad, coconut soup, trout and udon noodles. There was not a morsel of food left anywhere! I can't say enough great thing about this place - the people, the service, the food. Top notch!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "THE FOOD! Our server was great, very funny and attentive. The food was amazing, but the seating is cramped, and as a 30 year old I was the youngest person by a decade. Which i guess doesn't really matter. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Every now and then, you have the perfect meal. We dropped in at The Portage Saturday night and it was simply outstanding. From our shared salad, to the entree (brisket), and the special dessert all was wonderful. Don't even get me started on the cocktail - jalapeño infused pineapple margarita. IF i ever get a chance to say what i would like as my last drink on earth I think this would be it - SERIOUSLY!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "The Portage has some of the best food I have tasted in Chicago! You feel special the whole time you are a guest. I have celebrated multiple birthdays and graduations at this amazing restaurant. Such an enjoyable experience. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "My two little boys (9 and 7) took me here for Mother's day. The food was terrific, the waiter was patient and attentive and although it was also kid-friendly, it was also special for me. I love restaurants that hit that balance well and provide kids menus that are as thoughtful as what's on the rest of the menu."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Short review: Great food, will definitely be back. Long review: Started w/ drinks. I had the special called the Buffalo Sour. It is brown sugar whiskey with lemon, agave nectar, egg white and Angostura - I LOVED this drink. I also had an old fashioned which was disappointing and my wife had 2 cocktails which were ok. We had two appetizers, the fried cauliflower, & the app special which was a scallop ceviche. Both were outstanding. For the main course my wife had the warm udon noodles which she liked, I had the special which was a black fin tuna. I thought the the dish was fantastic and the tuna was cooked perfectly. As far as dessert the blueberry cobbler was delicious. Jesse our server was awesome. We'd definitely go back"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "I had company in from out of town. We had a party of 8 and reservations. We waited about 10 minutes for table. Everything was outstanding. Would greatly recommend to friends."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Amazing food and atmosphere. Make reservations, it is small and always packed! Only complain was the bartender, she ignored us for quite some time as we were waiting for our table. Her cocktails made up for it."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We had my boyfriends birthday dinner there and we absolutely loved it. Amy the bartender was very friendly and outgoing. The tables at the restaurant is a little snug but overall the meal and drinks we had were great."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "We went here on a much needed date night. The Portage didn't disappoint. We started with the gnocchi which was really and truly homemade( even a nearby highly rated Italian restaurant uses premade (yuck)). We both noted that the flavor profiles were interesting and new. I had the steak my wife had the short rib. Our meal was timed very well for how busy they were and my wife and I both loved our picks. Dessert was a margarita( again no store bought sweet and sour mix) and some cherry crumble satisfied with all of the above. Our server handled our table well and knew about the food. What else do you need? Our second visit to The Portage. Will not be our last. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We had such a great time. The food was delicious. The service was outstanding. Prices were right. We loved it and will definitely will come back for more. We were celebrating a birthday and a had a big group of 11 people - we never felt rushed and enjoyed our time a lot. Thanks for allowing us to celebrate in your restaurant!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "The did had real potential but lacked flavor. We ordered the ribeye and pork belly. 2 items you can't mess up, but they both need some form of salt. But service is excellent!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "This is, hands down, the best neighborhood restaurant in the entire City of Chicago. "
    Dined on 4/16/2014