Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Nel Centro
Hip Italian eatery in the Theatre & Arts District of downtown Portland, Nel Centro is a vibrant, fun and delicious expression of Riviera cuisine.
Perfect for dinner before a show at the Keller Auditorium or Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Nel Centro will make your special night out even more memorable. Join the power lunch crowd at Nel Centro for an array of scrumptious salads, innovative pizzas & fresh market fish. Reserve a table for Sunday brunch - truly a treat in a city known for long brunch lines.
Nel Centro features a full scratch bar, swanky patio, private dining rooms and one of the city's premiere wine lists. Come visit and experience the luxury of the Riviera in downtown Portland.
Portland, OR 97201
Italian, French, Mediterranean
Hours of Operation:
Monday through Thursday: 6:30am - 11:00pm
Friday: 6:30am - 12:00am
Saturday: 7:30am - 12:00am
Sunday: 8:00am - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Book your next party at Nel Centro. Call Dede Wilson, Catering Manager, at 503-484-1096.
Valet parking is available adjacent to the restaurant at the Hotel Modera, 515 SW Clay Street.
Private Party Facilities:
Private parties, meetings and banquets are available in our five attractive private dining rooms. Gorgeous patio available for events. Ask about The Colosseum, a game-themed event space featuring shuffle board, pool table, life-size Connect Four, Wii and X-box.
Private Party Contact:
Dede Wilson: (503) 484-1096
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Nel Centro Ratings and Reviews
We arrived for a reservation at 7:45 my companion was in the Portland area for business. I was excited to take her to New Centro as previous meals had been exceptional. The restaurant was not crowded. Our server was attentive. She ordered the pork loin, I had the Elk Oso Bucco. Both dishes were overcooked, flavorless and border line cold. They were also plated in a listless, uncaring way. Everything on the plate looked as if it had just given up. Hugely disappointed. And for the cost, ridiculous
We had 5pm reservations, we stopped by the maitre d' at 3pm to ask to have the time changed to 4:30 but the maitre d' said the dining room did not open until 5. In the past when the Broadway Series was at Keller Auditorium our waitress had told us the dining room opened early, we had 6:30 show tickets. We came down at 4:40 to find the maitre d' seating folks for dinner. We were seated. Our waiter did NOT tell us the specials until asked! While in the past bread was offered right after were seated, this time we had to ask. The meals were both just average, but price was not. If this had been our first visit, it would have been our last. It may in fact be our last. Poor service, unknowing staff and average food for not so average price, does not make for returning.
I went with a date. We tried the charcuterie board and the warm goat cheese starters. They were both amazing. He had the cassoulet and I had the sweet potato ravioli. We were both very impressed with our dinners. For dessert he had the carrot cake with pineapple ice cream and I had a blondie with caramel sauce. Unfortunately the blondie was dense and dry. It was the only part of the meal that was not incredibly delicious. The staff was very friendly and attentive from the moment we arrived until the moment we left. We dined early and it was quiet when we arrived. The restaurant started filling up as we were leaving and the noise level increased significantly. If we had wanted a quiet conversation at that time it may not have been possible but it was great for people watching. All in all we had a great experience.
My wife and I chose to go here prior to a show at Keller. It was a very tasty meal, neat atmosphere and worth a visit. It is a bit louder than some restaurants (in a good high energy way) so keep that in mind if you have intend to have a large group and wish to hold a conversation across the table, or have guests who are hard of hearing.
I had the special that evening which was halibut on long rice with veggies, and it was cooked perfectly. My wife had the potato ravioli which was decadent, and very good. I had the house red, which was decent, and not high priced (I'm not a very picky wine drinker, as I typically go for beer) and we finished splitting the carrot cake, which was very well done!
We had an excellent meal, celebrating a dear friend's birthday (total of 4 dining). First time I had been to Nel Centro, the "birthday girl" had been before, hoped to sit on the patio---but rainy day lead to us making reservations inside. Sat in a booth---large, comfortable. Just a nice atmosphere, attentive staff who were able to easily talk about the wine and food--ingredients and preparation---felt paced well, not rushed between courses. Definitely recommend and will be back---to enjoy the patio as weather allows too!!
We have enjoyed happy hour in the bar twice. A friend came with the first time. She was bowled over by the service and attentiveness of the servers, bar staff. Especially she being in the industry as well. My husband and I love the creative quality to the dishes and he enjoys the beer and wine selection. Dinner is exquisite. First time was last weekend. WoW! The dairy free fennel squash soup... wanted a second bowl. Thank you for your consistancy in keeping the quality yet making thing bright and new each time we return!
We love eating here before performances at the Keller Auditorium, not just because it is a easy walk but also because the food and the service is so great! We've had Jesse as our waitperson several times and he is a star. We will keep coming back as long as Nel Centro continues to exceed expectations on a busy concert night.
Skirt steak was ridiculously over-seasoned with oregano and served with grilled romaine lettuce, which I am not a fan of. Stick with the pastas, as that's what my friends got --the pappardelle was by far the best. Service was scant. Silverware given to us as afterthought and didn't see waitress for very long stretches. I would not go back there unless it was for Happy Hour. Noise level is low if you're looking for quiet dining.
We had dinner here before a show at the Keller. The server asked if we were going to a show to be sure we had our food in time. The cocktails were excellent. We started with a goat cheese appetizer. Superb. I had the shrimp ravioli with cherry tomatoes. Very fresh tasting. We did not save room for dessert. We were out in plenty of time for our show.
This luncheon was for a very special Birthday celebration for a great friend. There were 4 of us in attendance. I had eaten here before and always enjoyed the excellent food. However this day was horrible and embarrassing. One person at the table could not even eat the roasted chicken salad. The chicken tasted spoiled and it was coated in mayo. It was nothing like listed on the menu. The service was horribly lacking as though the waiter didn't want to be at work that day. We were never offered refills on ice tea. For a very special occasion, this was a terrible disappointment. On top of bad food, there was a manidatory $5.00 parking fee for lunch!
Went on special occasion. Inside tables for two very limited; noisy with kitchen pots/pans falling, loud music and din from adjacent bar. Outside better but not in rain. Food overpriced, but good house wine. Won't return. Definitely a no for a romantic dinner for two. Kudos to a great wait staff.
It was our 10 year anniversary, the person at the desk that sat us acknowledged our anniversary when he sat us. Then it was not mentioned again, we weren't told the special, the gal that waited on us was clearly overwhelmed with way too many tables and not enough support. I was starting with water and said that I'd like to order a drink later...never even asked me when we ordered or at any other time throughout the meal. She couldn't get away from our table quick enough because she was almost at a jog running from here to there. Also, never saw a manager, or at least anyone that resembled one anyway. She was cordial, that's about it. The food was good, but the dining experience was not. We won't go back. My husband has given a review via Yelp... We do not recommend going there for anything except for happy hour.
We eat at Nel Centro routinely due to its central location to our office and ease of access for folks coming into town. The food and service are routinely outstanding. The outdoor patio in the summer is one of the nicest in the downtown area. The team in the kitchen and wait staff are excellent.
I've always been a big fan of Nel Centro....and I've been numerous times. It's always been 100% perfect. Until this time. Don't get me wrong, it was good -- just not as spot on as it always has been. Food was good, not amazing like usual. Service was good, not amazing like usual. My standards are high. But they should be when you spend good money. Yes, I'll be back. But I want my usual top-notch going forward.
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