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.
Bring the whole family on Mother's Day to honor mom in the most delicious way possible.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
Nel Centro is a very good choice for any business or social gathering. It's a great place for a business breakfast and after-work drinks as well. The menu has something for everyone, the servers are professional / the service is great, and the ambiance conducive to connections!
We often select Nel Centro when hosting job applicants or for business meals because the food is so good (imaginative, using local food, a good representative of the local food culture). We can hear one another and track large conversations at the larger tables (round tables or a long table ... even a private room, though I haven't used that yet!). The booths are perfect for a smaller group. The decor is tasteful, current, and understated.
The food was good and the server was excellent, prompt courteous and friendly. The tables by the window are light and excellent for conversation in an otherwise fairly noisy place.
Nel Centro is my go to place for Happy Hour, Lunch and Dinner.
The food is of good quality and the prices are reasonable.
I like the bright and cherry atmosphere and the service is usually very good.
I do recommend this restaurant.
My wife and I both felt our dinner at Nel Centro was the best meal we have eaten out in more than a year. Everything exceeded our expectations, including the excellent service.
The location is perfect for dinner before a Keller event. The food is so so good and the service is impeccable. Thank you!
We were really impressed with the service and especially the food. The Dungeness crab spaghetti was amazing.
Great food and service. We had a very enjoyable time. I'm looking forward to going again.
Wonderful dinner! Thanks Nel Centro!
Steak was perfect. Ordered two fish specials which were both dry from over cooking unfortunately, but the veggies underneath the fish were really nice. Chicken dish had no comment either way. Second time for dinner.
We met for dinner before the opera and plan to do so again before the next opera, on May 4.
The food was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect.
We are always happy to return to Nel Centro. The food is excellent and always well presented. The menu is limited and doesn't change a lot throughout the year, though there are daily specials, but everything is always fresh and the combinations of flavors are pleasing. We appreciate the discounts for arts events.
The service was fantastic. The came promptly and it was delish!
Nel Centro is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland. It is the perfect place to go before going to Keller Auditorium. This last time we went for dinner before Hamilton and it might be the best dinner we've had! I had the Potato & Spring Garlic soup and it was so smooth and delicious. My husband and I both had the special of the day - perfectly cooked halibut with potatoes, asparagus and green beans with a lovely sauce...simple and spectacular. The desserts were amazing too...especially my Lime Meringue Tart with mango caramel. Swoon worthy!! They had a rum punch "the rum where it happens' for Hamilton fans so that was fun! We've always had good meals here and love their breakfast but this dinner was so delicious I had to take the time to write a review.
We typically will go to Nel Centro before seeing a show at The Keller because we love the food and service. This was no different with the exception of waiting quite awhile before a server approached our table (10 mins). Service and food were pretty slow but we loved being there and it definitely isn’t the norm! Will definitely be back!
Very nice experience.
Eating here several times. The corned beef sandwich was crunchy and the slaw bland.
Enjoyed the menu and setting and what made it amazing with the delicious meals was our server Emily. She was not only pleasant (demeanor) but responsive,informed and had a light touch (attentive to table but not disruptive/interruptive). We enjoyed our experience!
Delicious dinner. Our service was welcoming, attentive (not overly) and knowledgeable of the menu and wines. I like the urban ambience.
Delicious menu offerings and an extensive wine list. Nel Centro has a very pleasant atmosphere with excellent service and a great dining experience. It's located centrally so is a fine place to gather before performances downtown. A treat!
We took advantage of a great location and ease of seating in downtown. The food and service were excellent. We'll be back!
Fabulous food and service. One of the best restaurants in Portland. Plus, valet service means you don’t have to search for parking.
Great dinner. Great place.
We had a great time having brunch the other day! Our service couldn’t have been better - our server anticipated needs and brought extra plates so we could share a specialty pastry, without even being asked! She was also very accommodating about special requests / ie ramekin of butter on the side, etc.
The food was also delicious with many usual food items prepared with interesting twists.
We’ll definitely be back!
Calamari appetizer is always quite good. Not rubbery.
Short ribs with polenta and broccolini did not disappoint. Beef was very tender and moist.
Pappardelle with ox tail ragu was quite tasty as well.
Food (fish/steak) was average but recommend sitting outside as the inside feels more like a
Great location for pre-Hamilton-dinner. Service and atmosphere are great while food is good but not stand out. On the other hand, brunch here is awesome.
Great dinner, fun people watching! .food was a little slow out of the kitchen on a busy pre-theater night.
We went for our 30th anniversary before a show and the service was exceptional.
We made reservations here before a date at the Keller Auditorium. What a great find. The food was excellent - we both had pasta dishes and I had a bowl of the potato-garlic soup. So very good. Out server Matt could not have been more spot on. We will definitely return. There were many things on the menu we’d like to try and the place has a great upbeat vibe.
Nel Centro continues to be one of my favorite restaurants. The service is great and the food is consistently very good. Love this place!
The food was OUTSTANDING! Delicious and beautiful on the plate. Our sever was courteous and knowledgeable and made excellent recommendations, all of which we took and loved. They knew we were there for dinner before a show, and they worked hard to make sure we got to our show on time. I would highly recommend them for anyone who wants a tasty food before seeing a show at the Keller.
Nel Centro was an exceptional restaurant , we were attending an event which’s was time sensitive. The restaurant and its staff were very attentive to the timing and had our meal ready without us feeling rushed. The food was very well prepared and plated beautifully. I would recommend Nel Centro as a dining destination if your travels bring you to downtown.
We were looking for somewhere near the Keller to have a bite to eat prior to seeing Hamilton and that opened early enough so that we did not need to be rushed. We had reservations and were quickly seated in a booth near the front of the restaurant. The special sconces were absolutely wonderful and the steelhead hash was fabulous.Service was responsive but not intruding. We will definitely return...hopefully in the summer so that we can enjoy the patio seating.
Lovely server; wonderful food. Best of all...noise level outstanding. Actually able to have a conversation in a normal tone of voice. Love this place.
Service was quick. Matt was very friendly and made sure we got to our show in plenty of time. Food was delicious! Nice atmosphere. I want to come back to sit on the patio sometime.
What a great find! Thoroughly enjoyed our dinner before the show.
Bar service is very slow, based on last two occasions we've been there. For Saturday lunch, prior to shows at the Keller, menu offers a fairly small selection of items. The food is well prepared, but after eating here a few times, we're a bit bored with the limited selection of items. So... hope they expand their offerings and get more help at the bar to prevent waiting forever for drinks to be served or re-ordered.
Lunch before performanceat the Keller. Food delicious, and we have learned to reserve ahead, and allow plenty of time before performance time. Our server was tense, stressed, polite, but not pleasant. We chose not to let it affect our enjoyment of the afternoon. The resteraunt and bar seating were full. Only one bartender. Thirty minutes for a glass of house wine. Pasta was delicious.
Gnocchi was so overcooked it was practically liquid, and the cheese sauce was terrible. Cannelli bean dish was undercooked, and ice cold when served. Startes (goat cheese, and mescalin salads) were good.