PortaBella Restaurant

4.7
504 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Our cuisine features beautiful specialties from France, Italy and Spain. The dishes are rich in color and flavor.
PortaBella is picturesque: awarded First Prize for Beautiful Flowerscaping from the Carmel Garden Club.

The ambience is stylish and romantic, the setting historic
What 504 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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T
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great ambiance, great food. I had the sand dabs which were delicious. My husband had the linguini tute Mari which was also very good. And the service was impeccable. Every 15-20 minutes they come to your table to make sure everything is going well! They also make great cocktails! There is a host there who is great fun. He Answers any questions and will give you a little history of the restaurant that use to be someone’s house. It’s located right on Ocean Avenue!

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PL
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my wife’s birthday and they gave us complimentary champagne and a small desert. Great service and food.

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SC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Service is excellent. Adriana is our favorite server. RIchard, maitre "d, is tops.

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LZ
Phoenix
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent meal and extremely friendly and attentive staff. Will definitely be back.

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B
San Francisco
22 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food and service are just right. Very tasty and well presented. Portions are generous without being excessive or heroic. Service is hospitable and accommodating. We come with dogs, and they have both a patio and a heated annex to accommodate us.The clientele is 'doggy' - very apropos to Carmel, so there's a lot of commeradary. One of our perennial favourites.

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D
Phoenix
27 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Slip sliding away...We are Carmel locals and have dined at PortaBella many times. This was one of our go to restaurants in town. The last couple of times we noted the service and food quality/presentation slipping. Perhaps too much success or simply complacency. This is also a popular location for tourists, so becomes loud and messy with kids and pets. Off our list and will venture elsewhere..

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HD
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and delightful staff. My family and I go three restaurants in Carmel by the Sea–PortaBella, Mediterranean Restaurant, and Dametra Cafe. The are all owned by the same people. There is no wonder why every experience is splendid!

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RF
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is only the second time we’ve been to PortaBella, but both times have been excellent. The first time was pre baby and they were super accommodating with our three dogs. Now we were just here with our toddler for Mother’s Day and there was no exception. They were incredible in so many ways. The service, the food, everything about this restaurant was more than expected. The food was just as exceptional as the service. I love that you can come in and they talk to you as if you’re a regular.

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SA
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The owners of PortaBella really go out of their way to welcome and take care of you while you're dining in their restaurant. The reviews led me to start off with the crab bisque and it did not disappoint. I had a very nice glass of Cab, my wife a Chardonnay - the pours were generous. I had the Pasta Cabanera and it was decadent - a little on the heavy side but oh so good with a reduced cream sauce, flat noodles and mushrooms, bacon and a hint of nutmeg. We ended our meal sharing a creme brulee and some port. The service, ambiance and music really make this place so comfortable. I really look forward to coming back. My only wish was for some of the other patrons to show this fine restaurant a little respect. PortaBella deserves better than yoga pants, flip flops and t-shirts. If you're going to spend the day at the beach and plan on eating here afterwards, it would be considerate to bring a change of clothing.

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LF
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant and food! And the staff and managers were amazing and welcoming! Thank you for a great dinner!

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PG
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary dinner was wonderful.

The service was excellent. We received complimentary bubbly to toast. Nice wine selection and food was very good.

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DC
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Your staff is very welcoming, your service was extremely slow at time that was not very busy. My husband tipped a waiter to sing Happy Birthday to my nephew. That didn’t happen and he kept the tip. Shoe more clas and return the money if you’re unable or willing to do what a guest asks who is paying a lot if money to eat at your restaurant.

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PM
Toronto
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing carbonara and very good wine selection. Staff was very attentive and friendly. Definitely a must when dining in Carmel!

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LD
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can’t say enough about PortaBella. I wish it was in my City/neighborhood as we were visiting Carmel. Our dinner was a reuniting of professional friends; all of whom had VERY discriminating palates! All six of us ordered a different plate (salmon, mussels, sand dabs, lamb, short ribs and scallops). Every single person raved about their dinner choice. Most started with cups of soup (mushroom to die for) and all of us became suddenly quiet (not like us) as we savored the tastes. Everyone wanted to share with each other to see who’s was best. Because it was so yummy, we ventured into dessert and some limoncello. Again......all very good. Everyone helping to make our experience enjoyable (from servers to bus folks to owners/managers) were truly charming. Can’t wait to go back....!! Great job PortaBella!!

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d
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I have been many times, always good food and service

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e
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was good but my wife's potato dish was cold when served. But they gladly brought another dish that was hot. Service was attentive and noise level moderate. Several large parties that made it a little noiser than what I would like. Overall, a nice place and good meal.

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TF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious, excellent service and quick. Excellent evening. Would recommend to anyone!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfection. Dinner the atmosphere and service. Perfect. Only way to describe our experience:)

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J
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Portabella Restaurant is fabulous. We have eaten here many times and have always had a wonderful meal with great service.

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E
Baltimore
17 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful restaurant right on Ocean Avenue in the heart I’d Carmel. Nice ambiance, small but excellent offerings. Everyone loved the service and the food. We tasted multiple courses all excellent. Highly recommended

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C
San Francisco
241 reviews
Dined on April 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Highly recommended, the roasted corn and crab bisque was perfect also the pasta carbonara. Being trained as a chef I prepare both these dishes, although I do the carbonara a little differently it was still excellent. Chef RJ

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JT
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We visit PortaBella everytime we visit Csrmel. We have never been disappointed. We enjoy the food and friendly service. They have live Spanish singers/guitar players that come by occasionally.

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OT
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Really wonderful place, quintessential Carmel! Owner owns two other nearby restaurants, very amicable and an excellent businessman who takes great care of his customers, visiting every table and chatting. For portions are generous, you won't leave hungry!

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RD
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was fabulous. We said no to dessert because we were so full but they brought us a small plate of sweets anyway which was very much appreciated. I guess we wanted dessert after all. The wine pour was also very generous which I appreciated. We would definitely go back.

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2
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always good to see our friends at Dametra and PortaBella. The restaurant, the food, the service, and the ambiance is wonderful. Such a pretty and romantic place. They always greet us warmly with champagne...and they seem to always make customers coming in feel special. The wild mushroom risotto, sea scallops, and pappardelle bolognese are always good...the frutti di mare pasta is a must!

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KC
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

All the servers and even the owner (who checked on us multiple times) were so warm and kind. We sat outside with our dog and when a tiny sprinkle started they rushed to open the umbrellas and move us to an adjacent table. It was a bit chilly when we sat down and we were offered blankets. We were celebrating our anniversary and were treated to a tiny dessert and port (maybe because it had rained on us, haha) A fantastic experience. The crab bisque was wonderful and the portions were surprisingly large!

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N
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We travel to Carmel twice a year with our Labrador. PortaBella has a fantastic patio at the back of the restaurant with heaters for us pet lovers as Carmel can be quite chilly. Our motel does not allow pets left behind in the room. The food and service at PortaBella is spot on. They also provide water and treats for the pets. Must have is the corn and crab bisque! They have a nice variety of dishes on their menu. The wine list is very, too. We will definitely return.

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C
Portland
66 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A lovely little place in Carmel. The corn and crab bisque was outstanding! Pasta servings are very good and extremely generous, easily enough for 2 to share. Bread was delicious and served with a very tasty pesto type sauce. A very enjoyable experience.

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R
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ambience, food, and service could not be better!
The dining area is very inviting and makes one feel very comfortable and relaxed.

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v
Los Angeles
36 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were warmly greeted when we arrived for our reservation and seated immediately. The menu had lots of choices. How are you tour was friendly and knowledgeable about everything on the menu. No complaints at all with the service. No I’m doing an open table reviewI had a cup of the corn and crab chowder which was delicious and came to the table hot. I had the sand dabs in lemon and wine sauce which came with buttery mashed potatoes, asparagus, carrots and green beans. My companion had the pappardelle bolognaise. Both dishes were outstanding. This was our second visit to this restaurant and we will certainly return the next time we are in Carmel.

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place. The manager was very attentive. The crab bisque was one of the best things I ever had.

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PK
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The customer service here is unparalleled. We made a reservation with a dog, and they called during the week to let us know their patio was booked but that they would find a place for us. When we got there, there was a lovely table outside, which was perfect. Many different people checked on us throughout the meal, I think including the owner, to make sure we were comfortable. When it got a little chilly later, the heater wasn't working so they brought me a cozy blanket and wrapped it around me. I felt so cared for and valued! The food was really good too, excellent caesar salad, mussels, scallops and New York steak. They didn't have a dog menu (!), but I brought food, water and treats, so my pup was totally fine. I would highly recommend PortaBella - they helped make our weekend in Carmel memorable!

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TS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Portabella is consistently rated as one of the best restaurants in Carmel because it has all the best elements of a stellar dining experience. They know what they're doing from the Host/s to the kitchen to the exemplary service. We can't go to Carmel and NOT dine there. You should too! Try their sand dabs or any of the pastas or appetizers. Wonderful. every. time.

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R
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have dined at many high end restaurants all over the world, including Michelin rated one. The service was impeccable with the owner and brother of the owner stopping by several times to check on us and thanks us for dining with them. Food was superb, fantastic quality and a great selection. So refreshing that the portions are quite substantial and the value is excellent! Our new favorite dining spot in Carmel. Highly recommend it.

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OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our first time at PortaBella after years of walking by. We finally made a reservation and had a wonderful early evening dinner. From seating us at our table to the great food we know no why PortaBella is so well rated. We will be back!

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MB
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Owners are super friendly. They always remember you and take great care of you. The waiters are very attentive. Food is amazing!

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JW
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this restaurant! Service and food. The best dog dining area anywhere!

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FK
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I had the scallops which are fantastic. The bisque was also great. We sat in the front dining room, which I recommend (has fireplace). Veronica was our server. She did great. She and two hosts checked on us regularly and kept our wine and water glasses full. Music was very nice and not loud enough to interfere with conversation. There was an error on the bill, but they fixed it quickly. I highly recommend PortaBella.

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JF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful ambiance, quiet, friendly, personal service. Fantastic dishes artfully presented. A 40th Anniversary celebration also made special by beautiful guitar and serenade. Kind and gracious words from the owner.

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R
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience from start to finish. Ownership and staff really know how to treat their customers and their food complemented such ambience.

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