PortaBella Restaurant

4.6
521 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 521 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I ALWAYS love this restaurant. It’s like going g to your family’s house fro Sunday dinner

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M
Charleston
13 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Had a table outside just below sidewalk level. Very "European". The mussels were great.

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M
Dallas
12 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service, incredible sand dabs and braised short ribs both served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked asparagus, green beans and carrots. All large portions. We were also complimented with a baklava desert and glass of port from the management. PortaBella has both indoor and outdoor patio seating. A darling place and wonderful staff. We can’t wait to return. A definite must when visiting beautiful Carmel.

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JC
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Randy at Monte Verde Inn recommended PortaBella to us and we’re so glad he did . We had the octopus which was perfectly cooked and the sauce was delicious. My husband had the scallops with the orange sauce...so good! I had the sand dabs which were lightly breaded and cooked perfectly. They have an extensive wine menu, but we had cocktails - nice that they gave a full bar! We shared the tiramisu which was lovely and light. We’re definitely coming back here when in Carmel!

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CL
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, beautifully presented. Back patio dining has nice ambiance. The manager/maitre d is outstanding - he came over to the table to ask how our meal was and opened the door for us as we were leaving. It is very clear that he cares about the experience that his clients have at the restaurant. We will be back!

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SH
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Mushroom soup and Crab Bisque were outstanding, as well as atmosphere and service. The Salmon entree was outstanding, the Beef Short Rib entree was mediocre. The Creme Brulee was so so.

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M
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and the staff was warm and friendly.

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PH
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The entire experience was impressive. The host was endearing and friendly. The waitstaff served properly, accurately, and without saying "How are WE doing." The interactions were polite, short, to the point, and interested.
The food was beyond expectation ( Risotto for her, Shortribs for me).
I requested Port for apertif, and they were out. Moments later, we were presented with a glass each of their house-made limoncella. Divine!

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MS
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had an amazing dinner and evening at PortaBella. Service and food was excellent.

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s
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent lunch. Get either of the house soups — cream of mushroom or crab and corn bisque. They’re excellent. We’ve visited several times and enjoy coming back when we’re in Carmel.

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CA
Phoenix
182 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

This is a good, not great restaurant, with nice, but not well trained staff. Thr manager was great - greeting everyone, asking where they were from, making them feel welcome. Food was quite good - the carpaccio and Caesar salad that we shared were perfect starters. But our risotto and pasta entrees were really heavy and the portions way too large. We will return, but I think for lunch rather than for dinner.

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s
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

We requested water three times before we got. Asked for a spoon multiple times and never got that. The restaurant was drafty and cold. The risotto was way too salty and the scallops had no flavor including the tasteless sauce. The crab soup was good but not hot and the best salad was delightful. Lastly, because of time we wanted a dessert to take but none were appropriate.

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X
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Somewhat disappointed as the linguini de frutti mare was super creamy and the linguini was on the doughy side... Definitely not al dente. The ribs were very good in terms of texture but the sauce was too sweet and sugary. it's not bad, but definitely not as highly rated as the Web indicates.

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WS
San Francisco
50 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

FABULOUS! I don't have time to write everything that I could so please trust my one word title...we love dining here for all the reasons one wants to dine out. There are MANY really good restaurants in Carmel and this is one of the best. GO, ENJOY...you will return again & again.

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CB
Portland
21 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

While vacationing in Carmel, Portabella is always our special dinner restaurant. Everything is always amazing. The food is excellent, the service is superior, and the staff treats you like good friends. I LOVE THIS PLACE! Highly recommend!

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F
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The quality of the food seemed to change from my last visit . The food was exceptional my last two visits, whereas I would rate it as good this time.

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AS
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nothing short of fantastic! The service was perfection, as was the meal and the environment.

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T
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
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 on May 18, 2019
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 on May 16, 2019
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 on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

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

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B
San Francisco
23 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
26 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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