PortaBella Restaurant

4.5
316 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French
Top Tags:
  • Romantic
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
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
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
French, European
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Hours of operation
Sunday-Thursday: 11:30am to 9:00pm
Friday-Saturday: 11:30am to 9:30pm
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Phone number
(831) 624-4395
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Neighborhood
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 316 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CC
Los Angeles
78 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a wonderful, little restaurant. This is one of the best menus in Carmel, so many great choices. Our server, Aileen was a joy, highly trained, super sweet and very efficient. I had the best cup of mushroom soup I have ever had and my wife’s beet salad was incredible, featuring several different kinds of beets and a great dressing. We both had the Sand Dabs and got them to substitute mushroom risotto for the mashed potatoes. Large portions, perfectly cooked with a generous topping of capers and delicious with the risotto. Gonna be back at every chance.

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PE
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very romantic setting. The host and owner came by a couple of times to check on his, and could not have been more charming.
Surprisingly good food for such a touristy area. Perfectly cooked, well presented and balanced.
would definitely come back

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AA
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 5

Service were great n accomading
Great location n beautiful decor

Shrimp , scallops n vegetables were over cooked

Over priced

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l
Seattle
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Good, not great. Risotto was excellent beet salad was very good, lightly dressed, fresh greens. Pasta was average, sauce was too much mayo

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N
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a very special night for us, and the friendly, welcoming staff and owners helped make the night memorable. The ambience is warm--casual yet elegant like you might find in Italy. For example, there are tablecloths but not starchy white ones. People dressed in assortment of shirtsleeves and khakis to formal suits.

When we sat down, we were each given a glass of champagne because they knew it was a special day. My partner ordered lamb cooked to perfection. I had the scallops. Both were delicious. Before our dishes arrived, they gave us a small taste of two soups and an order of tasty bread with a pesto dip. We were too full to purchase dessert, but they brought us each a small bite of dessert and a glass of port. I can't recall ever eating out at a place at this price where they gave such great attention to their customers. Finally, we were never rushed. Things proceeded more like they would in Italy at a slower pace with time to enjoy food and conversation.

The bottom line is that I'd go back in a flash and fully recommend it to others. Thanks for the great night!

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LA
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely wonderful ambiance and service - everyone will feel welcome and will enjoy the delicious food.

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OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came with our dog and they couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. They even brought her a plate of roasted chicken! The way to my heart is through our dog and they really won me over. I will visit them every time I'm in carmel! Food is excellent as well and reasonably priced.

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W
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a family favorite! Excellent food and the service is great! Very grateful for another beautiful night at Portabella.

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B
Sacramento
9 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This turned out to be one of the better places to dine in Carmel. The table for four was a bit small and offputting at first; however, that was the only potential downside to what turned out to be a lovely evening. The service was very good and the staff was very cheerful. Best yet was the food. The mushroom risotto was quite good. The osso bucco turned out delicious and surprisingly the potatoes on that plate was the best that any of us had ever tasted before. Honestly, almost worth purchasing just to taste them. The carbonara was very easily the best I’ve ever tasted. All the desserts are homemade and very good as well. To top it off, they had a very good wine list. This easily topped one or two other more expensive restaurants we had tried in Carmel during our visit. All four of us could and do, hands down, recommend this restaurant.

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j
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely location, great food, wonderful ambiance, attentive staff. Sat outside with our dog; very dog friendly.

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HC
Dallas
327 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food, service, and ambience were all fantastic. The view of Ocean Avenue is perfect, and is a great way to enjoy the Tour d’Elegance during car week.I highly recomend this restaurant.

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JB
Phoenix
11 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tremendous in every respect. highly recommend. Xlnt food, superb service, very nice atmosphere.

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e
San Francisco
33 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant in Carmel. Wonderful hospitality. World-class bolognese. Pet friendly. Lovely outdoor space. Right on Ocean Avenue.

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TS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was here with my husband for our eighth wedding anniversary. We loved the food, decor and ambiance, and were very glad to have picked this place for our special evening. The owner stopped by to ensure everything was up to our liking. All in all, highly recommended.

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R
Central Coast
4 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Sea Scallops and English Pea Risotto was excellent! The scallops were cooked to perfection, tender sweet and moist, the Risotto was Al dente and the asparagus had the taste of smoke from the grill. The owner, manager visited our table several times to make sure we were happy and comfortable. We are locals and will definitely return again to enjoy another meal.

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G
San Francisco
58 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed the food. Good atmosphere and excellent service.
One of the better places in Carmel and not overpriced

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JC
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an amazing anniversary dinner with my husband. Great food and wine. Everyone was accommodating and attentive.

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B
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 2

So-so dining experience in a town loaded with likely better options. I would give PortaBella one or two stars for hygiene (sticky table and poorly cleaned place setting) and 4 stars for the food preparation. This visit would have been mostly negative if not for the excellent food. We were seated between the kitchen door and restrooms, which is an automatic point reduction (even recognizing someone has to sit there). I would not return to this restaurant before exploring any of the many other options. In fairness the food was very good--everything else ho-hum or worse.

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our 55th wedding anniversary. We got complementary port wine at the end of our meal

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S
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

One guest had frutti di mare pasta which was delicious but more briney then usual. I had the pasta carbonara which was delicious but heavy handed on the nutmeg. My husband had the Osso Bucco and it was amazing.
Service was incredible.

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k
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

New to this area we picked this restaurant based on its menus and online reviews. The food was delicious--eg Superb sauce with scallops and risotto. Flexible wine list. Attentive but not intrusive service. Cozy dog friendly patio. When they learned this was a birthday celebration, we were treated to a glass of champagne and desert was served with guitar and somg along with an invitation to dance. A memorable fun evening. We will definitely return regularly.

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OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as usual

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KS
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

PortaBella Restaurant is mine and my husband’s favorite restaurant in Carmel-by-the-Sea!! We love everthing about it! The staff is so sweet, and they treat us like family! I think we could go back every night and never grow tired of it! ❤️

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CC
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed a delicious lunch in celebration of our father’s 95th Birthday. Outstanding food, service & ambiance. I have dined at PortaBella many times & always one of the highlights of visiting Carmel.

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C
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place and cozy

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T
Chicago
9 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The food was great, the ambience wonderful, the service FANTASTIC! The staff makes you feel at home, as if they’ve known you forever. I had the lamb and my girlfriend had the local white fish. I love lamb but actually preferred her fish in a lemon caper sauce! Delicious. We sat outside and simply loved the entire experience. Would definitely recommend and we’ll certainly find our way back.

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ME
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on August 5, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

Really loved the food at Portabello's!! But the service felt very rushed. After promptly being sat within a minute of ordering our appetizers were at our table and as we put our forks down from finishing our appetizers, our entrees were being served, and we had only been in the restaurant for 26 minutes. Again, the food was excellent, however for a date night out, and finally having sometime away from the kids, it would have been nice to have a little space between courses. We did love the food and would definitely go back to try some more things on the menu, but in the future, we would order entrees after we finished our apps.

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OT
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Very nice place. Food nothing special.
I ordered local white fish, eatable , but do not recommend.

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g
Dallas
17 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The restaurant had a charming, quaint European feel to it. My initial issue was when we sat down to sticky plastic tablecloths. The wait staff was nice although not terribly attentive. The cream of mushroom soup had an odd taste but the crab and corn bisque was rich and delicious - worth going back for that alone. The other delicious food we ate was the fresh bread with pesto dipping sauce; we couldn’t get enough of that! The papardelle alla bolognese was average at best. As most Carmel restaurants, average overall food for too-high prices.

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BD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Good atmosphere. Reasonable prices for the location.

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CG
Detroit
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing service. The octopus appetizer and scallop entree was very tender and flavorful. Definitely will be back!

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OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food with over the top service. Owners/Management check on you multiple times throughout the meal. Truffle Mushroom soup is spectacular! There was a small issue with my entree, waiter offered to bring me anything on the menu I wanted as a substitute and brought it promptly then the owner comes back with a corrected version of my entree that he went back in the kitchen and personally cooked himself even after the waiter had brought out a second entree for me. That’s what I call service! Don’t miss out on this restaurant!

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F
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful dinner, very friendly, professional staff. Lamb filet, mussels, beet salad, beef short ribs, all delicious.

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JG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Actually I'm surprised to be writing this as the restaurant was beautiful and the service excellent. Everything was fine except that I ordered the frutti di mare and something about it tasted off. There was a very bad smell and taste. I had trouble identifying what it was but it literally reminded me of a sewer and left a lingering bad aftertaste. I made a slight complaint when we were finishing up and they removed it from our bill which was very kind. I was really disappointed.

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CB
Greensboro
13 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice place, great host, great service and great food !! Our meals were very good, crab bisque was excellent , wife had scallops and they to were very good. I had the king salmon and it was very tasty. We also got the bread pudding and it was one of the best we have had. Again everyone treated us like family and acted like they really were glad we came to visit them. Thanks for a nice evening!!

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OT
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Too much noise for me second half of my dinner time on this visit due to the arrival of 2 families with very several young children next to me. Cute kids, but i should have asked to be moved to the back section of the restaurant where it is usually calmer. My bad! I'm glad they welcome children so nicely, some don't...
As always, food snd service outstanding....they truly make EVERYONE feel a home and pampered. One of my top 5 favs in Carmel. Their scrumptious cream of mushroom soup is a MUST!

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EF
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice! Delicius food! Value! Great pasta and seafood!

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B
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful atmosphere and top notch service. My husband and I had dinner here on our honeymoon and the host brought us champagne! They were all so sweet and attentive, and the food was excellent. We enjoyed the live performers serenading all of the guests at their tables.

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JA
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing experience. Their food was great but their customer service was outstanding. Not only would I recommend this place we will be back again.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Recomended for us from friends. Perfect, tasty, nice ambience

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