The Portage is a gastropub located in the Irving Park neighborhood of Chicago. It is decorated with trendy lighting, contemporary artwork and large windows that allow for plenty of natural light. The overall atmosphere is laid-back and casual.
The Portage is open for both brunch and dinner and has an eclectic menu of pub and soul food. Popular dishes include butternut squash and mushroom pot stickers, chocolate pretzel bread pudding, grilled skirt steak and roasted Miller Farms Amish chicken. In addition, The Portage offers a wide variety of coffee and after-dinner beverages for guests to choose from. Desserts change throughout the year, so guests can enjoy seasonal treats like the pumpkin cupcake.
I love this place but something has to be done about the seating. If you end up in the middle tables you are constantly bumped into whenever anyone walks by. We asked to be moved to a corner table and were told it was taken by a party who had just walked in the door. It settled down a bit after the 2 families with toddlers left (which I cannot blame the restaurant for the shrieking of the children). However they have a back room which I have asked to be moved to on a different visit. and they wouldn't do it saying it wasn't set up.
I truly love this restaurant and hope for its success. However they have to make the atmosphere less chaotic so one can have a conversation.
Thank goodness we refused the table in the main area of the restaurant and dined in the tiny back room. If we had not I doubt we could have heard each other during dinner and enjoyed our dinner conversation. The food was excellent from an appetizer of French fries to the salads and entrees. The house made ice cream is very good. Tables are very close together and your conversation can easily be heard at other tables and you can hear their conversations.
Great service and inventive menu options.
I've been to The Portage several times. It's good, but I've never been blown away. I went there recently on a Sunday night so it wasn't busy. We ordered from the cocktail menu, which took some time because the cocktails are lengthy lists of ingredients that don't always sound like they go together. We got our appetizers before the cocktails arrived, and I happened to see the young bartender working tediously at the drinks. I appreciate the freshly squeezed lime juice, but the end result was hardly worth the effort. I'll just order beer or wine if I ever go back. The waiter thought he was being helpful by reciting exactly what was already on the menu, but he wouldn't tell us what was popular or good, so we ordered burgers (which were excellent), as was the wine and the coffee. I found the whole experience a bit pretentious for what it actually was.
Intimate, warm and cozy. This neighborhood gem is a surprising find for the area. Reservations aren't always needed, but the restaurant is small so get them to be safe. My husband and I recently introduced friends to the restaurant who loved it., and we were reminded again of how good it is. We also like eating at the bar which part of the front room. It can get loud if it is full because it is small, so if you want a very quite restaurant, go elsewhere. If you want style, charm, warmth and some energy along with an interesting menu, try The Portage. The staff is very friendly and attentive.
My wife and I celebrated valentines there. Considering the restaurant is located in a low-key neighborhood, overall, the food and ambiance was very good. I will go back. :)
My wife and I went here for Valentines Day this year. They had a special menu for the holiday and it was amazing!
I loved the food, very polished and creative, but the service was some of the best I've ever had outside of Michelin star rated restaraunts. You truly felt well cared for. Thanks.
The Portage is a great neighborhood spot that serves outstanding food. Definitely not what you would expect when you see it from the outside. Service is great; food phenomenal. If you haven't been there -- go check it out. Can't wait to go back.
My wife and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary at The Portage, and we truly enjoyed the experience. The food was exquisite, and the waitstaff were superb. Kudos to all at The Portage! We'll be back soon!
Great Place. True neighborhood place. Friendly owners, great food And awesome beer and wine list. Be sure to have a reservation on weekends because it is small and the word is out on how awesome it is!
Excellent food, good service, friendly place. Convenient parking.
Tuna & skirt steak were delicious.
Table near the door was drafty in the cold winter weather. Otherwise, an excellent choice.
We were really looking forward to this meal, but left thinking it was so-so. First, the space itself. This is a cozy restaurant and the noise level is higher than I expected. It is also cramped. We were seated at a two top that was at the crossroads of the dining area and bar, plus the direct path to the kitchen. Not terribly comfortable or conducive to a romantic conversation. Next, the service. We felt hurried through the meal and our server seemed more interested in turning the table, rather than helping us have a good experience. Finally, the food. We had the dates which were very good to start. We had a couple of pork,dishes which were good, but not very memorable. The desert was nice, but again not memorable. In fact, the highlight of the meal was the cocktail-- have the English 75. We were hoping for a neighborhood gem to frequent, but this one fell a bit short. We will try again, in hopes this was simply an off night.
We've been to The Portage several times and have introduced several of our friends to the restaurant and I guess the best compliment you can give a restaurant would be that your friends report that they have been going to the restaurant on other occasions without you.
It is small and sometimes "tight", and when guests linger (who wouldn't want to) reservations can run a bit behind, but with a good cocktail and a nice conversation with friends, the time passes and the food is worth the wait.
Quay is always welcoming and gracious and the service is consistently smooth and efficient.
What more can a diner ask for in this neighborhood gem.
Food was fantastic! So much flavor in everything we had!