Food was well served and exquisitely prepared. Menu items were unusual and excellent. Ambience is okay. This is a place to eat. The portions are not overwhelming and one leaves the table feeling very pleased with the experience.
Had dinner for 6 last night. Perhaps I am spoiled by eating in Mediterranean restaurants in Europe, or by my wife's outstanding cuisine, also Mediterranean. I expect to find a chef (at this price) who understands food, selection, preparation, serving. I did not find this at Portabella. Specifically, the rissoto was thin and runny, not firm and chewy like a true rissoto. It was more like a chowder. My wife had fish, recommended by our waiter. Later, during the night, she became quite ill with upset stomach and digestive problems. When we first arrived, we were struck by the very unpleasant odor, a heavy air that permeated everything. My wife hung our clothes outside on the patio for 3 hours today. To be fair, the escargo was good, and we enjoyed a bottle of good wine. I suggest (1) open the windows occasionally (2) learn how to make real rissoto and (3) be sure the fish you serve is fresh.
This restaurant was recommended to us by our hotel concierge. The food was to die for, especially the appetizers, the service was very good and the manager was awesome. We were there with my elderly parents, and they talk about the experience all the time. We will dine at Portabella's anytime we are traveling through St. Louis.
The moment you walk through the doors into the intimate surroundings, you realize the service at Portabella is impeccable. We took far too long to decide what to order, and loved everything that was brought to us. Try the fresh fish - the Mahi Mahi and Yellowfin were amazing! The wine selection is unbeatable. They let us stay far too late, yet made us feel quite welcome.
After recomendation from a friend we decided to take my girlfriend's parents here. The night started out ok as we had bottle of red wine and it was great. We enjoyed the first bottle and decided to get another. When that one came, the owner of the place had my girlfriends father taste it to make sure it was okay. He enjoys wine very much and knows quite a bit about wine quality. As soon as he tasted the second bottle he knew it was not right. It had gone sour. This happens from time to time, no big deal. The owner in a very snooty tone suggested that it was probably the glass she had poured it into. She ended up bringing a new bottle from the cellar and again, the wine was not right but a touch better than before. Since we didnt want to cause a scene we accepted the bottle and continued with our orders. 2 of us had the lobster bisque to start and i must say it was the worst bisque I have ever had. It was thin and extremely bland (gimme Bristols bisque any day!). At this point we had a little bit of bad taste in our mouthes but thought the entrees would make up for it. Wrong! My tilapia must have been boiled in a pot of water..it was spungy and tasteless and there was a quarter inch of water soaking the bottom of my plate. They also served it with french fries....you heard me right, french fries!! They were soggy from the water on my plate. The other 3 people in our party had horrible meals as well. We expressed this to the waitress (who did a fabulous job) and she asked if there was something else she could bring us. At this point we had all lost our appetites so we said we would call it a night. This is where you would expect the owner to try and appease her disatisfied customers. Wrong! She accused of eating our meals even though we took two bites..she then wanted us to pay the entire bill even though none of us ate anything...she made us feel like we were unclassy and doing something wrong. We left hungry and pissed off. Take my advice, eat elsewhere!!!!!!!!!
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