Portland >Food & Dining > Grolla Restaurant & Wine Bar
2930 NE Killingsworth St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721145.562613 -122.635076
Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm Sun 4:30pm-9:30pm
Neighborhoods: Concordia, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Sad – When this place opened up in 02 I was amazed, sleepy little spot I took a date to.
She was a neighborhood local and saw that it had just opened. We got the Chef's table and we got our socks knocked off by the amazing service and food pairings.
I will miss this place and if I ever open a spot it will be patterned much off how this was when it was new.
Grolla Closed – I was recommending the restaurant to a friend and it has closed. Too bad. It was a really nice place.
Disappointed – Went to Grolla?s 2 years ago and it was wonderful. I was very disappointed this time. Took family there after bragging about it. We did the Chef?s Taster. Portions were small and left hungry (and I am a woman). The salads were good and the blue cheese tomato soup was fantastic. Everything was off the main menu though with no surprises. We had a risotto ball (don?t now how to describe it) that prior to tasting we asked what it was. A waiter had no clue what it was. Then looked at it again and made up something. When we tasted it we figure it out and it was not what he said at all. It was very, very good though. Clearly there is no one w/ experience with wine anymore. The wine was not paired w/ the food. Two of them I recognized from the grocery store in the ?cheap? section on the shelf. Yuck! Our main waitress was overwhelmed and needed help (more than the waiter that came from the back). She was very nice though. Awkward moments for her and us came with each course due to making us decide which plate we wanted (though we shared everything). We didn?t know what some items were so it was hard to pick and it made it uncomfortable. The setting was nice, but the main seating area too loud to have a conversation (if you want romance, sit it the back by the kitchen?really). I will only try again if the reviews show improvement!
Good food, but pick your own wine selections – I took my son here for his b-day. The atmosphere is gorgeous, warm and inviting. Our servers were attentive and polite but not terribly helpful with recommendations, they seem to be inexperienced with food and wine. We ordered the chef's taster menu which was good but was simply the same things on the menu, there was nothing prepared to match our special preferences. We each received a different item for each course so we sampled each other's plates, so that was nice but there was nothing offered in the chef's menu which wasn't offered on the regular menu. We opted for the accompanying wine samplings and they consistently missed the mark with those. I don't think that anyone in the restaurant actually has any experience with wine and food pairings. We asked for different wine choices with some of the courses and they gave us some small samples to try and we made suggestions along the way which I hope they will use. The food is good, the chef tries to use vegetables grown in their garden which is nice. There is an heirloom tomato salad with olive oil ice cream that is out of this world good. The onion garlic soup is yummy and the sturgeon was also good. The desserts were tasty but uninspired. I think if I return I will order off the menu rather than going with the chef's taster and choose my own wine selections.
Not worth it. – Maybe the chef had an off night? Four of us opted for the chef's choice option with wine pairings. After telling the waiter our food allergies/dislikes and being told sharing was encouraged, we were expecting a tailored meal for each person that could be tasted by all. Instead we received course after course containing items we had expressed a dislike for. Were they trying to prove a point? Did the chef think we had given him too many limitations or that our palates were unrefined? Maybe, but then a brief explanation to that effect would have been respectful of customers spending nearly $100/person for dinner. When a table says they are not "meat adventurous" and one member is nearly vegetarian, a rabbit and venison sausage course seems like a bad idea. We eat out between 3 and 5 nights a week, and I don't get the hype over Grolla.
Very Disappointing – Very disappointed. I've wanted to try this place for years. Sorry to say I won't be trying it again. We went with friends and opted for the 5 course Chef's Taster with the paired wine. The evening began with the waiter asking about dislikes or allergies. He told us the chef sometimes likes to take people on culinary journeys of discovery. To open their eyes to ingredients they only thought they disliked. We should of made him clarify that. They prepared and brought us dishes that specifically incorporated things we told them we DIDN'T like. Lucky us! One small problem - I said I gag on beets because I gag on them. Perhaps the chef could cook something else? Something I might actually enjoy? I was excited to be surprised. With whatever he'd dream up. My only caveat - please steer clear of a couple of things I strongly dislike. Nope. Instead, we paid $90 per person (including tip) to be told "You're wrong. Your palate is unrefined." We were so shocked that it took us until the 4th course to say "Wait a minute, I specifically said I can't eat that." The waiter responded by switching out the plate with someone else's at the table. Seriously. This is a specially prepared meal crafted around your personal like and dislikes?! But it's magically interchangeable with the meal across the table?! Unbelievable. And the wine pairings? A joke. Everyone at the table shared the same wine with each course, regardless of whether we were served vegetarian risotto, scallops, steak, or venison. The waiter asked us before each course "What do you feel like now? Time for red?" Seriously? We're paying extra for this? There was no consideration or thought or explanation given to pairing anything with anything for any reason whatsoever. There are a lot of wonderful places to dine in Portland. With great food and knowledgeable and courteous staff. And sadly we could of enjoyed a couple of those places for the time and money we wasted at Grolla.
Ambient Atmosphere, Fabulous Food & Impeccable Service!!! – Gluten-free at its very best! We opted for the milk-braised pork and pan-seared scallops... both of which melted in our mouths... Wow!! With just enough room to share a desert, we choose the flourless chocolate cake... can you believe it, flourless?!? The wine was exceptional and paired per Chef's recommendation. Our server was very attentive, answered all of questions and was a joy to have waited on us. We will back very soon for the Chef's Taster, can't wait! Thanks Grolla!!
Also, a friend of mine just turned me on to Restaurant's website; they sell certificates for Grolla, along with a lot of other good restaurants. I checked it out and for $10 you can purchase a $25 gift certificate!!
It's like dining being in Europe – The atmosphere is wonderful, the wait staff is attentive and personable without being pushy or intrusive, the food is everything you could hope for, and Chris (the chef/owner) is charming. We love doing the pre-fix menu, and leaving the choices up to the chef. The fact that each diner gets a different dish for each course makes it especially enjoyable, and allows you to share and swap. I have no reason to go to the Pearl when we have restaurants like Grolla on our side of the river!
Worst service. Mediocre food. – Hubby and I travel a lot and when we know we’re going to a specific place, I search out wonderful reviews from like-minded people who love to eat. Grolla's sounded perfect. On 9/12 we met friends to share what we thought was going to be a great dining expeience.
The service was unbearably slow. When we first sat down, Josh came over to us and took our orders for appetizers. 30 minutes later, appetizers were served. There was only one other table dining at that time.
Then Josh forgot about us. We kept trying to catch his eye, but he was engrossed in a conversation with a couple sitting at the bar. He finally remembered us and asked for our dinner orders. Every question we asked about what was on the menu was given the answer that he didn’t know. He didn’t even offer to find out.
I truly wanted to order the Tasting Menu, but he said that I couldn’t unless everybody else did also. Nowhere on Grolla’s website or on the menu does it say this. I was so disappointed.
When we finally got our entrees, we thought we were going to faint from hunger. Our server didn’t even offer any extra bread, or anything to keep us going. The entrees did not have the ingredients described on the menu.
We finished our entrees and wanted to try the goat cheese cheesecake for dessert. Josh was still caught up in his bar conversation and one of us finally interrupted him to ask dessert. We placed two orders of the cheesecake thinking we would share them between the four of us. Imagine our surprise when each $8.00 slice of cake was big enough for two bites. And imagine our friend’s dismay when we were charged $7.00 for each bottle of water.
On their website it says: “When you walk through our door, you will be treated as an honored guest of our family. We offer the hospitality of the old world where dinner is a joyous, social occasion which brings friends and family together.”
We certainly did not have this experience.
Great food, wine and people. – I've eaten here several times and it never disappoints. Great wine selection too. The owner is a very genuine, engaging person who strives to make your dinner great.
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