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
Mixed review... – The other three members of my group raved about the food (lamb & duck) and ambience at Grolla. I on the other hand was very disappointed. The portions were very small. I had the wild game sausage plate which was advertised as being served with mango salsa, slaw, and potato salad. Sounded good to me but the sausage was two small links of a tasteless meat, the salsa was just a yellow smear on the plate, the potato salad was four small chunks of boiled potato, and the slaw was not like any other slaw I have ever eaten. The deserts were small as well.
The service was just OK and it was a bit expensive.
best upscale food in portland – Good food is hard to come by...even at places you have to know Donald Trump or Lindsey Lohan to get into. Anyone can throw cream, butter and a truffle into anything and make it "tasty." But, unique kitchen artistry cannot be obtained at cordon bleu or by apprenticing for a food network chef. It only comes with loving devotion to the taste, smell & texture of each ingredient.
So, let's talk: GROLLA'S happy hour from 5-6:30.
"Charred Roma Tomatoes marinated in a roasted garlic and sweet red wine vinegar are stuffed with pine nuts, capers and red onions then served on mixed greens with a charred tomato vinaigrette."
One medium tomato stuffed with all the things mentioned above, plus a roasted garlic clove or two, also a tiny drizzle of olive oil and a few sprigs of rosemary. It was as if each ingredient had been prepared on its own, then stuffed into the tomato before it was lightly charred (a great, tasty sear). The multitude of flavors and textures was a delight. I was in shock. More?
Next...$4 Polenta Cakes:
"Fried gorgonzola stuffed polenta cakes with dried apricot-almond preserve."
Delicious. Perfect balance of flavors and textures - sweet and sharp & crunchy and smooth. Not heavy at all. So many different flavors complementing each other on one plate. yowza!
Then I had a dessert pear that had some sort of iced wine grape soak and a scattering of walnut pieces with a not-too-sweet brown sauce - yum!
I left with a $27 tab (incl 2 glasses of wine) and this was BY FAR the best food I have had in Portland after a year of trying the supposed best restaurants. I left feeling I had eaten the most delicious while nutritious and creatively prepared food I have had in a long time.
Oh, and hey-all the ingredients are from their personal farm or local growers. And the restaurant is gluten free-so the chef seeks out alternative flours, which seems to work out quite favorably.
Lovely Summer Dining! – We had a group of 8 a few nights ago at Grolla and had an absolutely wonderful evening. We did the 5 course tasting menu and given the size of our group, got to taste pretty much everything on the menu. The food was wonderful (organic, local and delicious) and the pace of the service was "European" and very appropriate for a five course meal. Rushing through a meal like this would be silly so don't come if you are in a hurry! The atmosphere of this restaurant in the summer is lovely. The many french doors are thrown open to sidewalk tables so no matter where you are sitting, you can take advantage of the warm summer air. The neighborhood is eccletic and a nice change of pace from the standard downtown, Pearl District scene. And we were so surprised to find out that the menu is gluten free. I could tell that my gourmet parents were nervous when this was mentioned by our waiter, but I promise that you will not have the slightest idea that the meal you are served is gluten free. For those of you with gluten intolerance you will rejoice and for those of you who can eat anything, prepare yourselves for a great meal!
Not impressed – I ate at Grolla last night and found it disappointing.
What was good: interior design, ambiance, pollenta appetizer, pan seared scallops entre, wine, interesting neighborhood
What was not good: tuna with tapenade & mashed potatoes entree was confused, desserts were very disappointing, our waiter seemed to have a very hard time keeping up with just three tables and was not very knowledgeable, no music, only one vegetarian entree on menu
For the cost I do not coonsider it a good value and do not plan to go back although overall it was fine/okay.
Absolutely stellar tasting menu – We picked the restaurant since the menu reflected a good use of local ingredients in mediterranean classics. When we arrived as a group of seven we were immediately attracted to the chef's tasting menu since we were all food junkies. The service was good (perhaps a little slow had it not been for great dinner conversation). Each course was even better than the last with the chef coming out to hear our comments and designing his next selection based on our feedback. The wine pairings were not always excellent but always interesting - providing more stimulus for discussion. Having eaten at top end restaurants worldwide like Charlie Trotter's, etc. I would have to say this small quaint little bistro can hold a candle to any of them. The chef seemed to adapt quickly to our tastes and preferences but still showed the full range of his talents and the local ingredients. This is definitely a can't miss on any Portland trip.
Wonderful Find! – Christopher and Angela Lachmann have it nailed. We were treated to a most engaging menue, ranging from a delectable smoke-infused tomato/gorgonzola soup, shrimp ceviche, seafood scallops and venison. . . all so amazingly tantalizing that flavors seemed to literally dance across our tastebuds; each creating another undeniably delightful nuance. We ordered and then felt compelled to share our selections, each determined that our choice surely could not be compared. Pure fun and folly! Flawless presentation, masterfully prepared, throughout.
Christopher and his young daughter greeted us, and this, on Father's Day. The service and wine selection, at Christophers hand, left us feeling comfortable and well-cared for--as though we had made a new friend. We will not hesitate to return... our only concern is that this little, low-key jewel, out on Killingsworth will become a veritble hot spot.... If, however, you are stuck in the Pearl.... well, we'll be happy to consider Grolla our personal treasure.
Destination dining worthy! – Grolla was the perfect introduction to Portland dining, while I was on vacation. My girlfriend and I both took part in the five course tasting menu, and it was a nice change to let the chef choose our courses. The highlights were a roasted beet salad on the first course which was exellent. The second course were two types of Mushroom soup, a white bean and a chowder which were both hearty and tasty. The fish course was new for both of us, I had a calamari steak, which was suprisingly tender, she had the mussels which just melted in her mouth. For the main course the Lamb Osso Bucco was dark and rich but just fell away from the bone, our favorite dish though was her Beef over Rissoto with Raspberries, and what I believe was a raspberry-balsamic reduction, too good. Dessert was simple and classic with Creme Brulee and a flourless chocolate truffle cake with raspberry sauce. It may not be the hot place to go, and the neighborhood is a bummer, but it's worthy of being a destination dining experience.
great food, great service – My wife and I recently enjoyed a great, romantic evening with great food. While we were a bit hesitant based on recent reviews, we were both quite happy to see that, if there were any recent glitches in service, these have since been addressed and the food is top-notch. My entree was among the best I've had recently, and the style of the kitchen was both interesting and very satisfying--the chef's menu offered great variety amidst unpredictability, all while taking into account one's specific dietary preferences. The service, while attentive, was not intrusive--it struck the perfect balance. The only con's to the evening? It is, admittedly, a tad drafty in winter. And the wine pairings, while plentiful (we had a glass each of sparkling white, pinot gris, syrah, malbec, crianza, and port) were, except for the crianza, unfortunately a bit mediocre (although pairing the same wine simultaneously to a vegetarian's and a carnivore's courses is, admittedly, a difficult task). However, the food was excellent and the service superb. We will definitely be going back in the summer, when the kitchen will have a different set of ingredients to work with.
Big bummer – 9.6 rating led me to pass over Higgins for out-of-town dinner guest. The owner was sweet and tried hard to make it up to us, and I love to support a sweet neighborhood spot. But it was an atrocious experience. Service was dreadful, waiter was incompetent. Didn't tell us what they'd run out of till we started to order. We finally asked, after people who sat after us started getting served, to find that the kitchen had "lost"our order. The house salad was pedestrian, the soup cold, as were 2 of 3 entrees, sauces all unctuously sweet & heavy, "fire-roasted" yellow squash underdone, boring AND bitter. Friends we sent there who showed up same time were similarly miserable, kept waiting for their table and then food for almost an hour. To paraphrase Dolly Parton, it has to take a lot of efforrt to be this awful. Did I mention cold & drafty? Good intentions just not enough at those prices.
Great meeting place, great service, good food – My wife and I found Grollas on City Search and decided to try it before going to a concert. We had approximately an hour and a half to get to the concert. When we first walked into the restaurant, we weren't sure what to expect from the surrounding neighborhood. Our misgivings were quickly reversed upon opening the door. All of the tables were handpicked antiques, all set up perfectly and so very different from the table next to it. The restaurant is rather small having seats for only about 30 patrons on about 10 table varying table settings.
Sitting down at a four top, the only other guests were an older couple sitting on the other side of the room. The waiter was quick to greet us and provide the small, yet adequet menus and wine list. I did not get a look at the wine list since I was driving and hate to be tempted with something good. My wife and her friend purchased a very good red of which I cannot recall the name or the price.
The menu included a variety of tastes both in their salads and entrees. I had the Elk which was very good and I would recommend to any meat lover. The prices are somewhat high and the portions seemed small, but the atmosphere and the service is excellent. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone for a meeting place.
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