Portland >Food & Dining > Wilfs Restaurant and Bar
800 NW Sixth Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720945.528343 -122.677337
Neighborhoods: Old Town - Chinatown
Went to Wilf's last night. We'll probably never go back. Here's why; When we arrived we didn't have a reservation and the hostess/mgr said in a rough tone (no smile) "it would have been better if we had one." Even though there was hardly anyone in there. I ordered the "table side" steak diane and my husband ordered the pork loin. What a joke! The steak was already cooked before it came out. Smiley was now our steak cook. A token flame and some melted butter was added to complete the "table side facade." The gravy tasted like it came out of a can. The mashed potatoes were inundated with horseradish. Great if you like horseradish. I like to taste the potatoes. Buttery would be nice. I asked if the pork loin was tender and juicy. It was neither. Accompanying the pork "untenderloin" was a hockey-puck looking, dark, overcooked, something that we couldn't tell what it was. The veggies looked curly and fancy but were cold, thinly sliced, and tasteless. The fact is, this place has seen better days and it's sad. The whole place needs to be modernized, brightened up, and menu revamped to appeal to the majority of savvy diners. It is way too over priced for the quality of food you get. Robert Irvine of the Food Channel... Wilf's needs you!
Went to this establishment this week. Servers were rude and seemed annoyed we were there. We tried to use a Groupon and were definitely treated like second class citizens. The food was immensely overpriced and mediocre at best. I would have to say this has been my worst dining experience bar none. If you want good food and good service, don't bother with this place.
My husband and I were taking the train, and decided to try this restaurant in the afternoon during our layover. We were told that Wilf's is busiest and best when they have live entertainment, but we were fine with a quiet afternoon of dining while they were not as busy. I thought this restaurant had a plush design, but the food was pretty blah, even by my forgiving standards. The atmosphere is strangely upscale for being located next to a train station, and they actually expect you to leave your luggage in an exposed, unprotected alcove right next to the door. Please... all someone has to do is duck in the door and walk five feet to grab a suitcase the next time the seating person walks away from the front podium for a 10-15 minute stretch. My husband and I chose to take our luggage to the table, which caused the seater to frown and instruct us that we could not use our laptops or leave the luggage in the aisles. Twenty minutes later they sat someone in the front who took out her laptop and was served without question. Interesting. We were treated almost as an annoyance, and the service was slow even though there were perhaps seven tables full in the entire restaurant. On the plus side, the waitress was very nice, attentive, and kept our drinks full while we talked and ate, basically saving our dining experience after a very disappointing initial impression. We left smiling, mostly thanks to her. Despite her save, we probably will not return, even when we are taking the train and basically a captive audience.
Amazing! This is one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. The atmosphere is very calming with luxurious decor, conveniently located, and the food is delicious. The entertainment is a perfect complement to the ambiance. The owners were so nice, really welcoming us to their city and their restaurant, as we were visiting portland from boston for the specialty coffee show. Next time I come to portland, this will certainly be my first choice for a re-visit; healthy and tasty food, portions that leave you feeling satisfied, a menu that has something for everyone. I really enjoyed myself, and would advise anyone looking for a quality meal at a reasonable price with wonderful people, good music, and lovely decor to check it out!
A Miss – Cool venue and music, but like watching cloggers try to perform ballet.
For the price, music should not be extra, food and service should be flawless, and cooking table side should be entertaining.
We found the staff less than friendly, in fact, when my husband inquired about the restroom a waiter looked at him like he was an idiot. Mind you, there was no sign, and no obvious door. We were very close, but didn't know you follow the wait staff towards the kitchen.
My husband's steak lacked anything to elevate the flavor above an easy steak Diane 101. and the woman preparing it might as well have been in the kitchen cooking. My fish came never knew the price, menu said market and prepared differently from the menu and the grilled squash at the bottom needed a saw it was so undercooked.
The jazz was wonderful but way too loud and ill mixed. Every time the female vocalist got to the high notes, we wanted to plug our ears. Then of course there is that hidden charge others mentioned. Not the right way to handle it when a couple comes in and there is no music, then it starts and no one tells you it will be added to your already overpriced meal.
Could be a huge success if they would stop trying to pass themselves off as fine dining and just be a cool jazz club!
Hidden cover charge ruined a dessert only outing – Decided to try this place for the first time for dessert only. When asked if we'd like to sit in the bar for music, we said sure. Bananas Foster was on the menu, perfect, done and done! Served tableside. Very nice. Jazz singer was great, seemed to be on break more than she sang though. We were there at the wrong time I guess. Got our bill and they had tacked on a $12 cover charge, $6 per person. We confronted our server, said we didn't see anything stating this. Had we known, we would have waited to try this place for dinner and not just dessert. He didn't care, wouldn't comp it and said the sign was posted outside. In looking for the sign when we left, we noticed it was on a piece of paper propped on a desk in the corner, almost completely out of sight when you come in, especially when there was a group of people standing in front of it. If there is going to be a cover for a place, shouldn't it be posted on the door when you come in or be collected before you enter? All in all, we were caught off guard by a cover charge and it was an otherwise very expensive dessert!
The best quasi-gangster Vega$oid joint in town – I've been going to Wilf's for about 10 years now, usually for drinks and music, but also a few times for dinner. Being a grumpy curmudgeon like myself I occasionally yearn for an Atomic Age, early 60's experience.
Wilf's is the best place in town for a Manhattan and some swinging music while seated in a giant highback red velvet chair.
Most recently I tried the French Onion soup- which led me to the discovery that French Onion soup is one of the things that is good no matter where you go. The table-side preparation of the Caesar's salad and steak Diane was great- the steak's sauce a good deal more 'boozy' than I expected.
I'm a fan of the Banana's Foster too- again prepared and served table side. Butter, sugar, rum and bananas... can't see where you'd go wrong there.
The only thing I'd change is their policy to add a $10 pp cover charge to your food bill- without saying anything about it.
Beware of this and be sure to tip your server- they work hard and deserve it- but no need to give them 25% on the cover charge.
hidden little secret – I took my wife here this last week and was shocked that we'd never been here before. From the moment we walked in the door, we were sat promptly (which doesn't always happen in portland) and our server greeted us momentarily. The food was wonderful. Every bite was delicious. We had the bread pudding which melted in our mouth, the caesar salad that's prepared table side and split 2 entrees. We had the filet mignon and Diane. We were in a meat mood. Both cooked perfectly. We shared a slice of the apple butter cheesecake, the best darn cheesecake we'd ever had. We'll be back Wilfs. Thanks for making our night perfect.
new hangout – I took my girl here for dinner last weekend, the place was packed but our server gave us bottomless attention. The food was so good. We had a caesar done at out table..it was amazing. Where else in Portland can you get food cooked at your table??? Only 2. I love the old schoolness about Wilfs, and its flirty edge. I had the steak diane that was also done table side and my girl had the salmon and it was delicious. We split a slice of chocolate cake, oh my, it was wonderful. All in all, between the two of us and a bottle of wine and a couple cocktails we got out around 140.00 but so worth it. We'll definitely be back. Thanks Wilfs.
Lost little secret – I've lived in Portland for 18 years and I can't believe this is the first time my wife and I have gone to Wilfs. I was given a gift certificate that had expired about 3 weeks before we went and I called to see if they would still honor it and they did, and in all fairness, they should've said no. We had such a great time, the aumbiance was so romantic, the jazz was Richard Arnold and he was WOW!!! My wife and I wanted to get up and dance. The service was so kind and informative and very attentive, we never went without anything the entire evening our server anticipated out every move without us having to prompt him. The menu offered so much to choose from and supported all sustainable meats and fish. We had the flat iron and the prawns that was done tableside, both were excellent. We split a strawberry shortcake and it was perfectly done, not to sweet not to tart. We will definitely go back to visit. Thank you Wilfs for adding a great restaurant to our queue.
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