Portland >Food & Dining > Carafe
200 SW Market St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720145.512167 -122.678416
Neighborhoods: Neighbors West - Northwest, Downtown
Carafe – We have gone to this restaurant many times in the past 10 years and have been very pleased with the service and the food. We went with another couple tonight (first time for them) and couldn't have more displeased. The food was over priced and lacking (e.g. scallops priced at $21 and served two scallops with no side dish, , flank steak inedible, chewy). When the wait person was confronted about the dissatisfaction with the food he did not provide any empathy with our dissatisfaction. In fact he would not remove the item from the bill. The most difficult part of the evening was his confrontation when we left. He became very hostile. NEVER AGAIN!
Don't go for the service – I've gone during happy hour the last two Friday's and both times had terrible service. The first time there was a younger male waiter that wasn't the least bit friendly and seemed very much in a hurry. There were many empty tables. The second time we had an older waiter, Matt I think, who was one of the rudest servers I've ever encountered. He had no manners- called me honey once from several feet away. He laughed at my friend when she asked if there were any lean (low fat) happy hour menu items. When I asked if they could leave cheese off a small portion of her mushroom plate (we had talked about sharing it) he loudly proclaimed that I shouldn't be dictating how her food is served and basically scoffed and acted like my request was rude. My friend didn't say anything because I think she was perplexed after he laughed at her earlier. He simply had no manners and why bother going to eat someplace to be treated poorly? I won't go again.
food is lacking – I think this place would be better if it wasn't in a shopping mall/business park setting...
Fabulous Meal! – Our dinner club ate here on Saturday night and it was absolutely fabulous. From the moment we arrived at the bar and were served our drinks from the great staff to the service in the restaurant.
The chef's special pork dish with pork cooked three ways was fantastic. i think i had the best meal at the table! My friends might argue with me though. We appreciated the waiter's suggestions which were perfect and we had a great evening talking and relaxing. Just like a European meal--no rush!
We will be back again with our friends from France and when the weather is nicer so we can imagine we are on the streets of Paris again enjoying the bistros, watching the trafic go by.
Amazing Happy Hour – I've been to Carafe no less than 10 times, all for dinner or happy hour, and have always had a good experience with the staff and the food. It's unpretentious-- burgers, frites, croque monsieurs, mussels, and hangar steaks. For a casual place, service comes at the right time, and I have been allowed to proceed at my own pace (thank goodness- I dislike when the bill comes before I'm done eating!) Happy hour has great deals and you can get an amazing amount of tasty food and drinks for a very reasonable price.
FANTASTIC! – I've eaten at Carafe on several occassions but lunch recently was truly outstanding. I had a simple salad to start and a superb black cod for my entree. Everything was magnificently prepared and absolutely scrumptious! The service was attentive and friendly. Can't wait to go back!
Horrible in everyway – Do not eat here!!!!. This restaurant is a joke. They do not answer their phones till 4:15 on Saturdays so you have no way to make reservations on the same day that you would like to eat. My wife and I left them a message asking if their was any seating and they never called us back to say they were full. They instead let us drive all the way into downtown to be told that we were out of luck. I do not know if this is a sick game or if they are just rude, but either way I would tell everyone I know to never eat here. Furthermore I saw one very angry customer while I was there when they told her the restroom is in the building they are connected to and that they only have one key. I guess if you have to use the facilities you just have to wait, since they do not have their own bathroom.
The place for a snack before the Opera and dinner afterward – My wife and I attended La Traviata at the Zeller Auditorium last Friday night, and we dined at Carafe both before and afterward. We have eatten at Carafe numerous times the past 4 years, and we have always found the food and service to be excellent (my wife is a professionally trained chef, and we dine out often). We arrived at the restaurant, prior to the show, without reservations, and we were quickly seated. We told our server we would be attending the opera that evening, and that we were looking to have a small bite before the show. Our server suggested a couple of dishes, and my wife and I shared the tureen of rabbit- it was tasty; served with a small dish of tomato relish that was a perfect compliment to the rabbit. We set a reservation for after the show before we left the restaurant, and once again upon our return, we were promptly seated. The menu after the opera was a limited offering of classic Bistro fare, and my wife and I each dined on the steak frites. The food was perfectly prepared, and the wine we chose to have with our meal was the perfect compliment. Speaking of wine, their wine list is one of the reasons we dine at Carafe. They offer a solid selection of great wines, from around the world, at great prices, as well as select higher end wines, should you desire something that is a step up. Upon completing our after opera meal, we booked dinner reservation for 4 a few weeks in advance of a visit from friends coming from Minneapolis. Our friends have only been to Portland once before, and we look forward to sharing one of our favorite Portland places with them!
Customer Service Abysmally Rude – was attending Phantom Of the Opera with a young friend from Peru. I asked the parking attendant at the lot adjacent to Carafe where we could grab some tea or coffee pre-show. He recommended Carafe and we went in throught their open patio and sat at an empty table. For maybe 10 min the wait staff ignored us until I had to flag down someone who might have been a manager. She told me we were probably being ignored because we didn't "Wait to be seated." I apologized for our oversight, telling her we didn't realize we'd come into the restuarant the "wrong way." She said she'd find a server for us. The woman at the hostess desk came over and told us that if we were attending the show there would be no time for us to have a meal. I told her that all we wanted was a beverage. She walked away and I asked her for a menu. With an attitude of extreme ire, she grabbed a menu and slammed in on our table and huffed off. I flagged down a male staff member to ask him if he was our server. He said he was the bus boy but when I described the hostess's behaviour he said he'd serve us our tea. He did so and we were humbly grateful! A waitress named Cheryl came over to complete the serviice, and she also had a very rude manner about her. I asked her what we had done wrong in order to incense the staff so much. She told us that most people know to come into the front door of a restuarant, then she snitted off. Over all, the entire experience ruined an evening and caused my Latin American friend to feel that perhaps somehow his skin color was objectionable.
Disappointing – Friends visiting from out of town chose Carafe based on proximity to the Keller and the reviews online, but I found out meal rather disappointing. The "specials" menu was handwritten and photocopied, then stuck into the existing menus--very unprofessional. The 3 of us ordered the salmon, porkchop, and vegetable sandwich. The salmon portion was tiny, though my friend seemed to enjoy. The vegetable sandwich came out covered in cheese (my friend has to eat it with a knife & fork) and minimal vegetables--not was she was looking for in a "healthy" choice. My pork chop was under-cooked and overly fatty, though the sauce & flavor was excellent--I would have liked to been able to eat more. The accompanying mashed potatoes (with bacon, snap peas, and fava beans) were completely bland. It tasted like no seasoning at all had been added. Our dessert ("petit fours" and profiteroles) were deeply uninspiring. Rather than traditional petit fours, we received a plate of boring cookies that could have come from Costco. The profiteroles also tasted like baseic frozen cream puffs. Service started out pleasant, but as the pre-show rush kicked in, our waitress disappeared, and we ended up being served by other staff (including the hostess). The only really positive thing about the experience was the generous 1/4 L of merlot. Otherwise, the evening was a resounding failure. I would not recommend Carafe, nor would I return.
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