Way over hyped & over priced. The atmosphere is spare and lovely, although the room closest to the kitchen has a warmer feeling to it (and not just because of proximity to the ovens). The menu is small, but that shouldn't matter if the items are all of high quality. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case. The risotto was overcooked and mushy. When I mentioned it to the waitress, she looked at me like I couldn't possibly know what I'm talking about (you know, being italian and a cook). The asparagus were coated in this coagulating cheese sauce that didn't enhance, but covered up the sweet flavor. And the pasta was too salty (and I like salty usually). The dessert was divine, however, a lemon ricotta cake that wasn't overly sweet or overly adorned. True Italian. The service is not very attentive and ultimately the prices don't support the experience.
Most Underrated Food In Portland. The food here is fabulous - the dishes are always innovative, the ingredients are fresh & local and the menu is sensitive to the seasons. We've always found the service to be nothing but attentive and expert. My only complaint is the atmosphere. The owner(s) could, without question, benefit from the involvement of a professional designer. There's no soul to the interior and it feels amateurish, which is a detriment to the unmatched quality of the food.
Eatery delivers true Italian flavors made with high-quality ingredients and attention to detail..
Careful details abound in the two dining rooms and bar, including subtle wall tones, simple place settings and medieval-meets-modern light fixtures. Simple Piedmont cuisine is flavorful, homey and rich. Start off with carne cruda, the Italian version of steak tartar, drizzled with pungent olive oil. Pasta dishes include rich sausage ragu that just coats the thin, fresh noodles. Entrees include lamb chops with artichoke gratin or pork chops with gorgonzola polenta.
Excellent Food, Laughable Service. I made a reservation for a romantic dinner at Alba. The ambience wasn't conducive to romance, as it was very loud. The food was absolutely divine, with one of the best steaks I've ever tasted. My biggest complaint was the service. It was very much in the McMenamins' school of thought: overally casual and not very attentive. At one point, both my partners' and my glass of water was empty. A server filled one glass and left the other empty (it was nearly touching the full glass). The wine pour was also very disappointing. A $9 glass was more like a sip from a wine tasting.
Tutto Bene!. I dined by myself and enjoyed the Carne Crudo as an appetizer. It was prepared very simply and beautifully. I had the duck breast with the olive sauce as my entree and my plate was polished with a few pieces of bread. I enjoyed the 1998 Produttori del Barbaresco for a very reasonable price. I am quite satisfied with this restaurant and recommend it to all.
High quality, good taste, reasonable price..
My husband and I are trying all the restaurants in portland, we found this restaurant from citysearch.
We had Mozzarella cheese as appetizer, the flavour of the herbs and fresh tomato was very good in the dish. You can tell the chief picked vegetable carefully. All the vegetables look beautiful and fresh. I had duck, my husband had lamb. We both enjoy our food, the duck cooked perfectly, the vege in the dish works very well with the duck, they bring out the flavour from each other. This restaurant defintely has a really good chief. It is a rare find in the portland city. Especialy for under $20 per person. We had dessert after the meal, it has nice flavour of fruit and chocolate, unlike other places either too sweet or too rich. We think this one is the best italian restaurant in portland.
Tasty!. Alba was a great treat - the wait staff was incredible, and our food was awesome! Portions were perfect. This is a place we will definitely visit again! The only thing slightly lacking was the decor of the dining room - it seemed a little drab, and could have a warmer atmosphere
Exquisite!. We're so happy to have such a high quality restaurant as Alba in our neighborhood. We have eaten there on numerous occasions and have always been delighted with the food, service and wine. The pasta is the best in town -- the tajarin melts in your mouth. My wife always goes for the agnolotti --tiny pasta pillows stuffed with cheese or meat and spinach. The gratins of jerusalem artichoke or cardoon are two of the most memorable dishes we've had anywhere. The sweetbreads are unsurpassed and the chef does wonderful things with duck and fish. The dessert chef has hit his stride with some of the finest gelati and sorbets in town. My favorite is the caramel gelato. The menu changes frequently so that we always look forward to new taste adventures.
Bland. ~We are a dinner group of women exploring Portland in a culinary fashion~ We explored this restaurant on a beautiful summer night. The atmosphere here was bland, the food had inspiring prospect in writing but did not deliver it too was bland, and over priced. One shining perk: The service was outstanding!! If you want great service but boring food this place is for you. Sorry to the lovely folks at Alba, we cannot reccomend this restaurant. ~RR
Dining room needs punch. Went here with some friends - good crab appetizer and loved my hanger steak (even though the waiter told us it was close to a NY Strip - he was wrong, it was a flank steak) and potatoes. The dining room is kind of cold, sparse and boring though. If they made it a bit more cozy, you'd want to stay longer.
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