Clayton >Food & Dining > Portabella Restaurant
15 N Central Ave, Clayton, MO | Directions 6310538.650881 -90.338194
Neighborhoods: Saint Louis, Clayton
Great Place! – Had a really good meal here with the family. All agreed the food and service were great. Will return soon.
Go to a Mushroom Farm First. – Bad news, food OK, but customer treatment and server friendlines in the minus column. Better to seek a good restaurant that enjoys having you rather than doing you a favor.
You're better off going to the Olive Garden, that's how bad it is. – I went to Portabella after hearing about how nice and "upscale" it was. After being there for a half hour, it was clearly not upscale or nice. The waiter was rude; i.e. looking everywhere but the table while he gave his "tonight's specials" spiel, ignoring our table for the table next to us, and placing my napkin on my lap for me which was a complete invasion of personal space. The restaurant is also very lazy because rather than timing out when to bring orders so that they come out at the same time, they insist on bringing your orders as they get to it. Considering they recommend "1.5" small plates per person, bringing them out sporadically is very inconvienient for the costumers if they're in a group. If I wanted "Tapas," I would go down the street to the place called Tapas instead of this half-assed upscale cop-out.
They left one person in our group without a menu, brought another the wrong drink (which they carry with their hands, not a tray) and ignored our table for at least 20 minutes. They might as well have asked to leave, so we did. I wouldn't recommend this restaurant for anyone.
Great Location, Wonderful Food – This was not my first time visiting Portabella. I am a fan of Chef Zoog's, from his upscale restaurant, to his bar across the street, Kilkenny's Pub. The interiors are warm and neutral. You would never know smoking is allowed at the bar, with a see-thru, basement wine cellar to the left of it. Our waiter was welcoming, but a bit too talkative at times. I enjoyed the selections on the menu and the option of choosing which way to have my beef tenderloin prepared (olive oil or wine reduction sauce). There are ample vegetarian options as well. The deserts are sinful (the Creme Brule was wonderful!!). I will for sure go back!
Worst experience I've EVER had! – After recomendation from a friend we decided to take my girlfriend's parents here. The night started out ok as we had bottle of red wine and it was great. We enjoyed the first bottle and decided to get another. When that one came, the owner of the place had my girlfriends father taste it to make sure it was okay. He enjoys wine very much and knows quite a bit about wine quality. As soon as he tasted the second bottle he knew it was not right. It had gone sour. This happens from time to time, no big deal. The owner in a very snooty tone suggested that it was probably the glass she had poured it into. She ended up bringing a new bottle from the cellar and again, the wine was not right but a touch better than before. Since we didnt want to cause a scene we accepted the bottle and continued with our orders. 2 of us had the lobster bisque to start and i must say it was the worst bisque I have ever had. It was thin and extremely bland (gimme Bristols bisque any day!). At this point we had a little bit of bad taste in our mouthes but thought the entrees would make up for it. Wrong! My tilapia must have been boiled in water..it was spungy and tasteless and there was a quarter inch of water soaking the bottom of my plate. They also served it with french fries....you heard me right, french fries!! They were soggy from the water on my plate. The other 3 people in our party had horrible meals as well. We expressed this to the waitress (who did a fabulous job) and she asked if there was something else she could bring us. At this point we had all lost our appetites so we said we would call it a night. This is where you would expect the owner to try and appease her disatisfied customers. Wrong! She accused of eating our meals even though we took two bites..she then wanted us to pay the entire bill even though none of us ate anything...she made us feel like we were unclassy and doing something wrong. We left hungry and mad. Take my advice, eat elsewhere!!!!!!!!!
Very Nice – I enjoyed everything I hast. The restaurant was very nice, but we were seated close to the kitchen which caused some distraction. Also, if I remember correctly, I remember there being stains on the suspended sealing that were a bit off-putting but not terribly obvious. This was a very romantic place to eat that I recommend for a great Italian Meal.
Exceptional house-made pastas and elegant atmosphere perfect for intimate dining. – The Scene
Portabella combines what's best about the city's Italian cuisine with the casual elegance of a New American restaurant. You'll still dine by candlelight, and you'll still want to wear silk and carry that sparkly little handbag (more likely if you're a woman), but you'll be entertained by listening to your companion's conversation rather than watching a legion of waiters squeezing lemons, plating pasta and spooning sauces.
Although Portabella serves exceptional house-made pastas such as chicken ravioli, the restaurant's menu focuses on fish and meat dishes. Chefs Marc del Pietro and Thom Zoog use mushrooms of all types, not just portobello, in many of the entrees. Try, for example, the porcini-encrusted sea bass with earthy oven-dried tomatoes, tender young asparagus and roasted shallots in a portobello mushroom broth.
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