Oozing with charm and hospitality, Portabella is quintessentially Carmel-by-the-Sea. The European eatery is one of Carmel’s most photographed spots, just up from the Cottage of Sweets and front and center on lively Ocean Avenue.
The best part about Portabella is that you will find all of the sophistication of fine French dining without the pretension. While the atmosphere and cuisine are refined the hospitality is wonderfully courteous and modest.
The Mediterranean styled garden patio is perfect for people (and dog) watching while the quaint dining room and enclosed back patio are ideal for those looking for a more private and intimate setting. Insider tip, if you get a chance be sure to snag the dining table near the cozy fireplace and candlelit stairway.
The full bar is an absolute showpiece with gorgeous stonework and up-lighting which can magically change colors as the night and mood evolves. You will want to start off with one of their craft cocktails like the fruity hibiscus martini or a stellar glass of Pinot Noir from their extensive wine selection.
The menu is chock-full of flavors with French, Italian and Spanish roots and with a chef named Jacques Zagouri you know you are in for and authentically French treat! The French and Californian fusion menu is crafted with ingredients of the highest caliber and cooked with taste and satisfaction in mind.
As with any scrumptious meal, the French dining experience begins with warm French bread and fresh pesto sauce; be sure not to overindulge since their appetizer menu is pretty remarkable. Tantalize your taste buds with exotic dishes like pan seared foie gras served with a huckleberry port reduction, beef tenderloin carpaccio with shaved Parmesan or the ahi tuna and salmon tartar served with wasabi mayo.
Salivating yet? Entrées are sure to spark your interest with options like the grilled dry aged ribeye steak, fresh black seabass and oven braised short ribs. Be sure to ask the friendly wait staff (or better yet, the chef himself) for their recommendations, they are more than happy to pass along their favorite dishes.
Recommendations from the Chef
- Appetizers- Grilled octopus served with pearl pasta tabouli and roasted bell peeper almond coulis
- Entrée- Grilled ribeye served with beef au jus, seasonal vegetables and golden mashed potatoes
- Dessert- Profiteroles with homemade foie gras ice cream