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Ocean Ave, Monte Verde St, Carmel, CA 93921
(831) 624-4395
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Ranked #10 of 152 restaurants in Carmel
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Doing business, Outdoor seating
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: In Italian, PortaBella means beautiful door.In Carmel, it's a threshold well worth crossing.During the day, passerby on Ocean Avenue are lured in by the sight of diners happily engaged in food and conversation on the picturesque flagstone patio. At night, heady aromas and laughter waft innocuously out the famed front door each time it is opened.Once inside, you're instantly transported to the sun countries of the Mediterranean with "La Cuisine du Soleil."Inspired by regional dishes, the menu takes you on a gustatory tour of Italy, Southern France and Spain, complemented by a wine list offering an excellent selection of California wines.
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254 reviews from our community

81% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011 via mobile

We were promised a table and in front of our eyes it was given away - no apology at all Very very ignorant!

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Dallas, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

We recently vacationed in Carmel with our two daughters, ages 4 and 6. We researched potential restaurants that were "kid friendly" and had a list prepared when we arrived. While our girls are typically very polite at restaurants, since Carmel is more of an adult getaway, we wanted to be extra careful. We were SO impressed with Portabella - we... More

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Garden Grove, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2011 via mobile

This place is perfect for both lunch and dinner.  Will go to this restaurant again the next time we visit Carmel with or without our dog. Thanks to Yelp reviews we chose this place to take our dog with us for a nice dinner in Carmel last Thursday 5/19.  We came with high expectations and the restaurant exceeded them all.   Below please see how I came up with my rating for the price we paid. Must go here for great dinner on your vacation. Food 5/5 from starter to main course, dessert, and drinks, we loved them all. -Roasted Corn and Crab Bisque -Dungeness Crab and Roasted Pepper Cakes  -Paella Valenciana - first time eating paella and it was delicious and full of flavor.  -Capellini di Limone al Sapore di Mare   (Lemon-scented Pasta * Scallops, Mussels, Lobster * Prawns)   ** both dishes were of good portions especially the caepllini di Mare that was filled with lots of prawns and scallops  -Tiramisu fresh berries -very tasty coctail that's like a long island iced tea, but is very light with rum, iced tea, and pineapple juice.  Must try this if you have dinner here. Service 5/5 Dog Friendly staff 5/5  The three of us were referred to as "the three of you" Ambiance and experience - 5/5 From the outside the place is a charming cottage with beautiful flowers everywhere.  The host (with a charming accent) heard us and came all the way outside to invite us in.  He said "please, will the three of you come inside".  Walked through the main dinning area where we saw 2 other couples also with their dogs one poodle one terrier.  We opted for the back patio for more privacy.  Lovely music filled the air, candles lit, and flowers on every table... and best of all our little guy was constantly showered with attention from both the host and waitress with the water dish, compliments and all.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2011

I've no doubt the lunch market in Carmel is very competitive but Portabella, located right on Ocean Avenue, must be one of the best, for romantic atmosphere, choice of indoor and alfrseco dining and delicious real Mediterranean style cooking. Very nice. We'll be back.

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Fremont, California
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
109 restaurant reviews
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2011

We really enjoyed our dinner here. The entire staff was very friendly and helpful and I appreciated the wine recommendations. The owner was greeting people as they came into the restaurant and we had an enjoyable conversation. This is a great place to take a dog as there is an enclosed, heated area with about 6 tables for dogs and... More

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Pasadena, California
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2011

My husband and I take our two Shelties to Carmel at least once or twice a year, and we always have at least one dinner at this consistently excellent restaurant. For diners with dogs there is an enclosed covered patio, so no sitting outside in the cold. We took several friends on our most recent trip and everyone loved their... More

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Monterey, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2011

Three of us dined at Portabella tonight. One companion had the Rack of Lamb Provençale and devoured it with a smile on his face. Another had the Filet Mignon aux Poivres (a three-peppercorn crust) , and though he commented on how spice the aux poivre was, he ate every morsel. I ordered the Capellini di Limone al Sapore di Mare... More

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Top Contributor
709 reviews 709 reviews
469 restaurant reviews
1,676 helpful votes 1,676 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2011

Last night we had the pleasure of dining at Portabella while in Carmel. The ambiance is cozy and charming, we did not have a reservation on a Sat. night and we were promptly seated in the main dining room. The Crab Bisque was creamy and delicious, the Salmon with Risotto and Ratouille was excellent, we paired our meal wtih a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Indpls., IN
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

There store many great restaurants in Carmel and this is one of them! We went because of a couple of recommendations from the locals and were not dissapointed. Food was great, service was average, but we will return! P.S. If you are traveling with your pet, they are VERY pet friendly!

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Pebble Beach, California
19 reviews 19 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2011

We went with a group of friends on a holiday weekend. I have wated tables in the past and bartended as well and am very forgiving of extenuating circumstances. Unfortunately, one of the kitchens was supposedly down and we ended up waiting 90 minutes for our food. When our food arrived my chicken was overcooked and not very tasty. I... More

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