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“Impressed by chef, at chef's bar” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Grill Room and Bar

The Grill Room and Bar
84 Exchange St, Portland, ME 04101-5003
207-774-2333
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Ranked #147 of 540 Restaurants in Portland
Price range: $12 - $30
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse, Bar, Grill
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: If you’re looking for the best steakhouse in Portland, Maine you have come to the right place! The Grill Room features affordable, wood-fired, grilled steaks, delicious pizza and incredible seafood entrees the whole family will love.Chef Lee Harding has dedicated his life to the culinary arts and focuses on using grass fed beef & locally grown meats and produce in his creations. With high ceilings and a big, open kitchen, The Grill Room aims to please with more than just great food at affordable prices. If you have never been dining in Portland, Maine, it is quite an experience! There are so many restaurants to choose from that only award-winning restaurants, like The Grill Room, tend to stand out from the crowd.The Grill Room is the second restaurant founded in Harding’s “The Rooms” brand of restaurants. Since 2008, the Grill Room has been featured in many of Maine’s top publications as a “Best Bet” for Portland Maine food. Come in and try the now famous beef tartare, or a juicy wood-fired pizza or grilled steak. Open seven days a week, The Grill Room offers lunch and dinner selections with a healthy wine and drink list. Visit The Grill Room today and find out what a Portland, Maine steakhouse should be like.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Impressed by chef, at chef's bar”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

My boyfriend and I were given a gift certificate here in return for dog sitting awhile back. We have both been here twice before- once during restaurant week a few years back when they still participated in the $20 offering, and both seperately with business associates.
We made reservations for the chef's bar( the only thing available) and were delighted to sit there and watch the cooks at work!
We ordered a beautiful bottle of Parker's Pinot noir -$26
Appetizers included:
Fried Oysters “BLT”cherry tomatoes, microgreens, sauce, gribiche, crispy bacon, tobasco honey vinaigrette – $12 super tasty.
Steak ‘n Cheese beef carpaccio, fried fresh goat cheese, fried capers, greens, red onion and aioli – $12- this was firstly served to us with a big brown blanket of "off" beef. We both had a bite and decided not to continue. Without 30 seconds later the chef, or sous?, looked up at the dish, shook his head and took it from us. He immediately began refiring our appetizer and with little words spoken, presented us a beautifully tasting carpaccio dish!
We were both impressed at the chefs attention to detail and high standards. If we were at a dining room table he would have never seen it and we probably wouldn't have said anything- just not eaten it.
Our hanger steaks and side dishes ( roasted beats, spicy brocolli, mashed potatoes and Mac+ cheese) were good but pretty pricey.
Our server was genuine and delightful-
Overall great experience, a little too pricey but thanks to the kitchen leadership shown, we'll be back - requesting the chef's bar!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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232 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Maine
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Way over-rated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013 via mobile

We were seated 15 mins after our reservation time and our 1st course arrived an hour later (soup for my husband and salad for me). Our entree - a steak with 2 sides - arrived an hour later - blood rare although we ordered it medium. Our sides arrived cold, but we ate them while waiting for the steak to be cooked as ordered. Tables seated a half hour after us were leaving before we were served our steak. A very disappointing and expensive evening that lasted waaaay longer than was enjoyable. There are better restaurants in Portland!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
connecticut
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Delicious but Expensive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Service was courteous but not very attentive. Lobster pizza appetizer was perfect. Steak with chimichurri was literally four thin slices of steak for $26+. That I found ridiculous. However, it was scrumptious!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuwait
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Great Atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

We happened on The Grill Room and Bar while walking around Portland ME. Our hosts had suggested we take a look on Exchange Street while shopping in Portland, but we dawdled along, stopping at Starbucks and the little shops around the museum. Eventually, we got to Exchange, and realized we were hungry. The Grill Room was the next shop we came upon.
The interior is Old English Pub, and the decor interesting. The pizza kitchen is open to the dining room, and the bar is visible from nearly anywhere in the restaurant. It is dark, slightly smoky, and thoroughly welcoming and we joined a pretty decent lunchtime crowd. The wait staff were excellent and attentive without being intrusive. The wine list is extensive, and most of it was available by the glass. We ordered a lunch salad with chicken, and sweet potato fries with sea salt. Both were exceptional. The salad was large (more than enough for both of us) and the plate of sweet potato fries was perfectly done, and covered in chunky sea salt. The bill was $60 for two of us including alcohol. Definitely recommend it.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Excellent lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We had a delicious lunch at The Grill Room today, the tuna over a caesar salad was fabulous. Great service and atmosphere made it a perfect lunch in Portland I would highly recommend this restaurant for lunch.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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