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“Great Food. Service Not So Great.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ribollita

Ribollita
41 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101-4213
207-774-2972
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Ranked #53 of 540 Restaurants in Portland
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Portland, Maine
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great Food. Service Not So Great.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2013

Four of us for dinner one recent evening. Meals were superb. Started with mussels and the caramelized onion tart. Delicious both of them. Nice little pieces of fresh, chewy bread with good quality olive oil and cracked black pepper. The bread was extra good to sop the mussel broth! Between us we had risotto, fish, short ribs and chicken saltimboca. All dishes were hot, tasty, with fresh herbs and perfectly cooked proteins. Too full for dessert!
Service was lacking. Unfriendly, never cracked a smile -- and we tried! It was busy, granted, but the mark of a good server to me is to be fully present when at your table with you. Had to ask for more wine three times. Never offered to bring more drinks. I won't hold it against the restaurant and will definitely go back, but will ask for another server.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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156 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    54
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Glens Falls, New York
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Consistently delicious food and great service!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

Our daughter (Maine resident) had eaten here recently for a b'day celebration and recommended it to us on our recent visit. I had the vegetable/bread soup - similar to a tomato bisque w/ veggies and a superb blend of seasoning and a side dish of sausage and sauteed broccoli which was also very good. My salmon entree was okay - the salmon and noodles were delicious but I didn't realize that it was served on a creamy sauce. Hubby had the salad (which he raved about) and the special of pork, kale, white beans, etc. that was delicious! Daughters (super fussy) had the scallops (w/ cream sauce and pasta) and gnocchi which they said was delicious. Wish we had room for dessert and wish we lived closer! Oh, and the server was excellent - well versed on the ingredients (I cook and was curious . . .) and he readily made suggestions as we decided on our choices. Reservations are a must.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Everett, Washington
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“One of the top 5 meals I've had in my life”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

My first meal at Ribollati's was on a Monday night. The restaurant is small & despite the day of week we went, I was surprised that there wasn't a wait. The quality of food is amazing. We shared a cantori (a side dish basically) of sauteed spinach with pine nuts & golden raisins. I realize it may not sound like these ingredients would work well together, but they somehow complemented each other as well. It was like they cooked the spinach in the most flavorful broth or oil ever. I love to eat healthy & like eating greens, but I never knew spinach could taste the way it did. The spinach cantori was tasty enough to stand as an entree on its own, it was so good. I ordered the roast chicken puttenesca. I thought it was delicious & thought the depth of flavors was wonderful. I could taste a little red wine mixed with the acidity of the rich red tomato sauce & soft roasted chicken. We ended up going back there two nights later with others. (We're currently on a 1 week vacation in Portland to visit family). This time we ordered the antipasto which I would definitely recommend. The dish was a sampler of green & black olives, roasted garlic right in the husk, slices of pancetta & salami, pickled onions, marinated mushrooms, pesto-like topping on a crostini, pickled carrot shavings with cranberries, & sauteed red bell peppers. The antipasto as a whole had the right balance between crunch, richness, & acidity. A must order. I also ordered the special: black sole bass fish picatta (sp?) With caper berries, risotto cakes, & sauteed mushrooms. My original dining buddy was with me again with 2 others & we ordered the spinach cantori dish AGAIN. Did I mention it was delicious? The service was great both nights. Respectful, friendly, unpretentious, & attentive. The restaurant looked clean, the lights were a little dim, & it was warm and comfortable. Defintely one of my favorites in Portland. I will make a point to come everytime we're in town. What an amazing meal - both times.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“another great meal at Ribollita”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

My husband and I have been to Ribollita many times and it never fails to please. Good wine selection, excellent food and extremely helpful servers. It is definitely one of my top five places to eat in Portland and that is saying something as there are hundreds of restaurants.

Visited March 2013
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Portland, Maine
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“A Favorite that Outshined Itself Saturday Night”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

We have enjoyed this restaurant for the past 15 years. We booked for dinner during restaurant week and had second thoughts because we wondered if we could do justice to three courses. Ribollita's main courses are always very generous.

We decided to give it a go and were so very happy that we did. There were three of us. For appetizers, my husband and sister had the ruccola and blood orange salad topped with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese while I had a warm red pepper stuffed with a Maine shrimp puree and lightly sauced with pesto.

For main courses, two of us had a white fish poached in a saffron-flavored broth with housemade agnolotti stuffed with mascarpone and one had a portobello mushroom risotto with duck confit. The former was outstanding; the latter was, also, after seasoning it with some salt. With our first two courses, we had three different wines by the glass, two from their wine selections for the month and one from their regular wine list - all three very good and the one recommended by our waitress outstanding. A delicious, dense crusty bread was served with a dish of olive oil for dipping.

For dessert, two of us chose the housemade tiramisu, which is one of the best renditions I've ever tasted with a very generous topping of sweetened mascarpone. My dessert was a slice of a flourless chocolate torte with a blackberry/raspberry sauce.

As always, the servings were all generous. Two of us brought home part of our main courses and part of our desserts.

Our waitress was marvelous, knowledgable, charming, and very efficient, and her assistant was attentive and capable. The restaurant was very busy but the staff handled the room with grace so you always felt comfortable and attended to. The food, the wine, and the service made for a perfect dining experience!

On our next visit, I hope to find that stuffed pepper on the regular menu. I think I will dream of it.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.

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