We had a great dinner here while visiting family in Portland over the Christmas holiday. We had tried to get into Fore Street, but that had booked up weeks ago. My brother had dined here a few months earlier and wanted to return for another meal. I had read a review of Caiola's and when I called to make reservations they were more than happy to accomodate us on a busy night when they heard I was from out of town.
We were seated right away. The dining room is small, but not noisy or too intimate (no seating right next to another table). The chef is the old executive chep at Street & Co, and you can see some of the influences. Reasonable wine list, ranging from mid-20's to very, very expensive with lots of wine by the glass. The menu changes near daily. Started off with a cheese plate that was to DIE for, the best I have ever had. 6 different cheeses, ranging from French Roquefort to a Maine dairy goat cheese. I had mussels in a saffron cream sauce with a short, round pasta that would slip into the mussel shells as I scooped them up. I used the warm bread to mop up ALL of my sauce. The rest of my dining partners were equally as excited about their dinner--paella with chicken, spicy chorizo, clams, and mussels, scallops and steak. Dessert was just as outstanding with a great selection of Port and we shared a chocolate torte that was light and decadent and an orange tart.
Service was efficient, friendly and not overbearing. Prices were reasonable, with entrees ranging from 14-23. I highly recommend Caiola's and encourage any visitor to check this place out! There is more in Portland than Fore Street!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.