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“Love those polenta fries!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Caiola's - CLOSED

Caiola's
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Brunch, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Love those polenta fries!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 8, 2009

A lovely restaurant with delicious food and great atmosphere. Instead of ordering entrees, we ended up splitting a number of appetizers and salads as there were so many interesting dishes to try. I love that they support local farmers by serving local produce. Our service was a tad slow but the waiter did help us choose a good wine to match our meal. Definitely worth the trip.

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Born-in-Bangor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

323 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    181
    93
    29
    9
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
721 reviews
562 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 418 helpful votes
“Some great selections”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2009

The place is small and we did not have reservations, but we were able to sit at the bar and order food. We had a couple restaurants we wanted to try so we stuck with appetizers. They were delicious. Entree menu looked to have some very interesting options also. Good place for foodies that are looking for freshly prepared options.

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank islandexplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sewell
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Go only for the food”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2009

Go to Caiola's only for the food, not for the service. If you're in a hurry or can't sit still for long, this isn't the place for you. However, the meals my husband and I had were really very good. He had a Greek salad and the bronzino (bronzini) whole fish. I had the white anchovy appetizer and the paella. He said his salad was very tasty and not too large to ruin his appetite for the main plate. The piece of fish he received was quite large, properly cooked, and was served with mussels. My anchovy appetizer was very tasty, though the six fillets were over-powered by the other flavors on the plate: roasted red pepper, mild aioli, caper berries and caper buds, green and red onion, and bruschetta. Still, I thoroughly enjoyed the flavors together. The paella had chorizo, chicken, shrimp, clams, and mussels --in spite of a plethora of additional mussels, though, I was served 6 that had not opened; that was disappointing -- and the rice was pleasantly sticky but not clumpy. We were too full for dessert.

The service undid the pleasant food experience, though. Slow service -- slow to be acknowledged, slow to have someone else's leftover bread bowl removed from our table and replaced with fresh bread and butter, slow to provide us with the correct utensils for our meal (meal served first THEN the silverware had to be fetched), and slow to bring a separate plate for all of our seafood shells.

We did overhear that the restaurant is remodelling in a month - knocking down a small room in the back of the restaurant with only 4 - 5 tables in order to expand. I hope this gives the wait staff more room to maneuver around each other, which might help speed up service or distribute stations more efficiently. I hope they also train their bussers to be more efficient and attentive; the one on duty the night we were there was in stroll mode and didn't seem to lift more than a handful at any one time.

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank pseudandry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
204 reviews
146 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Extraordinary!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 1, 2009

Fabulous food! Not cheap but worth every penny. A vacation for the palate. preperation and presentation are first-rate. One of the best in Portland and worth seeking out as it's not in the main downtown area. it's close by so it takes just a few minutes to get there.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TravelTurtle66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockingham, Vermont
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“We Happily Gorged!"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2009

My daughter and son-in-law are both excellent chef's, but they let me pick a restaurant of my choice in Portland. I checked trip advisor and decided this restaurant was unique enough to try for my 61st birthday. We all loved it. Everything was great, from the initial phone conversation from Vermont to the final birthday dessert (which five of us shared). My five year old grandaughter felt welcomed and they catered to her needs even what she wanted wasn't on the menu. (Shrimp cocktail-Hey! She is the daughter of two chef's after all!). I only gave it four bars for atmosphere because there was no A/C. My daughter LOVED the Cilantro Stinger. She and my sil had four app's which we all shared. The antipasto is large enough for one person for an entire meal. The crabcakes which I had for my appetizer were the best my daughter said she has ever tasted.

My husband couldn't be here on this trip, but he wants to go to Caiola's when we visit my son in Portland this fall.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank AnnDiBernardo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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