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“Happy Hour for Real!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Nel Centro

Nel Centro
Ranked #62 of 4,238 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: Italian, Bar, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Bar scene, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Drinks, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Description: Fine dining in Theater District of Downtown Portland. Adjacent to the Hotel Modera. Close to Portland State University.
Portland, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Happy Hour for Real!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

What a wonderful surprise to walk into Nel Centro after a long lecture on Global Feminisms at PSU. To begin with, the decor is very tasteful, not too pretentious and very inviting. One of my biggest fears of our so famous 'Happy Hour' menus in Portland is to find at a restaurant with a menu that features two or three items that seem to have come out of left overs of all the produce and game the restaurant was unable to serve. Or, the other happy hour nightmare, you find a restaurant that is very pricy yet the items are microscopic in size. It's hard to find a great balance between price and quality of food and service. Nel Centro is a good example of how to present an interesting happy hour menu with enough items to meet the culinary wants of its patrons and also maintain a doable price. I found the food prepared with care and creativity rather than encountering food with odd combinations of items that together make no sense. Nel Cento's happy hour menu is creative, well thought out and most importantly delicious. I ordered four different dishes (and would have ordered three more had I been able to eat more...) leaving the last dish to the choice of the Chef Cuisine, Mathew Benis and Sous Chef Cara Powell. Good job, and Kudos for having great female Chefs that keep up the quality of this restaurant's happy hour menu.
I have to comment on the service as well. In as much as Portland's great variety of restaurants offer a wide variety of food items, the service is usually very disappointing. Not at Nel Centro's however, our waitress was fast, helpful, and knowledgeable about the food which made her our desert sale. She 'sold' the dessert despite the fact that we were stuffed.
If you are looking for a medium priced happy hour, I would definitely recommend Nel Centro; And if you are a duck fan as I am, try the Duck Leg Confit with Beluga Lentil Salad, Yum....

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Luz G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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389 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    164
    162
    50
    10
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tigard, Oregon
Level Contributor
208 reviews
134 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Valentine treat!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

We had a great dinner here on Valentine's Day! The appetizers were very flavorful. The diver scallop was especially tasty but small portions. Everything else was really splendid.

Helpful?
Thank Madge464
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shaker Heights, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Good food and atmosphere”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 16, 2013

I was staying at the Hotel Modera, so this was an easy choice for breakfast, though a bit overpriced. The food was good, though.
We also stopped in for a glass of wine one evening and enjoyed the outdoor fire pits -- warm and pleasant on a cool night. It seems like a popular place. I'd recommend it.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank vitzrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, North Carolina
Level Contributor
72 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Great Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

I was staying at the Hotel Modera where the restaurant is located. It made for an easy dinner choice my first night in Portland.

The restaurant fits in at the hotel well -- modern and well put together. Tables outside have access to fire pits which were attracting many people on a cool evening. The indoor space was well laid out and enjoyable.

I ordered a newer dish on the menu (or so I was told) the pappardelle with wild boar ragu. I can only say "YUM!!!" It was exactly what I had hoped for and then some.

The overall menu was nice with good selection. Wine and beer options were solid as well.

The service was really fantastic. Food delivery was prompt, everyone was very friendly, and I finished my food feeling fortunate I had visited.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank charlierdu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
100 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nice dining; plus a gray place to have drinks around a fire pit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2013 via mobile

Very nice atmosphere -- both inside and on the patio with fire pits. The menu provided nice options.. The creamy grits were quite tasty.

Great cocktail menu; wine selection was narrow but very purposefully selected.

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

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