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“Great food, a little frustrating with our special needs (gluten free)”
Review of Orso

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Ranked #10 of 885 Restaurants in Anchorage
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $35
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: G
Transit: We are one block from the 6th avenue transit center.
Description: ORSO is well known as "The Place to Be." ORSO's New American cuisine expertly pairs delicious local flavors with the ever changing seasons of Alaska. ORSO is well known for a large selection of Alaskan seafood, grilled meats, award winning wine list and the best local ingredients when available. Happy hour everyday 3pm-6pm and 9pm to close! The bar is open one hour after the dining room each day!
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Great food, a little frustrating with our special needs (gluten free)”
Reviewed July 1, 2009

We first dined at Orso 3 years ago before we were diagnosed gluten intolerant but I had read online that Orso was the one restaurant to go to if you needed to be gluten free as the chef was passionate about it so I happily made a reservation from my iphone while we were nearing Anchorage on the train. (their web site takes reservations - definitely do this if you are planning to go for dinner). We loved Orso 3 years ago and could not wait to go back - especially given how challenging it can be to find gluten free food (just a crumb and I get very sick for days - so eating safely is very important).

However, when we arrived, we found that was not the case. While Orso still wants to support the gluten free folks, their servers and overall management really did not know what was safe for us - so we ended up sending our poor server back and forth to the kitchen to ask about various menu items. We later learned this is because Orso has a new chef - the former chef who was so passionate about making sure gluten free folks can dine was busy opening another restaurant for the same owners.

Normally we only go to a restaurant for the first time during off hours so we can talk to the chef directly to understand what food is safe for us but given the web reviews about it being so great for gluten free we thought we'd be fine going there for dinner. Oh well.

The food we did end up getting was delicious (paella and a chocolate mousse for dessert) but it was altogether too exhausting and stressful for us. We did have a great conversation with the manager after our meal to discuss things and that is how we learned that the chef had changed, but he did say they would be working with the new chef and the servers to get things back to the level they were in terms of training and knowledge about the menu.

Thank GinaCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,171 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Tucson, AZ
Level 6 Contributor
677 reviews
393 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 311 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2009

Anchorage has several restaurants but this is clearly one of the best. The food was excellent. On my recent visit, I had the crab legs and a friend had halibut. Both were cooked perfectly and the accompaniments were also delicious. The desserts were really excellent. The service was great. This was recommended to me by a couple of colleagues who had been there and I'm glad they did. They have a nice selection of fish, beef and Italian dishes. It would be hard to go wrong with any choices. The restaurant is two stories and the upstairs is more intimate and quieter. Highly recommended.

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1 Thank EnjoyTraveling64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
150 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Nice but missed the mark”
Reviewed June 26, 2009

Our meal was good but for the price we did better just down the street (at Saks). We may have hit a bad night since students were cooking. I ordered the pajella with reindeer sausage and they forgot the sausage! And the sauce was ok, but nothing special. My wife's meal was very good. We didn't have time for dessert but the list looked good. Plus a very nice beer and wine selection.

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1 Thank Houston_Eriol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Best meal of out trip”
Reviewed June 25, 2009

We got chatting with a local lady and she recommened Orso rather than the Glacier brewhouse as it was a bit quieter. It turned out to be a great recommendation as this was one of the best meals of our whole trip. The atmosphere was upmarket but relaxed and the food was excellent. We had Halibut which was one of their specials and it was really fresh, tasty and well presented. Service was excellent too. Recommended!

1 Thank SnorkleQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Nice way to top off our trip to Alaska”
Reviewed June 21, 2009

Our last meal in Alaska was at Orso and it was a perfect way to end our vacation. We were looking for a place to eat before heading to the airport so we headed for the Glacier Brewhouse. Fortunately, we had to pass right by Orso and after comparing the menus, we decided that Orso's was more appealing. It was a great decision.

When the waiter came over, the first thing he asked was if there were any time constraints. I don't know if this is normally done but was the perfect question to ask us since we had a plane to catch. The rest of our experience was just as good. The atmosphere was upscale but casual and I felt right at home in jeans. The waiter was excellent, he gave accurate descriptions to our questions about menu items and his recommendations were on the spot. The food was great and the prices were in line with other Anchorage establishments.

We don't know if we will ever get back to Anchorage again, but if we do, Orso will definitely be a place we return to.

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    • Food
1 Thank Chiguy064
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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