Portland >Caffe Allora
How Hard Is It?.
I have tried SO hard to enjoy this restaurant and I am sad to admit that it has failed on more attempts than I have enjoyed it. Here is a portion of two of these experiences:
1. Large number of guests organized in which we had the entire upstairs loft area to ourselves (very nice!). However, our predetermined meal for 20 people could really have served about 10! We even only had 16 show up. I don't understand what they were thinking. Each person received a light portion of the plate of anti-pasta, one slice of caprese salad, and about 1/2 cup of pomodorro penne pasta. It was a good thing we had hosted a small cocktail function prior or else all would have been absolutely starving still.
2. While entertaining out of town business guests for lunch, 2 orders were requested to-go and both were wrong. Two other orders came out 20 minutes later than the other meals. There were 8 meals total (including the to-go meals). That means that 50% of the meals were poorly serviced. I'm sorry, but in my book - that's failing. I'm told the reason behind the mistakes is that the chef had "too good of a celebration last night for the World Cup", but was that necessary to explain in front of the entire table, including my business colleagues? Unless the owner is the chef, I find it hard to believe that the owner would be pleased by such an excuse - I certainly was not. In fairness the two late meals were comped, but I'm still disastrously disappointed in the overall experience.
Nice. I liked it. Simple menu, good service, prompt seating. A good place to sit outside in the summer and have lunch followed with a late.
Nice. SImple dishes. More of a lunch place than dinner I would say. It was great food and service and I will go back for sure.
Don't let the basic menu fool you!. our server, forgot her name, she is #0009, pleasing and hospitable. Specials! Clam fettucini, hint of salt, from Italian olives matched to black pepper? Tonno salad was superb. Nice chocolate fudge cake for desert too!
Simple, leisurely meals and a stylish wine bar make this Italian cafe a popular neighborhood hangout..
Concrete floors, cool blue tables and unframed abstract paintings are warmed by a welcoming staff of bustling, black-clad waiters. Choose between table service or lively conversation at the wine and espresso bar on the main floor. For a more intimate feel, climb the stairs to the loft and sink into a sleek, black, Italian-leather chair.
The straightforward cafe food begins with quality ingredients, but the end result can be uninspired. The Gorgonzola, pear and walnut bruschette, meat and cheese plate and chilled shrimp are assembled plainly, skimpily portioned and lack any memorable flair. Better bets are the creative salads and heartier pastas. Try the tonno salad, a refreshing combination of tuna, Italian pinto beans, crunchy celery and onion; or the al dente fettuccine with meaty ragu. Housemade tiramisu, anchored by rich, espresso-soaked sponge cakes, makes a satisfying finish.
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