Portland >London Grill
Our Favorite Special Occasion Place.
My husband has taken me here on our anniversary a few times, we held a Christmas party in their private room, and I celebrated my first book being published here.
The atmosphere is elegant and calm. I love all of the history and the piano playing in the background. the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. When we have had food prepared table side it is beautiful and entertaining. My husband always orders the same thing, the scallop encrusted halibut, but I have tried many items without being disappointed.
The price is on the high end, but that's why we save it for special occasions, it's worth every penny. Perfect place to make memories.
We were so stoked with the excellent service we received!.
We purchased through TravelZoo a voucher for $99 to dine at the London Grill. All that we can say is "Wow!" The service was by far the best experience we have ever encountered in all the years of dining experience we have ever had. This is inclusive of dining at various places overseas as well. We had the pleasure of meeting John Louie, who has worked at the London for 28 years as a waiter. He made us feel so welcome and important. We felt like we were his only customers. He has a great personality, definitely made us laugh with some of his stories, provided us personalized attention. We especially loved the cooking and preparation table side.
The London has a very nice wine menu, be sure to ask for their expanded wine menu. Ask for a tour of their wine cellar, its behind a hidden wall. Very cool. The ambiance is very romantic and nice. Lighting is perfect and being in the lower floor of the Benson allows for a nice quiet dining experience.
The food was excellent in spite of being limited to a special menu with limited selections for the voucher. We just added some extras from the regular menu to make the dinner better. Recommend the Shrimp Scampi! Excellent appetizer. Dessert was very tasty, chocolate mousse with whipped cream. Delicious! John treated us to chocolate covered strawberries. Awesome!
The restaurant manager was very attentive to us as well which was very nice. He would periodically check our table to make sure all was well for us. Our dining experience lasted about 3 hours from the time we sat down. But the staff never for a second made us feel rushed or that they wanted us to leave since they were closed. The manager spent quite a few years in Hawaii as both of us had so that common interest enhanced the conversation and time spent at the restaurant.
Overall, the experience was excellent. We had a wonderful time. The only thing that was a disappointment for us, was when we first sat down and presented to the hostess the voucher, she commented " You won't be needing this menu, you get to order from the value menu". She made us feel like she was looking down on us, like we couldn't afford their regular menu pricing. What she should have done is thank us for purchasing the voucher and giving the restaurant a try. She should of said we were in for a real treat and dining experience; that the chef had a specifically prepared menu for our dining pleasure. John, our waiter was quick to respond upon hearing her comment, for us not to worry that he would take care of us and make everything perfect for us that evening.
In closing, the food, and service were definitely 5 stars and we plan on going again soon. We definitely will request John Louie to wait on us again...We recommend him highly for anyone planning to dine there!
Brunch at the Benson was not worth the time or money..
I have been to the London Grill many times over the years. Today was my last. We were seated in the Benson Crystal Ballroom. Same food from the same Kitchen. The layout of the Buffet was very cramped so it was difficult to jockey around the covers and acquire portions to ones plate. I walked through the Buffet in the Grill and it did have similar items but more of them. The grill buffet line was definitely better maintained and easier to access to dish up the items.
On the ballroom buffet line; the prime rib was over cooked and very dry. The ham wasn't much better. The salmon had a ginger sauce on it that almost covered up the fact it was way over cooked also. I would expect the eggs in Eggs Benedict would have a medium yolk instead of hard cooked. Most everything on the entire buffet was an abysmal fail! Of course you cant really ruin fruit and pastry so at least they were good. The staff did not make sure the buffet line was kept stocked up so many items were out. They couldn't even keep my coffee cut filled. Actually they couldn't even keep the drinks full either.
If I could give it a lower rating than a one, I would.
Next time I do brunch it will be at the Heathman.
Brunch Londen Grill.
The first time I had Brunch at the London Grill I was Seventeen. The first time I had Dinner there, I was thriteen. I am now fifty four years old. I have been there for Dinner, Brunch, Lunch, And the small Brunch they have up stairs dailey in the bar area .I have always loved it there, I Have been there so many times I could not tell you. Well after today I will never go back. I will not take my friends or family ever again. When we walked up to the reservation desk, no one was there. We just stood there for the longest time looking around. I walked down the hall where I saw the man that was seating the people. I asked him if we could please be seated .He just put his hand up at me, and said I am talking to these people. They did not have a resveration and he was arguing with the couple about it. I am Just standing there holding the baby watching them. I go back to the resveration desk . Now a women is standing there. I tell her we have a resveration. She says follow me. We follow her into the Cristial Ballroom (thats where they put us when I made the resveration two months ago. but thought it would still be nice. they said the Londen Grill down stairs was full) So we are all standing there in the Ballroom. she justs walks away. The man comes to me and says we have to "REGROUP" Walks away and just leaves us standing there again .My Daughter and her husband along with my husband looked a little stunded. We are all standing there. Both walked away with out seating us. So I walk up to the resveration Lady and said. Do you see me standing here with a baby in one hand and my coffie in the other, whats your plan. She looks at me like I am from another planet. And says" I really don't know where to put you". I tell her , time to put us some where .(there where alot of empty tables) So she puts us at this huge table for eight. I figure ok, at least we are seated . I look across the table from us. there sits the Lady who had no resverations. they have a nice little table for four. So we get are food. it is only 12:30 And they are already out of some of there dishes. there empty. By now I am not to happy. I do not want to ruin every ones Brunch. That I am paying fourty dollars apices for. So I don't say anything. I just let them complain about how they are not refilling the food. My husband did get some duck. he said it was very good.
I went down to the London Grill to see how there food looked. It looked Great nothing was empty. in fact they had alot more food down there. one man was pouring this cream all over this Glass of berries. Nothing like that where we where. I can only say same price, two differnt Brunchies. I felt cheated.
London Grill THE BEST!. Have wanted to dine at the Benson for years, but it never worked out. This last friday went with friends and I can only say that I had the single best dinner out I've had in YEARS!!!....Absolutely wonderful......Relaxing atmosphere, Richard, the server was terrific, knowledgeable and made the experience fun!..I had the Herb Chicken and it was out of this world....I eat out a lot, go to the best places...and this dinner was right up there on the top....Yes, it's not cheap, but you couldn't find a better value for the combined atmosphere, old world charm and terrific food...If you want a special night out, quiet, relaxing.....This is the place....I'll be back...and recommend to my friends who care about quality....
Great Food - Horrible Service. I joined friends for a celebration - the food was incredible and the service seemed okay until our bill came. Then we realized that NONE of us got the wines that we had ordered. When we asked our server he told us that their wine menu was outdated (both in product and in price) and that he substituted the wines that we ordered with different wines and never told us. The substituted wines also cost more. When we questioned that he told us that we got better wines that we had actually ordered so we really should just be happy about it. We were so stunned that he was acting like he did us a favor. Bottom line – have a current wine list and if you are out of a wine – you OFFER a substitution you don’t just do it and not tell the customer (and then be rude about it).
Elegance of a bygone era. This was the first time I ever ate there - I had heard about the place for decades, but never dined there. There were things on the menu I never ate before, so it was an interesting adventure. The food was good, but the service was better. John Louie was our server, and he explained everything really well and I changed the 'house wine', as my first choice wasn't exactly what I wanted (I sampled, which was unusual for an inexpensive wine). No problem, no charge. He was always close, but not annoyingly attentive. All in all, it was an elegant dining experience. I can't understand the few really negative comments at all. I'm glad I didn't read them before going. The 'con' was price. That's because I have a lower income, so anything much above $15 is on the 'only for special events' category. But if you're not limited to a tight budget, it's probably not too heavy. I think it's a lot less than Ruth Chris type places. My experience was really nice.
Overrated (clap clap clap).
Went for mother's day. What a mistake. Ridiculously overpriced food. Out of a large group, I was the only one that liked the appetizer. Most of the group took a couple of bites of their dishes and left the rest. One had a cream soup and commented it had the consistency of warm cream cheese.
The Entrees were a slight improvement over the appetizers but not much.
Bottom line, the group entered hungry and left the same only with a lot less money. I would compare the restaurant to Stanford's but with a quieter atmosphere, worse food and triple the price.
For the price it gets 1 star. If I spend $60 for myself on dinner, it better be exceptional and this place wasn't even close to mediocre.
Better than the Ringside on burnside.
I made my reservation on 11-13-08 over the phone for my 26th anniversary at the ringside on burnside. . I arrived at the Burnside location, valet my car, stood in the entrance for about 5 minutes. A pretty lady asked my name then checked the computer for my reservation. Another gentleman approached me and stated The person that took the reservation over the phone did not make them for the burnside location. I stated I did not know there was another location as I always ate here. I asked if they could correct the mistake. I was told no, it would be an hour wait to seat my wife and I. But they could save the reservation for the other location. I declined. I then left quite mad as they ruined my anniversary at this point , it was 7:17 in the evening and I had to find another place to eat . I was driving east down burnside trying to decide where to go. I used my wife?s gps to find my next destination. I called the London grill at the Benson hotel to see if they had a table. The answer was yes . I was pleasantly surprise the food was much better, the service was impeccable. If anyone has the same problem you know where to go
Wedding Nightmare. My friend held her wedding and subsequent brunch at the Benson. Brunch was horrific at best. 1 server for 24 people with a horrible back waiter. Server yells asking how many mimosas/bloody marys throughout the entire brunch. I told the Benson event coordinator that some water upon arriveal would be nice. Nothing happened. I told the front desk manager that our concerns about the horrible service were not being addressed. She sent the food and beverage manager. After 15 minutes and more yelling by our server the F&B manager arrived. He said "I just got here" after I explained all my concerns. Sorry for your lack of internal communication but that's not my problem. There should have been another server or at least a professional one. It was like Denny's servers in fancy clothes. I manage restaurants and was shocked at the utter lack of concern that management demonstrated. Food was okay. My over medium eggs were over easy. Those who got eggs benedict were surprised to find hard poached eggs smoothered in thin layer of hollandaise sauce. Food was warm not hot. There were no condiments on the table so after 3/4 of our meal was finished some hot sauce appeared. Hello Benson - maybe with the economy they way it is you should perhaps ask your staff to be a tiny bit professional. Your F&B manager did absolutely nothing to remedy the situation! Perhaps your staff shouldn't yell in a private room - maybe walk around the table and ask people what they would like (like a normal restaurant), if your servers suck-coach them! It's a reflcection of your poor management! Don't hold any special occasion there unless you want an auctioneer on your most special day!
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