Portalli’s a top dining spot in Ellicott City

Listen to this article


Once upon a time it was Jordan’s Steakhouse; today it is known as Portalli’s.  It’s located at 8085 Main Street in Ellicott City, which means after or before lunch or dinner or Sunday Brunch you can take a walk and enjoy window shopping.

Portalli’s is open seven days for lunch and dinner and they provide valet parking Friday and Saturday evenings for $5, which is deducted from your bill. There are three levels with the top one used primarily for private parties or meetings. There is an open kitchen for those who like to check out the action there.

Personally, I only care about how the food looks and tastes when it arrives at my table. Oh yes, there is a top outside deck. If you like a little music with your meal there is a piano player Friday and Saturday evenings.

Portalli’s offers Happy Hour Monday through Thursday with half priced beer and $3 off appetizers and wine. On Friday and Saturday, Happy Hour offers half priced cocktails and martinis and half price on all bottles of wine.

The restaurant is definitely casual with reservations suggested on weekends. The dining room features historic pieces of furniture.  One piece is actually a part of a bridge that existed in town many decades ago.

One of the staff told me the popular menu items are the lamb shank, rigatoni and the surf and turf (shrimp, filet).  Some of the other items offered are the pan seared sea scallops, grilled wild rockfish, braised short ribs, blackened chicken florentine, salads, flatbreads and appetizers.

I was there for the Sunday Brunch.  Call me crazy but it’s available Sundays from 10 to 1. It’s $25 and includes all you can drink mimosas and bloody marys), but $20 without the alcohol and $10 for nine and under. I sat at the bar which is quite comfortable.

Thursday is lobster night, Monday half priced wine and Wednesday is $3.00 sangrias. I enjoyed my visit.

After brunch, I enjoyed a stroll along Main Street. By the way, there is public parking lot at the top of the hill – just look for the blue sign with a large P.

You can reach Portalli’s at 410-720-2330 or go to portallisec.com.