Welcomed by a glass of champagne, flowers and the warm sun surround you and your family into a cheerful afternoon at the main strip of downtown Carmel. If you are coming to visit the race track, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, then you cannot miss the PortaBella restaurant in the city of Carmel.
Just minutes away from Monterey, Carmel is a quaint little place by the ocean flocked with artistic personalities since 1902. Not only many of the famous people in the art industry built their homes here in the city, they also actively participates in shaping the community of Carmel. The Carmel City Councils were dominated by artists, actors, and writers, including the famous director, Clint Eastwood, who was the mayor from 1986 to 1988.
PortaBella is one of the famous restaurants resting in the midst of the European country-side style cottages on the Ocean Ave. They mainly serve dishes with a touch of French, Italian, and Spanish flair. On a sunny day, many visitors love sitting outdoor, drinking a glass of wine, admiring the beauty of the nearby architecture while chatting their time away with family and friends. Not to mention PortaBella is also a dog friendly restaurant.
Though they are famous for their wine and champagne here, I did not order alcohol because I had to drive later after lunch. Instead, I was served bread and olive oil dipping with vineager first. (I love their bread! Warm, medium soft, and fluffy)
Next was the main dish (I skipped salad). It was seasoned pork with herbed crispy potato pancakes enclosed with caramelized onions and fresh tomato pieces on top. My favorite part was the potato pancake!! Slightly crispy around the edges, and the onions added the extra texture and kick in the flavor. The meat was tender and soft, though the sauce for the meat was a bit thicker and stronger than I preferred (just personal preference). I did not see this dish on the online menu….so unfortunately I have no name for this dish.
How can a girl live without dessert? Even though I was stuffed with the main course, I still wanted to try one. By the staff’s suggestion, I ordered Key Lime Mousse.
The refreshing taste with a slight kick of sourness, Key Lime Mousse was perfect for hot summer weather. The mousse part was not too thick and not too heavy. However, perhaps because I was craving for Key Lime Pie…..I felt like I was missing something here: The pie crust or some cake layer. If they just added some kind of sponge cake or pie crust here, it would have been even better.
Overall I would come back again to try their other dishes as well. They are doing a special thing with Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where if you download an app called Corkscrew Passport to your phone, you will get discounts to restaurants around Monterey. So if you have a smart phone, download the app and you’ll get 15% discount for your meal here!
Note* Houses in Carmel does not have an actual street address nor house number. Have a map ready in your hands prior you drive there just in case!
Address: Ocean Ave & Monte Verde
Carmel, CA 93921
Phone: (831) 624-4395