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Hillsdale, Lair Hill

Alba Osteria & Enoteca

Italian Restaurants, Restaurants
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Cuisine: Mediterranean, Italian, European


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Scott HV


Provided by Citysearch - 
Dont waste your time and $$$$$$$$$$

Pretty Awful

I don't understand all of the good reviews for this restaurant!

My wife took me here Tuesday night for my birthday dinner. We were both looking forward to a wonderful experience. I ordered the rabbit salad, lamb shank and cream puffs for desert. The rabbit salad was recommended by the waiter. The rabbit was was dry and flavorless- tasted like pieces of boiled meat. The lamb was OK as were the cream puffs. My wife ordered the green salad, gnocchi and pork chop. The salad was nice, but nothing special. The gnocchi was actually quite good. The pork chop was awful. She took most of it home and plans on givinig it to the dogs. it was cooked with a hazelnut sauce with all of the subtly of a greyhound bus. ugh. I had to break out the rolaids when we got home

Given the prices the qualitiy of the food and service there are too many good places in Portland to enjoy to waste an evening and A LOT of money on this restaurant.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Disappointing to say the least

Fancy looking place w/ fancy menu but c'mon folks!!! my wife & I were astonished by the food quality. Pastini or even New Season Deli deliver much better quality, taste & service. My fish was not well cooked inside & the salad was overpriced w/ SUPER low quantity. The wine was selection was great though.



Provided by Citysearch - 
I'd Skip This Place If I Were You

The portions are small for the price, and the quality is average at best. You will spend $16+ on pasta that comes with nothing. The atmosphere is bland, and the servers don't tend to pace themselves or give enough privacy for diners to carry on a conversation.



Provided by Citysearch - 
One of our very favorites.

I can understand where some of the negative reviews are coming from: you are paying a lot of money for somewhat small portions of, essentially, peasant food, and the service is definitely of a relaxed nature. However, those portions are of superbly cooked fresh ingredients--treated with respect, not over sauced or contrived. The Agnolotti is a good example of where differences in taste could come into play: to our mind it is a perfect portion of superb delicate hand made stuffed pasta with a beautiful subtle Sage butter, but to others it could be a tiny bowl of miniature ravioli with no tomato sauce.
The service is as we like it--allowing us to mull over our food without any pressure to turn the table. The knowledge of Italian wine is superb and the various house made Strega's are fantastic
.It's understandably not everyone's cup of tea but we count it amongst our top 3 restaurants in town.



Provided by Citysearch - 

Everything was super yummy. The service was excellent, a perfect evening. (And that is really important to us as new parents; we dont get a lot of opportunities to go out.) I cant wait to go back!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Way too expensive for the quality and quantity!

I'll start by saying that, overall, the food was good and the service was impeccable. However, I find that spending $7 for an undressed salad with uncut sections of red lettuce is silly! The wine was incredible, but at $50 a bottle, it better be!!! I had the sausage and tajarin -- not worth the money, though. I don't mind paying good money for great food, but this was a slight miss for me. They really need to re-evaluate the cost to the customer. I've reveiwed other semi-expensive restaurants and felt that i was getting what I paid for. Somehow, Alba falls short for me. I don't know what happened to the salad dressing, but when I'm paying as much as I paid for that meal, I shouldn't even have to wonder about it!



Provided by Citysearch - 
Food did not do it for us

We kept hearing much about this place and decided to check it out . We went with another couple and their teenager. Sorry to say the food was disappointing, the portions were small and no one really cared much for their meal. We may give it another try becuase of all the great reviews we got from friends--but I agree with the previous review and I like Olive Garden better too.



Provided by Citysearch - 
I've had better meals at an Olive Garden....

A friend and I tried Alba after reading favorable reviews here and in the local newspaper. The interior is relatively large and the dining area rather cozy with simple decor. Service was good but not great, you DO NOT put an opened bottle of wine to your nose before serving the customer. The entrees also arrived moments after the antipasti with little room on the small tables.

Antipasti was absolutely terrible, salty and oily. One in particular, the tar tar, is suspected of causing later nausea from I'm assuming improper storage.

Entrees were again salty and oily (pasta dishes) with very little real flavor or anything one would expect from this price range. I've had better meals at an Olive Garden....

Overall, we will never go back and will not recommend this restaurant to anyone. In fact, we rate this as one of our worst dining experiences ever. Way overpriced and falls way below many, many better places to spend your dining dollar.

I hope the management is reading this and spends some time overseeing the complete lack of focus by the cook staff.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Gem of an Italian Restaurant

This restaurant is tucked away on Capitol Highway. It is easy to miss, but it would be your loss. It is one of the pricier restaurants, but I love the food here. I'm craving it right now. Enough said.



Provided by Citysearch - 
Expensive and noisy, sorry - this is not

The food here - from attractive but rather bland salads and other antipasti, to the ""primi,"" pasta first courses, and the main courses - is reasonably well-prepared (tho there's an awful lot of cheese sauce) . An arugula salad with shrimp ($11) was bland. Fried potatoes with sage ($7) were delicious tho a bit too oily. Desserts are good. The least expensive glass of (utterly quotidian) wine is $8. I will probably not return for dinner. It's expensive! The wines especially so. The small wooden chairs are more suitable for a place to grab a quick bite, and on the night we were there the noise level (in the room farthest from the bar) was nearly intolerably high.I wondered, as the child at the table behind us was allowed to shriek while his table was finishing up, if his parents know that in Italy, children do go out to eat but are taught right off not to scream in restaurants.

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