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Nostrana

Map & Directions
(110 Reviews)

1401 SE Morrison St, Portland, OR 97214

(503) 234-2427

OPEN NOW
Today: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
39
YEARS
IN BUSINESS
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General Info
Nostrana—literally 'ours' —invokes local. Simple food from honest ingredients. Pure. Regional. Italian. Opened in 2005, Nostrana is Chef/Owner Cathy Whims' love letter to Italy. This is a restaurant built on relationships: with our amazing farmers and purveyors, our dedicated staff, and of course with you, our guest. We hope to offer something timeless and authentic in a beautiful space, the regional specialties of Italy deeply rooted in the Pacific Northwest. We strive to be better every day.
Hours

Regular Hours

Price Range
$$
Neighborhoods
Buckman, Southeast Uplift
AKA

Enoteca Nostrana

Categories
Italian Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Pizza, Bar & Grills, Family Style Restaurants, Restaurants
Other Information

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Family Style, Italian, European, Continental, Bar & Grills, Pizza

Price Range : Average

Good for Kids: Yes

COUPONS & DEALS

No coupons available

Reviews

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apdxer

10/04/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
One of my favorites in Portland

This place is always has delicious food, warm friendly professional service and a fun atmosphere.
My first experience there was on an anniversary years ago.
We walked in and thought it might be too busy and not private enough...the matridee literally took us under his arm sat us at the bar with a complimentary bottle of champagne-we had so much fun at the bar we just stayed there all night and everything was delicious. They have a great happy hour, yummy pizzas, the drinks are great with special handmade tonics and syrups. Cathy has won those awards for good reason.

oregon producer

05/10/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
NEVER going back to Nostrana!

Yesterday, I invited my new business partner to Nostrana to celebrate our new partnership and discuss business. We arrived at 1:30pm (lunch ends at 2pm) and were getting ready to leave at 3:00pm, when the hostess came to our table and asked us to leave!! She grabbed our napkins and water glasses (which she spilled on the table) and walked away. Our bill was over $100.00. The food was good but the service was crapy. I will NEVER go back to Nostrana. I don't care if Cathy Whims receives the ""Super Chef"" award of the world. We have other talented chefs in Portland that provide fantastic service!

SRG2903

04/01/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
I don't expect alot - just to be treated like a fellow human

My husband and I were excited to treat his counsin and her husband to an anniversary dinner while they were in town from Gig Harbor. What an embarassment. We ordered Oatmeal Stouts- our server brought Oatmeal IPA and acted like we were stupid for questioning what she brought us. Next, we ordered dinner entrees and pre ordered desserts. To our chagrin, the desserts came out an hour after we finished eating. How does that work? Again, we asked our waitress where our desserts were and with contempt and attitude she said they were still cooking. If I'm dishing out that kind of money for a meal and not asking for unusal things - don't treat me like a leper!!

Future Customers- Go elsewhere for food and drinks, these people don't deserve to stay open.

CeeJaay

02/20/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Always outstanding always reliable.

This is one of our favorite spots. It's always a good ""go to"" dinner date. In all of our meals here we have NEVER had poor service or a bad meal. They continually provide outstanding service, recommendations, drinks, and entrees.

We always start with the charcuterie plate, some cheese and a salad. The entree options are always diverse and tasty. We have tried to taste everything on the menu. The waitstaff always provide good recommendations and some extra help with any questions about side dishes, preparations and pairings.

We love Nostrana! We always have a cocktail (such a good menu) and generally bring our own bottle of wine. We love the atmosphere. It's always busy, people are always waiting and the food is always spectacular.

We love that they use fresh ingredients from local farms and we have always felt like part of the family whenever we have dinner there. Keep up the good work. No wonder the Chef is nominated for the 2011 top honor.

supsonic3

01/10/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Free parking, neat atmosphere, bad service

Good: the flavor of the food was great. Gnocci was superb, pizza was fresh and the bread was buttery without any butter. Nice.

If only we got to eat what was on our plates! The server cleared off our table with food left on every person's plate, without even asking if we were done. We were more or less ushered out the door; this is not a place to meet up with friends you need to catch up with. We actually finished our ""dinner"" conversation in the cold parking lot so the server would quit hovering over our table (with several still open in the dining room).

SteveWilson

01/02/2011

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Spectacular NYE

We had our last meal of 2010 at Nostrana: a four course set menu that didn't disappoint.

The meal began with an aperitif of prosecco upon arrival. From there, some shared small plates for the first course. All were delicious, but the souffle stands out as the most memorable. Since there were two of us, we were able to sample both pastas. My favorite was the rich, simple tagliarini.

For our mains, B had the trout and I had the pork. The trout was a nice option,a adorned with lots of crab, but the pork was magic, great flavors and texture. To drink, we shared one of each of the wine flights, champagne and barbera. Service was knowledgable and friendly.

All in all, a very memorable meal, we'll definitely be back in the new year!

SoupGoddess

12/30/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Save Your money and go elsewhere

Finally had a chance to try this after wanting to for about a year. Summary: save your money! Food was very tasty, but fell short in most categories. Two items on the menu featured radicchio in the starters (appetizer and salad), both of which we had, both good, but not something you could not do at home. We ordered the one kilo Bistecca for $60, thinking it would be excellent. The favor was wonderful, but it was a challenge to eat it due to not being trimmed properly and way too rare, resulting in chewiness. Huge bummer, and hugely overpriced. Recommend the porterhouse at Ruth's Chris any day of the week over this. The desserts were OK - the butterscotch budino would have been great, except that the caramel topping was overcooked and gave off a burnt flavor. The service was cold and stuffy. Our waiter barely broke a smile, despite the fact that we were giddy celebrating our anniversary. We had to ask for bread, which really bugs me at an expensive place. Summary: definitely not what it is cracked up to be. We would go there again if the price was at least half what we paid, maybe more like 1/3. Also - tried to email them privately about our experience, no luck as their website does not have a ""contact us"" link! Maybe for a good reason.....

JWilliam

12/16/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Why does anyone eat here???

My wife and I had dinner at Nostrana last night and will never return. The only reason we went was to use a gift certificate they sent us to make up for a previous disappointing experience.

This restaurant just does not get it. The menu is unimaginative and rarely changes. While the food is not bad, the portions are small and very overpriced. If you do make the mistake and go to Nostrana, buy your wine at the wine shop 2 doors down and pay the $20 corkage fee. You will save money and avoid listening to a pretenious waiter. Also, the pizza is mediocre, go to Ken's Artisan Pizza for the real thing.

Portland has many excellent restaurants where you can enjoy great food at reasonable prices-Nostrana is not one of them. There are many reasons that Nostrana has so many negative reviews as of late.

Gmailgirl

11/12/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Another Eat Pay Leave - the stars are just for taste

The food was tasty, the portions small, the bread was nice and filled the void, pretty spendy $18 for a bowl of soup and a small squid salad. The parking was free and easy in the lot. The waitress.... was having a bad day,.The food came out promptly, and dishes were promptly removed. But we didn't feel any warmth or welcoming from her.We were told when we got there that we had to be done and gone in 90 minutes as the table was reserved at 7:30. I checked my watch at 6:36 as we felt like we were being rushed to finish up and still had almost an hour. We figured then that she must make enough money by the hour and has no need for tips.... Then when the bill came, of course, the tip was an 18 percent entitlement to rush through the motions ... the poor girl only made $65 for the hour she spent putting plates down at our table...

Doug Pratt

10/26/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Eat, Pay, Leave

Nostrana's motto: ""Eat, Pay, Leave"" If they could, they'd slam a funnel in your mouth, shove food down your throat, and send you out in five.

Nostrana is about turning over tables as fast as possible. How do they do it? With loud music and the ""Interruption Disguised as Service"" method. ""More bread? More, wine? More water? More food? More dessert? More coffee? More this? More that? If you ask the server to leave you alone, they do. But there's others. They spawn. Resistance is futile. Eat, Pay, Leave! (Run actually.)

Mangiaguy1

10/26/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Prequel to Eat. Pay. Leave

I had a horrible experience last night and got on here to write a review when I saw Eat. Pay. Leave. Man, you said it perfectly!

A friend and I sat down for a drink, dinner, and wine. I kid you not, in 5-10 minutes we had our drinks, salads and first courses. The server (the manager), was in my face asking several times what wine we were going to order for our entree! I asked for more time to enjoy what we had just been served for I had yet to take my 3rd sip of my drink. She smiled, said yes, and within 3 minutes, returned, grabbing the wine menu and asking if we had chosen the wine yet.

Nostrana's and their staff wiped out the enjoyment of an evening where we were prepared to spend good money and time. Each beverage or course arrived a minute or two after the previous one when we had only had a chance to take a sip or bite or two. I gave her ""my look,"" she apologized and asked if I was upset and if she could do anything to set things right. I responded, ""If I wanted fast food, I would've gone to McDonald's."" A few moments later, I observed her in the kitchen with other staff laughing and she looked directly at me. I can't remember if I've ever done this before, but I left a zero tip. I will never go back. Eat. Pay. Leave. You got it exactly right!

DDN

09/12/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Latest on Nostrana

This was our second visit, so for those that have never been here, here is my take on what it's like at this point in time.

The atmosphere I would call casually elegant. It's quite beautiful inside and they have a very nice outdoor patio, yet you don't need to be dressed up to go. Not the quietest restaurant around but we could hear each other with no problem.

The cocktails were a disappointment. Almost no booze in them and the prices were way too high. Have a drink at home or stop on the way and have a beer or glass of wine when you get here.

The food menu tries a bit too hard, especially on the small plates. I miss those days when Italian restaurants had an antipasti platter with meats, cheeses, olives, peppers, etc. These days you have to order $50 worth of separate ""artisanal"" plates to get the same thing. This place is no exception. As for soups/salads we have only had the Caesar salad. The dressing and croutons are outstanding. The radicchio is too bitter for many so I would like to see romain as an option (why not?)

What is glaring is the lack of pasta and risotto dishes. You have to jump from the oddball appetizers or salads/soups up to the entrees. The first visit they had one pasta with squid ink. Who really orders that? This time they had two pastas and neither sounded that appealing. I would like to see them incorporate some of their wood grilled meat and seafood into their house made pastas. And please get some cream and/or tomato sauce, not everyone likes their pastas with broth.

The entree section is well done however. Pretty much all the bases are covered here with wood grilled lamb, chicken, seafood, and beef. They have also finally added an affordable steak (NY which of course they were out of early) instead of just the $60 Porterhouse. The dishes are very good and really need no improvement. Desserts are also outstanding. Try the budinos, you will not be disappointed.

The best deal is the evening happy hour. You can get some their pizzas at a great price. Speaking of pizza, great crust, sauce is too mild, and the toppings are sparse (seems like the more the price goes up at pizza joints, the less toppings you get). They are pretty good however and on happy hour they are well worth it.

Our service on both visits was excellent. Very attentive and the servers were nice. The front desk however is totally stressed out and very unfriendly. Maybe that's why we only recognized one server from one visit to the next.

If I had one suggestion for the owner of Nostrana it would be RELAX! Relax the food a bit and be a little more casual. And please relax the front desk. The tension here makes us all uptight and this place is too nice to see it go by the wayside. Make us feel welcome to be your guest, visit the diners, and perhaps even smile. This place should be fun.

cmiller168

02/17/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Pretentious nonsense at its worst

Eat first before you go.

Millard77

02/14/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Don't plan to have an intimate evening

We had been hearing about the food at Nostrana ever since they opened to many good reviews. We chose the prix fixe menu for Valentine's evening. The high ceilinged setting was architecturally handsome and attractive, perhaps a little too dark. The ambiance was severely marred by cheesy pop rock music played loud enough to distort the sound coming through the speakers. It was disappointing not to be able to hear each other and have a conversation. In general, the food was good(many small courses). Portions were delicate and just right. Overall,
salt was used with a heavy hand.

fritafuzzy

09/29/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Amazing Cocktails, Fabulous Service, and Delightful Food

First of all the food is amazing. I have so much respect for a restaurant that is buying direct from the farms. The energy and effort that goes into making fresh pastas, breads, pizzas, etc fresh everyday is much appreciated and in this case, done to perfection. Normally I sit at a table and have always received amazing service (especially from a blond woman with glasses) and then I discovered the talent behind the bar. Taylor, makes some of the best sazeracs I have ever tasted. While I am partial to the Sazerac rye with a Le Torment rinse, he suggested a cognac instead that was slightly sweeter but a fantastic change from the rye. This delightful concoction was followed by the Nostrana salad- a perfect mix of radicchio, creamy Cesar like dressing and Parmesan. The next dish was one of the best pastas maybe ever. A fresh house made ravioli stuffed with the perfect amount of beets, tossed in a simple butter sauce. I was so impressed I went on to have a affogato- made from house made gelato and rich espresso. The atmosphere is well preserved with an open air kitchen, low lighting, and high ceilings. Truly a culinary triumph.

hipgranny

05/20/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Food was average, service was terrible

The pizza is good, and kids can always have pizza, regardless of how ""adult"" the rest of the menu might be. The salads are OK, but not as good as one should be able to expect of a restaurant of this caliber. Some of the other dishes that people in our party had were good. Overall, I would rate the food a little above average, but not outstanding. As far as the space is concerned, we found it to be very comfortable, and the noise was not a problem at all.
The service, however, was awful. The waiter was pleasant enough, but the entire experience took two and a half hours. I am not making this up. We had young kids in the party, which made it even more difficult to contend with. When we arrived, the restaurant was less than half full, yet the waiter would disappear for 20 minutes or more. The wait for the food to arrive after ordering and the wait between courses was interminable. We had promised dessert to the children, and had to wait another 20 minutes for the dessert order to be taken, and another period of time for the desserts to arrive. I went to Nostrana a few years ago when it first opened and thought these glitches would be worked out in time, and the restaurant of the year award led me to believe that was the case. Didn't happen. It really is inexcusable for service to be this bad.

relyons

05/15/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Tricked into Mothers Day

Was promised LIVE music by two guitarists. Not only did they not show, but I could'nt get an answer until our dinners came. We were sat at 6pm, the band was to start at 7pm. Dinner came at 6:30pm. Then we found out that the musicians were not coming because of Mothers Day, and that is why we went. Food was OK service was horrible. I will never go back.

milliron

03/01/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Best pizza in town

Devon Chase can make a mean pizza. She is so innovative with her ingredients but yet so faithful to the classics. I wish it was next door to my house, actually no, if it was next door I would be a blimp by now. Big ups to Nostrana and their lovely food. Oh, the waitstaff is always pleasant. A big plus in my book.

untoherselfalone

12/03/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
uninspiring pizza

my boyfriend got something else and loved it, but the pizza was nothing like what I expected. With a wood burning stove and all I expected more than canned tomato taste in my mouth every bite. Just not cool. If I had to pay instead of our host I think I would have complained and I am really not the type to make a fuss.

lovewinefoodpdx

12/02/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Hate to put 5 stars, as I want to keep this place a secret!

Nostrana is a visionary culinary experience. Kudos to the chef for amazing, creative dishes that make life a little more pleasurable. I know this place has been around for some time, but we just found it on a dine out card program we belong to. Thank goodness, it's our new favorite place, so we will be returning often.

Love that the menu changes daily, with some of the same pizzas, specialty dishes and desserts. We have no complaint about the food, it was A+++, from the appetizers (calamari, salad for 3-priced well), pizza. To the stars of the show: creative dishes that are not trying so hard they throw you off. The flavors of the meat, fish and pasta dishes send harmonious flavors through my bones! I barely remember dessert, but it must have been good. The wine list is short and sweet, but they have ample pickings from reasonable glasses of wine/bottles to the special occasion wines.

We didn't care for the noise or the lay-out, however. The chairs were missing pads, some had them, some not. they were uncomfortable. The open room concept is ok if not looking for quiet intimate dining, nor romantic, but we still had a great time. I just wouldn't go there to propose to someone, as it's not private nor quiet.
Anyway, some of the best food in the NW! Awesome!!!

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