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November 30, 2009

Portalli's opens where Jordan's was



Is it my imagination, or are a lot of restaurants opening in Howard County these days?

Trip Klaus sent me an e-mail today asking about Portalli's, the Italian restaurant opening where Jordan's Steakhouse was in Ellicott City.

Also today I got the following e-mail from Lee Biars, co-owner of the Diamondback Tavern and partner in this new venture (and frequent commenter on this blog): ...

"I wanted to give you an update on Portalli's in Ellicott City.  We had a soft opening on Friday and Saturday and everything went well, so we're looking to open the doors on Monday evening.  Our official Grand Opening will be the weekend of December 11th-13th, at which point we will be open for both lunch and dinner daily (right now we're doing dinner only) and have all menu and wine list items available.

"The website will be up in the next couple days [actually up now. EL] and people will be able to see our menu online.  Feel free to pass this information along to whomever you wish, but I would encourage people to understand that we got up and running in just under a month and are still working out some of the kinks.  Overall the feedback from the soft opening was largely positive, so I'm confident we will take great care of anybody that walks through the door."

(Photo courtesy of Portalli's Web site)

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 3:49 PM | | Comments (5)


Howard County is freakin HUGE all of a sudden. For those of us who remember it as Columbia with it's 4 or 5 village centers and Ellicott City - Those days are gone! It's like this huge beltway project tore through town and made expressways sort of like LAX (ok, I've never been but I'm imagining) but with tiny signs and no speed limits and lots of trees hiding the buildings (and the signs and the lights).

Yes, but with the growth comes more good restaurants! It's getting difficult to keep up with all the openings. But I do my best...

"A lot of restaurants opening in Howard County"?

How about taking into consideration that both of these new restaurants replace restaurants that "died" in the past year (i.e., Jordan's and Tiber River)? 2 restaurants die, 2 restaurants are born - net change in overall count of restaurants in this case is 0, right?

Speaking of Jordan's Steakhouse:

Not sure what Fells Pont Tavern is though.

My boss just told me he went to the soft opening and was so impressed, that he decided we are having our company Holiday Party there. Hopefully they'll have all the kinks worked out by the 22nd, and we'll be able to enjoy a wonderful dinner party. I'm fairly sure one of the owners was a chef at Greystone Grille a couple years ago, and is also part owner of Diamondback Tavern. We had a few office dinners at Greystone and always enjoyed our meals. Last year we ate downtown in Baltimore at Fogo de Chao which was excellent as well. We are hoping that this new restaurant will be as good or better than Greystone and Fogo de Chao. Hopefully they will put us in a semi-private area, seeing as a bunch of 20s somethings can get a little loud after a few! Happy Holidays!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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