About Cafe Nell
Located in the heart of Northwest Portland, Café Nell serves French inspired American classics simply prepared from Northwest ingredients. Entering its fifth year, Café Nell has become known for lively brunches featuring signature cocktails which never fail to impress. A full bar, friendly atmosphere, rotating taps, and a glowing fireplace create a welcoming environment. During summer, our patio seating is perfect for happy hour, or a candle-lit dinner on a warm Portland evening.
Portland, OR 97209
American, French, Bistro
Hours of Operation:
11 am - 10 pm Monday - Friday
9 am - 10 pm Saturday
9 am - 8 pm Sunday
NW 20th Ave
$30 and under
AMEX, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
Complimentary parking available in private parking lot. Street parking also available.
Two block walk from StreetCar at 18th & Lovejoy.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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Cafe Nell Ratings and Reviews
We ordered a tart as a starter, which wa ...
We ordered a tart as a starter, which was amazing. Instead of entrees, I had the best salad and my date had the macaroni and cheese small plate. Both dishes were also very well done and impressive. I would definitely return.
A big disappoint for a Valentine's meal ...
A big disappoint for a Valentine's meal and first time visit. Dining room is very, very small. Tables are maybe 6-inches apart. Wait staff had hard time maneuvering food and drink around customers because we were so packed together. Wine was highlight of dinner. Food was extremely overpriced for the portion and quality. Will not go back and will recommend to stay away.
Based on reviews I decided to give this ...
Based on reviews I decided to give this a try. I wasn't disappointed. The service was quick and friendly, food delicious. I went with the grilled avocado stuffed with shrimp (yum!) and the chicken paillard in the white white sauce which was so good I will try to make it at home. My friend shared the endive salad and had the steak frites with béarnaise sauce and the pork chop not on the open table menu. I had a bite of each and they were all very good. We had a lecture that started at 7:30. Our reservations were for 6 pm about 10 minutes away and with a relaxing unrushed dinner we were able to make it in the nick of time. I would probably skip a dessert if you have somewhere to be. It was very small and, despite being tasty, not worth $9.
On a very quiet Monday we were the only ...
On a very quiet Monday we were the only ones in the dining room. The bar was doing well and we could hear the group there. A really great fireplace made the room warm and cozy. Our server, Brian was very good and spent a lot of time with us. He is an interesting person and made up for the quiet room. The food was very good and we enjoyed the wine from the list. Desserts were disappointing and we mentioned this to the server. We will return, however.
We celebrated our 5 year anniversary and ...
We celebrated our 5 year anniversary and this was a perfect pick. Cozy, inviting, nice wait staff leads to open preference seating. The spacing of appitizers entree and desert made our meal more of a journey. Great memories!
Booked this because it was hard to get a ...
Booked this because it was hard to get a table for 10 on a Friday night. Overall, it worked out nicely because we had a nice big table, and we didn't feel like we were being disruptive by being a little loud.
The oysters were very nice, delicious mignonette. The root vegetable appetizer was perplexing. Served cold, textures ranged from woody to mealy. The promised "fig dressing" was nowhere to be found or tasted. Super weird and not good.
I ordered steak frites. The steak was served lukewarm, and while the color was pretty close to medium rare it was tough like an overcooked piece of meat. No tasty crust, no juicy center.
However, the frites were OUT of this world. Honestly, the fries saved the meal for me. Delicious.
Overall, a successful big group dinner but not somewhere I would return or recommend.
Have eaten at Cafe Nell multiple times f ...
Have eaten at Cafe Nell multiple times for brunch, but this was first time for dinner. Place was lively and festive on a saturday night which was great to see. Bar staff was fun and knowledgeable. They have a great selection of sparkling wine by the glass which was quite notable.
Food was good, but not particularly notable except for the burger which was very well done. Had oysters at $4 per oyster which were a horrible value since some were exceedingly small. All dishes were attractively presented.
Service was scattered and disorganized, though friendly. Seemed like they were not accustomed to being busy.
All that being said, we'll go back....more good stuff than bad stuff and a nice neighborhood location.
Picket Cafe Nell from other reviews and ...
Picket Cafe Nell from other reviews and it did not disappoint. Had a great date night there, food was really good and the ambiance was lively. A bit outside of the downtown Portland scene so clearly a great neighborhood gem. Will definitively come back.
Enjoyable restaurant, with good service, ...
Enjoyable restaurant, with good service, good food, and a pleasant ambience.
Our only quibble was that, like most restaurants, they go to the trouble of building a website
then overlook keeping its menus up to date. Not for the first time, we went to a restaurant
with our mouth all set for a particular dish, only to discover that it was no longer on the
menu, even though th website indicated that it was. Sadly, this failure to keep one's
website information as current as possible is not confined to the restaurant trade :-)
Cafe Nell embodies true service that has ...
Cafe Nell embodies true service that has been lost in the era of fast casual, tech-saavy restaurants. Every person we encountered from the moment we stepped in was lovely. In fact, they even called to follow-up on service. You just don't see people working together to make great things happen like this in the service industry anymore. Brilliant.
We went for New Years Eve dinner after h ...
We went for New Years Eve dinner after having a wonderful experience at brunch a couple of weeks ago. This evening fell very short of our first experience unfortunately. Given the revelry of many patrons, I can't fault the restaurant for the noise level, but we could barely have a conversation between the four of us for most of the evening. We ordered and the first course arrived quickly however the waitress came back to inform us that they had run out of duck (7:30pm) so we had to rethink our options. After a while 3 of the 4 main courses were brought to the table and she said she would be right back with the fourth. However after waiting for almost 10 minutes, she appeared with the last entree and it had been an uncomfortable wait while everyone sat looking at their food getting cold. The final dish was scallops and there were only 4 on a plate with a little slaw under it and we were told that the chef had added the 4th due to the wait. It was very underwhelming for a $35 entree, even with the extra scallop. The Osso bucco was delicious, and the one duck looked a bit over cooked, but I didn't try any of it. The desert was a plate of 3 Crete brûlée of different flavors and it was mediocre at best.
That said, I will go back another time when it isn't a special occasion since the staff were great and we had such a nice experience the first time.
Third time here and I plan to keep going ...
Third time here and I plan to keep going back. The ambiance was special due to holiday decorating and set the stage for great service and food. Pork chop and Salmon were delicious and delivered to our table nice and hot. Great Pinot by the glass paired well with both entrees.
We had a very pleasant Christmas Eve din ...
We had a very pleasant Christmas Eve dinner at Cafe Nell. We were seated at a table near the bar by the window. Despite being near the bar, it was quiet enough that we could hold a conversation at normal voice levels. Service was good and reasonably attentive, given that it was a holiday seating. We cannot comment on the regular menu, as the choices were from a special holiday menu. Both our entrées were excellent, with good presentation. This was our first time at Nell's and we would definitely consider returning.
We had a very unfortunate birthday brunc ...
We had a very unfortunate birthday brunch at this restaurant. It took over an hour to get our drinks after sitting down. There was no apology for the delay even though it took us 3 times to the bar to ask for service. After 45 minutes only 2 out of the 8 of us even had water. It was very disappointing as I was taking new friends to the restaurant and they will not plan to return. I've been to CN many times without anything but good service, I had even noted on the open table reservation that it was for a special birthday event, nothing from the staff was special. I cannot make a recommendation based upon our experience on 12/23, but still love the restaurant and hope for better experiences in the future.
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