With just forty-five covers, the finest wines available by the glass and a buzzing, lively atmosphere, Portland does away with the formal service traditionally associated with Michelin-starred restaurants to create a relaxed, minimalist environment that lets the food do the talking.
The menu combines classical French with modern European, putting an emphasis on techniques such as pickling and curing which is all done in-house. Many of the dishes put vegetables in the spotlight, treating them with the same amount of respect as meat or fish. Diners can choose from the regularly changing à la carte at lunch or dinner or opt for the tasting menu, which allows the chef Merlin Labron-Johnson free reign to create a bespoke meal using whatever produce is at its best on a particular day.
Co-owners Will Lander and Dan Morgenthau have a passion for and background in great wine, which is reflected in Portland’s wine list. With many bottles available by the glass, there’s a fantastic selection of more unusual or rare vintages available as well as ‘textbook’ wines that perfectly represent their region.
Despite the Michelin star Portland remains affordable, with the tasting menu costing just £45 at lunchtime. The selection of pre-desserts allows diners to indulge in all sorts of flavours before the main event, while after dinner coffee is served in a French press and comes courtesy of nearby Workshop Coffee.