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“Just right”

The Grill Room and Bar
Ranked #72 of 621 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$30
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse, Bar, Grill
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Description: If you’re looking for the best steakhouse in Portland, Maine you have come to the right place! The Grill Room features affordable, wood-fired, grilled steaks, delicious pizza and incredible seafood entrees the whole family will love.Chef Lee Harding has dedicated his life to the culinary arts and focuses on using grass fed beef & locally grown meats and produce in his creations. With high ceilings and a big, open kitchen, The Grill Room aims to please with more than just great food at affordable prices. If you have never been dining in Portland, Maine, it is quite an experience! There are so many restaurants to choose from that only award-winning restaurants, like The Grill Room, tend to stand out from the crowd.The Grill Room is the second restaurant founded in Harding’s “The Rooms” brand of restaurants. Since 2008, the Grill Room has been featured in many of Maine’s top publications as a “Best Bet” for Portland Maine food. Come in and try the now famous beef tartare, or a juicy wood-fired pizza or grilled steak. Open seven days a week, The Grill Room offers lunch and dinner selections with a healthy wine and drink list. Visit The Grill Room today and find out what a Portland, Maine steakhouse should be like.
Laconia, New Hampshire
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Just right”
Reviewed 8 April 2014 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

The Grill Room has got it down. From the greetings to the goodnights it is all good! I always prefer to eat at the bar and Darby and Alison always make you feel at home. Effortless service and great food! My only issue is I don't try as many new things as I should, as I love everything I've had here. Hard to beat!

Visited March 2014
Thank Jonah17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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374 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Excellent dinner and atmosphere”
Reviewed 6 April 2014

I went to this restaurant with co-workers and it was superb! Everything on the menu looked wonderful. We shared our desserts and they were outstanding! This place is quite loud but it is definitely happening with activity and you will not be disappointed with your meal!

Visited April 2014
Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lewiston, Maine
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not so special special”
Reviewed 29 March 2014

I’ve dined at The Grill Room on 3 different occasions, and have had varying experiences. However, the last was the worst. The first time, everything was terrific – we had a wonderful time and the food was delightfully cooked and nicely presented. The second time was mixed – my lamb meat loaf was hot and juicy, with a great sauce, but the garlic mashed potatoes it was resting on was at best, sort of warm. You’d think that the chef would care about consistent temperature. Yes, the server offered to warm it up, but to me, that is not the option in a classy restaurant. It smacks of chain eateries where they are used to inconsistency. I was disappointed, but, again, the meat loaf was superb.
Now this last time is the real complaint. I made reservations for the evening of my 65th birthday – an occasion with both positive and negative connotations – December 6th, at 5:00 PM. We arrived early, and enjoyed happy hour appetizers and drinks at the bar. Our mood was definitely enhanced by the service and we were escorted to the chic table for two at the window, where we met our waiter, Zoltan. He’s a gem and he made us feel welcome and appreciative. We listened to the specials and I was really excited about the Porterhouse – what a treat for my birthday! My wife ordered the scallops. I specified medium for how I wanted my steak, Zoltan suggested that the chef slice it before serving our table. Great idea. After he left, I noticed how dim the lights were – at the table near us a diner used her flashlight phone app so she could see the menu.
Our dinner was served, and I was amazed at how large the Porterhouse was. Zoltan asked if everything was all right, and I replied yes. Then I started eating my steak. I noticed that the end pieces were like medium rare, which was fine. As I delved deeper into the steak I saw that the rest of it was more than just rare – it was raw in the middle. The place was busy, so when Zoltan was finally able to come back to the table, I told him this. He offered to take it back to cook it better, but I was not really happy, and decided to stop eating and just take the meat home to enjoy it my way.
Imagine my surprise when I saw that my raw hunk of meat (yes, as a full entrée) costs $90!!!! I was flabbergasted, My wife was, too. Stunned as we were, we decided to just tell Zoltan that we were surprised at how expensive it was and we just left. The more we thought about it, the more I felt like a chump for being so nice. After all, you pride yourself in being a steak house, and this Porterhouse should have been really special…I mean REALLY special! The lighting was bad – otherwise I would have sent it back immediately when it was brought to the table. In any case, the chef should have seen that it wasn’t cooked when he cut it.
I had a Living Social $50 voucher, so it didn’t break us, but we felt ripped off the more we thought about it. I am probably not coming back, but I wanted to let you know what happened and how we felt. Before I post this to social media, I thought I should give you the benefit of responding to our concerns. You have my address, email, and phone number – feel free to contact me. (they didn't)

Regretfully disappointed,

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
4 Thank Phil B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brunswick, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
199 reviews
138 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 188 helpful votes
“Visit two, not good.”
Reviewed 25 March 2014 via mobile

I ordered the hanger steak medium rare, it was VERY rare, and VERY fatty. The red wine sauce too sweet and too much. Mussels were disappointing, many closed, many past their prime. Mushroom risotto too heavy, though it was flavorful. Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon had good flavor, the brussel sprouts too big and bacon pieces fatty and too big. Service at the bar was very good. Wine selection by glass and bottle was good, many choices in a lot of price ranges. Creme brûlée good.I will try it again, maybe it was just an off night.

Visited March 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Second visit disappointed”
Reviewed 17 March 2014

Had dinner there last night. The service was great. The noise level --- above our limit. The steak cut was nothing we have seen . Like the end cut you give to someone you do not know. I got the boar; first time-- I am game for different foods. It was ok. Not much taste; but had nothing to compare it to. Our Maltese and Bischon loved it.
The prices are high; with many items ala carte. Too high to return.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank BlaiseNorthshore_Ma_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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