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“Noisy atmosphere but very good food”

The Grill Room and Bar
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Ranked #81 of 623 Restaurants in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$12 - US$30
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse, Bar, Grill
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, 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.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We came here because some other choices were not open on a Monday, and we were not disappointed. It was very noisy (as are most restaurants now) when we arrived, but got quieter when less crowded by 9:00. We were seated away from the 'energetic' bar area. Tables were a little cramped, but the food was lovely -- my husband's steak was just what he asked for and I want to comment on the not-easy trick the grillmaster accomplished in getting my duck-breast medium rare. (The waiter said it was usually served medium-well, and that gave me serious pause, because I've eaten this in all sorts of restaurants here and in Europe and never heard of such bad treatment of a duck, but I know it is hard to control the doneness on a grill.) Under the duck was a well-crafted mushroom risotto and some spinach -- all just excellent. We didn't have wine, but the list looked very good. We'll be back on our next trip to the Portland area (can't eat lobster and clams every night).

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Thank Pat T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 416 reviews

Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We came here a few years ago and the food, service & atmosphere were absolutely incredible, and we absolutely couldn't wait to come back. We finally made it back to Portland this year and we sat at the bar on Monday, June 25th. My guests ordered steaks and I ordered the trout. I absolutely love trout and I order it every chance I get. I also cook it at home a lot and trout can be a very difficult fish to cook because it is a really thin and delicate fresh water fish that doesn't need a lot of heat to cook through. We chose to return to the Grill Room this year because the last time we went, the trout LITERALLY fell off the skin and was so succulent and tender that it melted in my mouth. It was cooked to absolute perfection! That time they pan seared it and it was served as an open-faced filet with just a little salt & pepper on it and the sides were placed around the filet, making the fish the star of the plate.

The trout I was served at The Grill Room this time was so burnt & overcooked that it was completely inedible. The bartender saw my face and instantly said, "Overcooked?" I said yes and he immediately went to the kitchen and I got a brand new order of burnt/overcooked trout within a few moments. BTW - the bartender was amazing throughout this whole thing and was very apologetic and did everything he could on his end to make sure we had a great experience. Not his fault the kitchen ruined my meal(s) and his tip definitely reflected his efforts. The main difference of the trout dish this time is that the kitchen attempted to cook the trout on their flaming char grill, which was obviously way to hot and just cooked & burned the trout way too fast. The skin was burnt both times and the trout was just way too chewy both times as well. They also layered the dish this time with the trout stacked & hidden between the veggie and the starch. I just ate the sides (which were absolutely delicious) and called it a day.

In all honesty, I'm not done with this place, though. Given my previous experience, I honestly think this was just an anomaly. I'll definitely give The Grill Room another shot the next time we're in Portland. I'll just tell them to keep the fish off the grill. Cheers!

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Thank BostonFabulous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Since opening in 2008, The Grill Room has been a favorite of mine for the occasional business lunch, casual dinner at the bar, or date night dining at the chef's bar. My recent lunch was so disappointing I will think twice before going back for any reason. I ordered the steak and cheese, Chef Harding Lee Smith's version of beef carpaccio. I used to love it. What I got was dreadful: the fried round of goat cheese was stone cold; the greens drenched in salad dressing, and the cap of paper thin beef ruined by huge glops of thick mayonnaise. Where was the warm mound of perfectly fried goat cheese, hidden beneath the gently dressed greens, capped by the thinnest mouth melting beef, gently accented with aioli? Please, Chef, pay attention to your once great restaurant.

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Thank Beth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2018 via mobile

Perfect spot for a "best friend" night out. We sat at the bar and enjoyed conversation over great cocktails.

Thank Monique R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2018

Stopped here during our first ever visit to Maine. Glad we did.
Service was very good, polite and efficient. Our server gave recommendations on dishes as well. We tried a couple drink specials that were tasty.

Not too large a food menu, but yet plenty to choose from. We ordered filets and a ribeye, with a poached lobster tail add on and grilled asparagus. All were very delicious! You could taste the grill in the asparagus. Our steaks were done spot on, seasoned well and very flavorful! Lobster bisque was also very good. Compliments to the chef.
Our table had a view of the kitchen, which we enjoyed. Would surely come here again.

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Thank Scott K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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