NY bagels and Portalli’s

I took a quick road-trip over the weekend from Baltimore to NY to meet some girlfriends from college. And when I say quick I mean it. I was up and back in less than 24 hours.

For brunch on Saturday, my girlfriends and I stopped in a crowded NY bagel shop. I admit that I was a little intimidated walking in. There were many options and you had to know exactly what you wanted when you reached the counter. My friend, Ashley, being overwhelmed too, went for the safe choice, a bagel with cream cheese. I decided on the “Veggie Delight” bagel with a “Health” salad on the side.

Talk about an over-stuffed bagel.

On Sunday, I was back home celebrating my Dad’s birthday with dinner at Portalli’s, located in Historic Ellicott City. The restaurant opened recently and it was our first time visiting. Being relatively late on a Sunday night, we had almost the entire upstairs to ourselves.

My sister, Steph, ordered the Portallian Flatbread Pizza with crumbled goat cheese, peppadew (I learned peppadew is a type of pickled, sweet pepper. The name makes you want to say it more than once, doesn’t it.), jumbo lump crab and parsley pesto. Steph was happy with her flatbread, despite it being a bit fishy.

My father had the Duck Confit Manicotti house made with duck confit, ricotta, goat cheese, carmelized onions and wild mushrooms. He struggled to find the duck meat in this dish. But besides this fact, he said it was very rich and enjoyed every bite.

I went with the pasta special, Pasta Diablo, containing shrimp, scallops and crab meat. For me, there was the perfect amount of heat in the dish. It was a simple and not far from the traditional dish. I have no complaints; I cleaned my plate.

Some would say that the portions in general at Portalli’s are small. I imagine they are sized for a 4 course dinner and not intended to be ordered exclusively. I can imagine that people complain about the small size, being accustomed to incredibly large servings at restaurants.

– jess

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