PORT is a welcome addition to Pickering and the Eastern GTA. Located in south Pickering, on Lake Ontario's largest natural harbour, Frenchman's Bay. The only thing better that watching a sunset from the patio is enjoying Chef John L Harcourt's creations and globally inspired dishes. The head bartender, Darryl Mcdonald, has created award winning cocktails using classical techniques and only the finest ingredients. There is now no need to drive into the city to enjoy a great meal in a sophisticated environment.More...
Great location and view, right on the water in Pickering. Very nice look to the restaurant, modern and trendy. But the food is way over priced for what you're getting. I ordererd short rib gnocchi for $26.75, the meat was good, but it was barely 2 bites. I was starved after the meal. Luckily I had ordered an appetizer. I could have had a big juicey steak at the Keg for that price. My wife's chicken burger promised fresh ground chicken but it was barely a frozen pattie from the supermarket.
I started by ordering a double Caesar, it arrived looking rather brown..... One sip later and I realized I had received what tasted like a vodka with Worcestershire..... I hesitantly sent it back and asked for one with no Worcestershire. The new one arrived and it was a glass full of ice, vodka and a splash of Clamato. Still not right but I didn't want to be a pain and send it back again.
My dining companion and I started by splitting an order of the Chili Lime Calamari with Romesco. I'm thinking lime zest, minced chili, garlic and a room temperature to warm sauce on the side. What we got was incompletely cut calamari tubes in chili powder, lime juice with a cold (fridge cold) bland sauce that tasted like wet peanuts. The calamari was cooked perfectly however...
Moving on to Entrees. My dining companion had the Pan Seared Chicken Supreme, it came with mashed potatoes and a poached pear. It was well seasoned, well cooked and very pleasant from the taste of it I had.
My Entree was the special of Seared Tuna, Crab Cake, and an Arugula Salad with Fingerling Potatoes. I was a little taken aback when it arrived mainly because of the portion size. This special was about $5 more than the most expensive item on their full time menu. I'd be surprised there was three ounces of tuna. The crab cake was the size of a flattened golf ball. The tuna was underseasoned and luke warm. Unfortunately the crab cake was served with an aoli on top and cole slaw underneath which robbed it of all it's heat by the time it hit the table. The salad was also underseasoned and was made up of corn niblets and 50% of it was unripe tomato which was bitter as it was just on the verge of turning from green. The crab cake was tasty, but tiny and luke warm, the tuna was well cooked, but, tiny, underseasoned and luke warm as well. I left the tomato on the plate.
Considering their menu states they strive to use local ingredients. I should have stayed away from tuna, arugula, corn, tomato, and crab in the month of January....
The atmosphere was very nice, although the restaurant was very chilly at first. The wait staff was very pleasant to deal with.
I want to give local joints a try and give them my support over chains, but, for the same money I could have gone to a steakhouse chain and had better calamari, a steak and caesar salad, a well poured caesar and dessert. It pains me to say that.
Absolutely delicious! My husband & I celebrated our anniversary here after the first restaurant we planned to go to was closed on a Monday. We are so glad it was! Our server, Marie-Michel (name on the bill), was so on the ball- her service was impeccable! Not having been there before, we asked for her recommendations, and everything was wonderful! Allmy husband and I could talk about was how good everything was, and I'm sure all of my moans and "mmm"s were noticed, but I couldn't help it. We have not enjoyed a meal this much in a very long time! Here's what we had:
- savoury cheesecake
- calamari with chile rub
- 2 caesers
- featured (not on menu) seafood and chorizo sausage paella
- cashew-encrusted chicken breast w/ tomato chow, cucumber slaw, couscous
- lemon parfait (shared)
- Jimmy Buffet specialty coffee
- B52 specialty coffee
The presentation was so pretty I took pictures of the entrees! My husband and I are not "foodies", but we certainly enjoy a good meal, and due to the food and service we received at Port, we'll definitely be returning. Thank you!
By the way, although I read the reviews on this site, until today I had never contributed a review, but felt I should share today's experience at Port with others.
It all started bad. First it took for ever to get our drinks and any of our food. When the food came out it was cold. The food tasted like garbage. I would never tell any one to go there. I will never go back. Very disappointed
The location and the view are as good as you will find anywhere in the gta...just gorgeous. Service was prompt and friendly. We got there at 5 and it was packed by 6. never felt rushed to leave. Food was great. On a nice day going to Port followed by a walk on the beach is a great overall experience. Drinks were pricey which is too bad because I would otherwise consider hanging out there with friends more often on the bar or sweet patio.
We went to Port on one of the busiest days of the year (first really warm day of the year) and from reading reviews we thought we'd be waiting forever. Not so. We were given a patio table (beautiful patio and view!) and our server was just exceptional. Drinks and food arrived swiftly, food was outstanding (very different & eclectic but tasty and delicious), drinks were great. Overall we had a great experience and will definitely be coming back. It's a beautiful location not just because it's right beside the lake, but the building itself is quite elegant and classy. For those of us who live in the east, it doesn't get any better than Port. Highly recommended.
The location and restaurant itself is very nice. The service was terrible...very slow! Our group had made a reservation a few weeks in advance and it was lost. Our waitress could not answer even very simple questions about the menu and we waited a very long time between each step in the entire process (i.e. took 25 minutes between ordering coffee and tea and waitress coming back to take dessert order). We sat down at 6 and didn't get our bill until almost 10. The food portions were very large (maybe a bit too big? Reminds me of a typical American restaurant) and the food was overall tasty.
We got some gift cards for this place so we went for the first time and were very happy eating here. The restaurant atmosphere is great and overlooks the marina/bay. Everything from the soup, drinks and entrees were fantastic. Not only was the food quality excellent but the portions were large and generous. We left quite full and happy. We will be going again.
We went there for my husbands birthday mid-December. I am guessing that we have been there about 4 - 5 times (in 2010). I had the Free Run Ontario Chicken with the wine poached pear, red onion marmalade and melted brie - it was absolutely delicious. I unfortunately can't specifically remember what the rest of the folks had - but everyone (in our party of 6) thoroughly enjoyed their meal. We actually were enjoying the atmosphere of the restaurant so much that we moved to the bar area after our dinner to try out some of the fancy drinks. My top restaurant choices right now are 1. Port, 2. Tin Mill (Uxbridge), 3. Shrimp Cocktail (Whitby) and believe it or not, 4. Waterfront (not for "fine dining" as much as for quality comfort food, reasonable prices and a casual / entertaining atmosphere)
Nervous to venture here given all the bad reviews, but we were very happy we did! Had an early reservation during the Christmas holidays,and the place filled up during our stay. The servers are young, yes, but did a fine, if not polished, job. Unfortunately the first two bottles of wine that we tried to order were not in stock, and on the third attempt the apologetic server came equipped with a long laundry list of wines "sold out", a disappointing start to the meal, especially during the free-flowing Christmas season. We were nevertheless impressed with the well-priced Argentina chardonnay.
The onion soup had great depth of flavour, the layers of carmelized onion and rich broth perfectly married. The poutine was non-traditional - more shortrib than french fry, but very tasty and very filling. Melt in your mouth pork with crispy fries and stringy cheese curds.
The fish special (Lake Erie whitefish) prepared and served as per the Arctic Char was okay. A bit overcooked and maybe a lot bland - the barley risotto the tasty highlight of the plate, though the chili foam barely a garnish. The fish and chips fish is rolled, providing large chunks of buttery deep fried haddock. The homemade tartar sauce one of the best, making us ask for a container of it to go.... the coleslaw tangy and the mushy peas perfectly seasoned, though the whole meal served a bit too cold......(fish and chips needs to be served piping hot!)
The pumpkin cheesecake was soooo creamy and the nutmeg whipcream perfect. The apple crumble contained a nice mix of apples and interesting textures... nicely seasoned and delicious.
We willl definetely be back!
The restaurant was extremely accomodating with my allergies. Young and friendly service staff. Decor and location wonderful and on the waterfront.
Food was fresh, steaks seafood, appetizers and accompaniments was cooked perfect to our specific orders.
Loved the whole expereince!
Went there for a casual dinner, the location is fantastic, right on a pier by the lake. the decor is a cozy modern enchantment, The service was not the best, our waitress mixed our orders twice. In her defense, she had way too many patrons to attend by herself.
Really not worth the money. My meal was adequate at best. Edible, but not enjoyable. I had steak, with mashed potatoes and "seasonal vegetables". I asked for bernaise sauce for my steak, and received about a table spoon of it beside my steak. Hardly worth even putting it on my plate. Would not return, which is too bad as I like to support non-chain restaurants.
I took 2 business guests with me to Port in Pickering recently, having had several very good dining experiences with friends and family. The decor and location are exceptional. There is a a fairly young service staff, but I have watched the service improve dramatically since it opened. Although there have been some inconsistencies with food quality in the past, they seem to be behind them. On this night, our very knowledgeable waiter went into detail about the new menu and steak program. He was quietly passionate about both the food and wine. We tried several of his recommendations, including the surf and turf special. He also recommended an excellent Argentinian wine and expertly decanted it. The food was the best that I have had yet there and the wine was very good. One of my guests commented on the very fair wine pricing and quality of the wine list. Our service was very attentive and professional and several other servers helped out during the course of our evening. I don't understand the negative reviews they keep getting about food or service. Both my business associates were first time guests and were impressed. We will all be back both for business and for pleasure.
Great first impression by the front end (reception). We were a last minute reservation for 4 celebrating our guests recent engagement and were seated at a window overlooking the lake and marina. I ordered a Spicy Ceasar, it was amazing! Mojito and wine was fine as well. I bought some Gift Cards from Costco at Christmas and this seemed to be the perfect occasion to use them. We were served by Ian. Appeared from the beginning to not be very interested in his job. Seemed seasoned from his age but not having a good day. Very unhappy and unwilling to smile. Ordered calamari (terrible) and proscuitto salad (very nice). Ordered 2 tenderloin, medium rare, Cowboy medium rare and ribs for our mains. TERRIBLE cut of tenderloin - the worst I've EVER had. When asked how our meals were, Ian walked away mid sentence. When called on his reaction he sent over his manager - Mark. Absolutely NO resolution!! Offered to re-do the steak but it was much too late to do this. No offer to take it off the bill and no compensation in the end. Our bill was $250.00 for the four of us. We are regulars at other steakhouses and have never been to a more overpriced spot in the GTA. If you are looking for poor service and quality of food at over-inflated pricing, eat at Port Restaurant. I welcome any response from the owners as I am still dumbfounded by my experience here.
We live in Pickering and never knew this Gem existed.
We had a lovely waitress and our meal was amazing. Wine prices are the best in the Toronto GTA. This restaurant is tucked away in Pickering, inside you would think you are in one of Toronto's trendiest restaurant..Hope this place stays around for a long time.
We organized a surprise 'special' birthday party for my wife and had 34 diners and 2 children. The staff handled the 'contractual' arrangements with professionalism and maintained the surprise element up to the arrival of the b'day girl. Earlier arriving guests were graciously met and shown to the 'party area' and served beverages in a prompt manner. Servers were excellent throughout the evening (an otherwise busy Sunday dinnertime) always available and attentive. A 'fixed' menu was offered offering a beef, chicken or fish dish. Each dish was savoured by all - nary a single complaint. Our own cake was presented and served with all the ceremony expected in such an occasion. Guests were from all regions of the greater metro area and with very broad dinning experiences. All were very impressed and will make a point of visiting again.