The contact address may say Upper Berkeley Street, but The Portman Pub & Restaurant is very much part of the dynamic dining scene of its cross street corner – Seymour Place, home to Lockhart, Vinoteca, Sandy’s and Donostia. After my Friday night dinner, I’m pleased to report this Marylebone gastropub just a short jaunt from Marble Arch does a good job keeping up with the competition.
Like its sister pub, The Only Running Footman down the road in Mayfair, The Portman features a lively pub downstairs with a more subdued tablecloth serviced restaurant upstairs. The two pubs share similar menus and wine lists, but the vibe’s a bit more laid back and casual at The Portman. Prices are a little cheaper too.
Remembering how much I loved my crispy squid, coriander and spring onions with chilli and lime aioli when I visited the Footman last month, I was curious to see how Portman’s version (£8.50 as a starter, £13.50 as a main) compared. It was a great starter that I was happy to woofed down. My main course of grilled lemon sole with samphire and clams (£20.75) pleased as well. A mineral and crsip 2012 Cortese Amonte, Volpi (£21.50 for a bottle) pared nicely with both dishes. A scoop of coconut sorbet (£1.95) – another remembered yummy from my dine at the Footman – ended things on a deliciously smooth and creamy note.
Service was attentive and friendly. The upstairs dining room, comfy and smart.
The Portman is located at 51 Upper Berkeley Street, W1H 7QW. The nearest London Underground station is at Marble Arch. Find out more at theportmanmarylebone.com.