JavaScript is not enabled.
Castagna Restaurant - Portland, OR - Reviews page 1 - Judysbook

Castagna Restaurant

1752 SE Hawthorne Blvd (at Southeast 20th Avenue)
Portland, OR 97214
(503) 231-7373
Incorrect info? Correct your listing


Castagna Restaurant - Portland, OR
Castagna Restaurant - Portland, OR
Castagna Restaurant - Portland, OR
Castagna Restaurant - Portland, OR


( 16 )
( 4 )
( 4 )
( 2 )
( 8 )


Eating dinner here is an experience to be had. Really inventive and unique presentation. Probably the best steak I've ever had. Plus how can you not like a place that has a pre...


If you moved Castagna from the East side to L.O., you might have a winner. But between Ladd's Addition and Hawthorne the stark surroundings and aloof staff are entirely out of pl...

Eating dinner here is an experience to 2/22/2012

Eating dinner here is an experience to be had. Really inventive and unique presentation. Probably the best steak I've ever had. Plus how can you not like a place that has a pre AND post dessert. Serivce was even better than the food. Can't wait to go back. more

Wow 7/9/2011

I thought I was going for a casual evening dinner with a good friend; little did I know that we were both in for the best meal of our lives. We tried the 4 course dinner for about $65. Most would think of this as an expensive dinner, but when you see and especially, experience what that gets you, you more

Outstanding meal! 3/13/2011

The Castagna meal was probably the best meal I have ever eaten! Every dish was unusual and creative. This is not your routine recipe driven restaurant. Matt Lightner is doing new things that you simply will not see anywhere else. Four of us shared our entries and had 21 different courses of food! Each was excellent and surprising and delightful. There a lots of routine restaurants that do well and if that is what you want, then go to the Cheesecake Factory, etc. For me, I am going back to Castagna! more

Fabulous Creativity! 3/13/2011

I couldn't believe the variety coupled with the level of excellence of every dish we tried at this restaurant. The chef is doing things that no one else is trying and hitting a home run. We like maximizing our tastes so we were able, with four people, to try 21 different things in our evening adventure and each one was different and wonderful. If you're into small plates and local/fresh/innovative this is what you're going to get at Castagna. Can't recommend it more highly! more

Exciting, Inventive and DELICIOUS!!! 3/13/2011

Last night had a phenomenal experience here--fantastic, creative, delicious food that actually was ART. This young chef is a genious and I feel so lucky to be able to have access to such quality here in Portland. My favorites were the 1st course scallop dish with herb and apple sauce with a granita--WOW! Now this is not something I have had anywhere and it was mind-blowing. Also the sweet potatoe with sorbet was suprising. Lamb was done to perfection and for dessert the goat cheese with beets and hay crackers again absolutely wanted to lick the plate! Service was stellar and they even allowed us to order a dish off the tasting menu. Will be back again and again!!! more

Best Portland Restaurant 3/13/2011

Oh so saddened by the bad reviews. Don't believe them! It is for adventurous and curious diners and for those who are really interested in some of the creative, inventive and yummy things that can be done with food. If you have other ""tasters"" in your group (like 3 others) everyone ordering something different and sharing is a great option and you'll taste and experience things you never thought possible with food. This was one of the best meals we've had in a long time from Chicago to San Fran to other Portland restaurants. This is hands down one of the best around. Come on fellow Portlanders be a little adventerous! By the way, we had great service. more

Mysterious ingredients 2/17/2011

First, I would suggest that you are an adventurous eater to dine here. The menu changes - it's short and I always like that. However, they insist on listing nearly every ingredient in the dish. Including the mysterious parsnip milk. It seemed a place that was more interested in how many odd things they could put into their dishes than the actual dish itself. Still, I am glad we went. It was very interesting to say the least. The general quality of the food was good, the service was a bit slow and inattentive. I ordered a pork dish for my main course and the meat was... well... way too pink. Really pink, verging on red. I probably won't return, but it was nice to try it. more

Don't go 10/30/2010

This is a first time bad review of a restaurant for me. My husband and I had dinner at Castagna on October 29. We had been there previously and it was a favorite. But that was before the new chef, Matthew Lightner. The room is still elegant and subdued. The service was very good. Most of the food was so bad as to be an insult to the diners. We each ordered an appetizer (from part 1 and part 2) of the menu and an entree. Before the appetizers arrived we were served their homemade rolls with butter and pork fat. The rolls were very tasty, but very oily. The pork fat - described in a Willamette Week review as one of the best things on the menu (!) was just that - pork fat. ugh My appetizer was described as Black Truffle with assorted other components. Could I have been wrong to assume that it would include some of the famed black truffle mushrooms? Apparently I was. I was served 3 black balls of an unknown vegetable that had been coated in ash. Ash. The taste was unpleasant and the mouth feel (cinders, anyone?) was worse. Not to mention the very unpleasant black mess it all left on my plate. My husband ordered an appetizer that included salmon, ash coated beets and grapefruit. He received a few slivers of salmon, several beets coated in black ash and another few slivers of grapefruit. Again, the ash was not a pleasant addition to the dish. The entrees we ordered - duck and venison - were slightly better. The meat in both was tender and flavorful, but servings were quite small and the plates contained very little other than the meat except for a few bits of odd vegetables and again - some odd bits of ash. I have to give kudos to the pear marinated in mead along with ""twigs"" and frozen meringue. Excellent. Not so the the roasted carrots, allegedly simmered in spices and served with whey sorbet. The carrots were without flavor and covered in some blackened substance - more ash? - the whey sorbet was equally without noticeable flavor. I actually felt insulted that Mr. Lightner expected patrons of his restaurant to eat cinders. My husband and I are fortunate to have visited most of Portland's and the Portland areas best restaurants. We are also fortunate to have had the opportunity to dine at some of the best restaurants in the US and have eaten at two Michelin starred restaurants in Lyon, France in the past six months. We know and enjoy excellent food. We did not find it at Castagna and we will not eat there again. more

Never again... 9/29/2010

...not in this lifetime or the next. Oh, where to start? more

Not worth the money 3/26/2010

Actually the service was initially good from everybody in the restaurant. They helped us to chose a (very) good wine, which we enjoyed while waiting, and with our rather tiny-portions, but interesting dishes. Everything was fine until a lady that looked like a manager, yelled at one of our two children who crossed her way. She was actually rude, and that annoyed me quit a bit. When i asked her for an explanation, it turned out she was the manager, with an unapologetic request to ""control"" our daughter. I want to explain our children were reasonably well behaved, we saw nobody annoyed by them walking (not running) around the table after dinner. But i guess this was enough for the manager to decide and ruin our night. We used to go just for the awesome french fries they used to have. Not any more. And really, the dishes are expensive and small. I am not spending $220 again for hearing a manager to yell at my children. Pros: good wine Cons: service more

Portland's Best Restaurant 3/10/2010

Castagna has always been a special restaurant - it's offered Portland a stunning focus on ingredients that no other restaurant in this town has. Pure, distinct flavors beautifully executed combined with a simple and elegant space and great service. Pros: Great, inventive, interesting, delicious food; great service more

not worth the money 2/28/2010

We spent $125 for two people and left hungry and ticked off due to the POOR service. There are many people walking around, filling water and taking plates, but it seemed like there was only one real waitress, who was unfriendly and not attentive. There is so much hype about this place because it's different...but it's totally not worth the money. The old approach was much better. Pros: crab was amazing Cons: POOR service, tiny portions, totally over priced more

My favorite restaurant 11/5/2009

We have enjoyed many memorable dinners at both the restaurant and the cafe (I won't discuss the cafe here since we continue to love it - we can still get many of the dishes in the cafe that used to be on the restaurant menu). I loved the former restaurant menu with the lightest agnolotti in town and so many other favorites. I wondered if I could adjust to the new approach. We have now eaten there several times since the change of both chef and menu and have not been disappointed. My crab dish was light and delightful, the mushrooms flavorful, the lamb rich and satisfying and the apple dessert out of this world. This restaurant is blazing a new trail and I, for one, would like to continue to explore it. Pros: food, service, decor/ambiance Cons: it's not near my house more

Not a fan of the new menu 11/3/2009

OK. Friday Oct. 30, 2009 turned out to be a sad day for me. Castagna Restaurant has been my personal favorite Portland restaurant for years. I've eaten there easily 20 times. On Friday, I experienced the new menu for the first time, and it was not a good experience. I never would have imagined myself saying this, but it is possible I have eaten my last meal there. I ordered off the menu, rather than the chef's tasting menu, and it is possible that I ordered poorly (crab salad, agnolotti, lamb) but the food just was not that good. I enjoyed the simplicity and great flavors of the old menu. They still use great ingredients, but not to the same effect. The concept is to order several smaller plates (generally priced between $14-20). The crab salad was pretty, but literally 3-4 bites and the lemon flavor was overwhelming. You could always count on the agnalotti on the old menu, but the new version is miniaturized and missing everything that made the old version so great. The lamb was an interesting dish, and the dessert was the best part of the meal and saved this from a 1-star review. I fear the Oregonian review will be the death of the restaurant. Pros: Same great service, same great minimal decor Cons: The food more

It use to be great, why change? 10/20/2009

We had a great dinner there in the past it was the best ever, So we came back to do it agin,they made changes , not good changes, a very short meun. They now have big plates with tiny teaspoones of food. Pros: Great service Cons: tiny bits at big prices more

Disconnected 8/2/2009

Castagna has a device in their herb garden which collects and kills bees. I think it is bizarre to grow a garden which attracts neighborhood bees and then kills them. Informed people are aware that there is a serious decline in the world bee population, and that we depend on bees for pollinating our crops. At a time when conscious gardeners are attempting to increase the bee population, Castagna is contributing to the decline. Perhaps this restaurant is concerned with bees bothering the patrons. If this is the case they should not have an herb garden next to public seating. I will not dine at a place that has such a disconnection and disregard for local and global nature. Pros: Beautiful herb garden Cons: Bee killers more

Everything tasted like perfection-even the after dinner coffee 1/11/2009

We wanted to try Castagna Cafe and had fun watching the cooks do their dance in such a small area. The Sicilian appetizers were fried to perfection. Loved the grilled beets as a side and can't wait to return to find out what the spinach is like. Loved the flavors of the black cod over beans and my partner enjoyed the lamb turine that had a surprise of garlic sausage. The almond cake was much like the traditional olive oil cake I make-and it was a perfect light sweet to end the meal. Being a busy Sat the waitress wasn't around too much, but the hostess kept checking in on us. We will return! Pros: All courses tasted wonderful Cons: magazines at counter/bar not too romantic, noisy more

Perfect birthday 3/6/2008

My husband and I went for my birthday and it was a nearly perfect experience for us. We usually go to the Cafe, but wanted a more soothing and intimate atmosphere. The agnolotti, little ravioli, were delicate gems of deliciousness. Our entrees were amazing as well and we finished with a cheese plate for dessert. The servers know what they are doing and were unobtrusive and helpful. I'm not waiting until my next birthday to return. Pros: ambience, service, food more

Super Satly, Poor service, long wait... What more could you ask for? Burnt creme brulee. You got it! 12/8/2007

This is my first unfavorable review of any restuarant. Reservations at 8:15. Seated at 8:43. Long wait on a hard wood plank. My back still hurts. Appetizers were mussels in cider and squash soup. The soup was acceptable, but not noteable, the mussels were cooked well but, smelt very strongly - aged sea food. Dinner of steak and chicken thigh; the steak was cook as asked, texture and flavor were good, the side of string fries were covered with salted - and I love salt, still too much. My wife's chicken was too salty even for me - almost impossible and unforgiveable. The service throughout was scarse and marginal. The desert of creme brulee was beyond burnt and the armangac was awful. They told us they were out of oysters, but an hour later a party came in and was served oysters. I inquired and was told they had called and requested the last oysters? Phone ahead for your dinner. I hope this review helps the restuarant improve their food and services for your meal. Good Luck. Pros: On Hawthorne Cons: Poor Service, Way Too Salty!!, Late on Reservation, Smelly Seafood, Loud. more

What a dissapointment 8/23/2007

We returned for a romantic anniversary dinner. We had not been for a while and had good memories, but we won't be back. We were greeted and invitied to ""take a nice seat by the window"", without realizing we were being seated next to a table for twelve. What started as a dull roar got louder as the evening and the drinks (and the drunks) wore on. We literally could not hold a conversation over a table for two, and after we left, we both remarked that it was quieter outside on a busy city street than it had been in the restaurant. While the food and the service were nice, the evening was ruined for us. There were plenty of empty tables throughout the evening, so this was not the only seating availble. Pros: nice food, good service Cons: street parking, noisy, no control of groups more
< Previous 1 2 Next >

Menu for Castagna Restaurant

15% OFF all yearly plans
Use YEAR15 at checkout. Expires 11/30/2016


  • Although Hawthorne Boulevard is an undeniably gritty, hipster ?hood, this diamond in the rough attracts the high-brow tastes of middle-aged Eastsiders with its innovative cuisine. In the...

  • 10/28/2009 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Wed-Sat 5:30pm-10pm
  • Payments:

    Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover
  • Neighborhoods:

    Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Hosford - Abernethy

Best Deals and Recommendations