I live in Seattle but have been to Giorgio's approximately 10 times when in Portland on vacation and business. The combination of phenomenal food, friendly atmosphere, elegance, and intimate size make it a more enjoyable combination than any restaurant in Seattle. Each of my visits has been a great experience -- from the first time 18 months ago when my wife & I ate with snow falling under the street lights outside our table by a window, to the latest visit a few weeks ago, when my 2 colleagues from Seattle praised me for taking them to the best restaurant they'd ever visited. \r
The menu is completely seasonal and based on what is fresh each day. Preparations are delicate, perfect, and beautifully presented. As the editorial review notes, it is basically French-style preparation of modern Italian dishes. The dishes are imaginative and creative; I am always surprised and delighted to try the new ideas they are presenting that I've never seen before.\r
The kitchen is very accommodating -- if you ask, they can recommend changes to items on the menu to suit your taste. For instance, there are always 1 or 2 vegetarian entrees, but they will gladly consider ways to prepare meat-based items in a vegetarian alternative. The wine list is excellent and reasonably priced for the selections. They feature a number of well-selected wines; the local Oregon selections (such as Lemelson, one of my favorites) are particularly good. Service is friendly, helpful, and efficient.\r
Why are there some bad reviews? Giorgio's is only for foodies, that is, people who love beautiful, creative, and delicious food and are willing to pay for it. Those who want a fast dinner (good food takes time), a large dinner (French/Italian style is elegant and small), a cheap dinner (immaculate & fresh preparation is expensive) or who expect ""standard"" dishes (Giorgio's showcases creativity) will be disappointed. It is a place only for people who love great food.
Pros: Creative, delicious food
Cons: Not for people who expect standard dishes, huge portions, or cheap food