Portland Tribune Entree Magazine “The Ultimate Dining Guide” by Eric Bartels March, 2005
“When it comes to taking a hospitality business into uncharted territory, opening a pub or a pizza joint is one thing. A fine-dining establishment is an entirely different proposition. Yet Grolla is in its third year as virtually the only upscale eatery on Northeast Killingsworth Street and doing fine.
Owners Christopher and Angela Lachmann and new executive chef James Healy have carved out an appealing niche, fashioning a Mediterranean-inspired menu with Northwest-grown foods.
The setting, in a former storefront with French windows on two sides, is elegant but unstuffy. But food and wine are the focus.
The Lachmanns, who grow produce for the restaurant in a Washington County garden, feature an impressive list of mostly Oregon wines and the knowledge to assist diners in pairing them with menu items.
The shrimp and crab potato cakes are a fresh, feathery hash. More intriguing is the prosciutto cannoli. On a tiny plate come three slices of salty prosciutto wrapped around a creamy fresh dill chevre. Alongside are tiny balls of firm cantaloupe and honeydew melon surrounded by a sweet champagne melon coulis.
The petit fillet tournedos are buttery soft medallions of beef served with crunchy baguette crostinis. The scallops are pan-seared and served in a large half-shell surrounded by roasted pepper polenta cake and drenched in a savory tomato coulis.
Dessert brings a gossamer-light crème brûlée underneath a sugary crust and a chocolate truffle cake that was not quite overpowered by ribbons of a supertart raspberry drizzle.
This place is for those who believe every neighborhood deserves a high-end option.”
Portland Tribune Cue Magazine “Close Encounters: Grolla’s charms are on the table and in the air ” by Brooke DeNisco June 27, 2003
“… Grolla is a jolly place, not prone to secrets or seriousness. The… new owner Chris Lachmann may …introduce you to his wife and kids, or sit down at your table for a few minutes.
… Out of towners not used to …hospitality, or cynics who think that friendliness is a cover-up for some culinary wrongdoing, may be put on guard by Grolla’s charms.
Decorated with antique chandeliers, heavy floral drapes and handcrafted woodwork, Grolla’s almost victorian design is juxtaposed with moderately gritty Northeast Killingsworth Street. On warm days the French doors are open, providing a breeze throughout the petite space and … tables are set on the sidewalk.
… No matter what time of day you go to Grolla, you’ll find something to like, whether it’s the Zinfandel or pinot noirs by the glass, a bite of tender, medium-rare duck or … olives and walnuts… And, if you have any complaints or suggestions, you’ll be given plenty of face time with the owner to air your views.”