Review of CHAVAL

58 Pine St, Portland, ME 04102

Overall Rating


We were extremely disappointed in our dinner at Chaval tonight. We chose this restaurant over many others (Union, Scales, etc) for our nice family dinner out in Portland because some other reviews looked great, in addition to the fact that my daughter has Celiac disease and we read they were able to make great accommodations for her dietary restriction. We had a 7:15 reservation on a Tuesday night and were seated just a few minutes after arriving, but a long night of waiting soon began. Our waitress took nearly 35 minutes to bring our drinks and one hour into the meal (at 8:15pm) we had still received no food despite already ordering appetizers and entrees). Our water glasses remained empty for a great duration of the meal after we finished the water jugs on the table and we had to flag her down for more. My daughter was provided an allergen menu which was helpful, but she was disappointed in the options as there was no dedicated fryer, all braised sauces contained gluten, and it seemed there was no effort made to easily make items gluten free. For appetizers, my daughter and I had the salad which was mediocre at best and lacking dressing. My husband and son had the albondigas (NOT GF) and enjoyed them. For our entrees, my (celiac) daughter had the chicken and said it was very good. I had the pork chop special (GF) which was the worst part of the meal- it was cold, oily, and the flavors didn't mesh. My husband had the steak frites (fries NOT gluten free) which he enjoyed but wasn't as rare as he asked for. My son had the burger (NOT GF) and enjoyed it. The most disappointing part of the entree course was that they were brought at different times and we had to wait over 5 minutes to be able to eat together. Despite what had happened so far, we ordered 2 desserts to try (the restaurant had 2 gluten free options this night) and while they were good, I would have expected far better at a top restaurant that Chaval should be. I am incredibly disappointed in our service tonight, as it seemed the only thing the waiter was quick to do was bring us the check. For our one nice dinner in Portland, I wish we went somewhere else.


How confident are you that this establishment takes safety precautions against cross-contamination?

— Somewhat

Safety Feature Ratings
  • Staff is knowledgeable and can answer questions

Quality & Quantity

Is there a gluten-free menu?

— Separate gluten-free menu

How much of the menu is available gluten-free?

— Not Much

How would you rate the taste and quality of the gluten-free food you tried?

— Average

Updated 2 months ago