Posted: Jan 17, 2006 12:08 am
The head chef at Nostrana is Cathy Whims, who was chef/owner of Genoa 'til a few years ago, and her husband is an owner of Produce Row. I actually know them both fairly well (they went to college with my folks, and are now olive oil customers of my dad's), but rumors have been less than favorable for Nostrana, which is too bad, seeing as Cathy is one of the best cooks I know.
But, yeah, as far as expensive Italian, Portland has too many options to ever eat poorly at that price point. Genoa was once great, though. Now, if you wanna spend the dough, I'd say clarklewis or Giorgio's are safe bets.
And, yeah, Zell's? WAY overrated.