Portofino's menu has a lot of simple dishes with simple ingredients because they value quality over unneeded complexity.It's unfortunate how when going out to eat, words like "glazed", "crusted", and "aioli" take the place of food actually being good. But at Portofino Cucina Italiana, owner and Italian native Diego Ortoli knows better than to fluff up a dish with unnecessary stuff. "Simplicity can be good," he says. "Some people think for the food to be good, you have to be confused by the menu." Portofino's menu has a lot of simple dishes with simple ingredients because Ortoli values quality over unneeded complexity. All the vegetables used at Portofino are organic and often come from farmers' markets. The lasagna is crafted with angus beef and noodles made from scratch, and the gnocci is home made, too.
But the thing that may set Portofino apart the most is the intimacy felt the moment you walk through the door. Ortoli says that cozy feeling comes from his Italian roots and reminds him of his hometown of Naples. During the interview, Ortoli made sure to greet and say goodbye to everyone who entered, including a former employee. "I like treating it like a family here," says Ortoli. "All my cooks have been here since the restaurant opened. I like to know my customers. Food tastes different when you know who you're cooking for." And in the interest of his customers, Ortoli also offers a gluten-free option for pasta. Anything to make people feel more at home.
Homemade Lasagna, $14.00
Cheesecake with Berry Sauce, $7.50
Spaghetti Pomodoro e Basilico, $10.50
Gnocchi Portofino, $15.00
Mon. - Fri., 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Daily, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.