Portland >Food & Dining > Portofino Caffe Italiano
8075 SE 13th Ave, Portland, OR | Directions 9720245.464585 -122.653109
Neighborhoods: Sellwood - Moreland Improvement League, Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program
A deliciously authentic Italian eatery. Family recipes fill the menu and Italian wine overflows in their wine cellar. I should know because I ate dinner down there amongst racks and racks of beautiful wines that were all accounted for and way to plentiful to fit in my purse that evening. Pasta made fresh daily and cooked to perfection. Ricotta Gnocchi pan seared and topped lightly topped with white truffle oil and herbs, cavatelli swimming in a rich vodka sauce & home-made sausage - fingers to lips and proclaim delizioso!
Hidden Gem! – I met a girlfriend at Portofino the other night to catch up on wedding plans. I was astounded by the food and service! Incredible! I live in John's Landing, she lives in Woodstock so Sellwood seemed like the perfect place to meet. Having not been in years, we both thought of the place as simply serviceable. What an amazing surprise! Apparently there are new owners, chef and staff over the last two years. Our server, Lisa, guided us through the menu and wine list expertly. Our salads were so fresh and full of flavor, I wasn't sure the entrees stood a chance. However, both the Red Snapper and Veal Marsala lived up. They were both just as tasty as she described them. All the flavors popped without being overbearing. Our wine was sumptious, food equal. On top of the best food and service I've had in Portland, the place is just so adorable. Can't wait for date night there. Even though they were busy on a Wednesday night, Lisa was very accomodating. The owner even stopped by just to make sure everything was perfect. And it was! Believe me, it was!
A Great Experience - We'll be back – I loved this restaurant. My husband and I went for a special evening. Ambience was lovely and the food was divine. My wild mushroom fettucine with truffles was so good I wanted to roll around in it. Bruschetta with beef tips and peppers was outstanding. Even the house salad stood out. Service was attentive, but not overly so. We will be making this our new go-to place for date nights. I would not recommend it for young children.
AMAZING FOOD – THE FOOD IS AMAZING AND THE SERVICE WAS GREAT. MOST OF THE BAD REVIEWS ARE NON SENSE. I HAVE 2 KIDS AND I WOULD NOT TAKE THEM THERE, ITS JUST NOT THE RIGHT PLACE FOR SMALL CHILDREN. ITS ROMANTIC AND QUITE AND IM SURE THE 2 YEAR OLDS MADE A LOT OF NOISE. AND AS A COSTUMER I WOULD NOT WANT TO SIT NEXT TO BUNCH OF LITTLE KIDS SCREAMING. IT WAS GREAT. WILL RECOMMEND AND WILL GO BACK.
Incredible Food, Great Service – I'm baffled by some of the negative comments. I wasn't going to review this place (its busy enough as it is, so I wanted to keep it as "secret" as possible), but now I feel compelled to do so. THIS PLACE IS FANTASTIC! I don't go often, as its a little above my budget, but I try to go at least once every month or two because the food is incredible. The gnocci is to die for (nothing close to a 'donut'--come on for real?!) The chicken is so tasty and falls off the bone. We've ordered every special they've offered - loved them all. The various bruschettas are mouth watering. And Seth knows his wine! I really like Seth and Chantal - they are very nice, very real people. Chantal is not as engaging as Seth, but still friendly in a quieter way. And they are definitely NOT pretentious. I have to admit, on my first visit there, the place was busy and the service wasn't uber attentive or outwardly friendly. But I came back for the food and so glad I did, because the service only improved. Hey, people have bad days, but at Portofino's the food is always AMAZING.
Didn't know what I was missing – We live in Sellwood and have been going to Gino's for years, and everything has always been good. But the other night I decided to try Portofino out, again. We had been there a few years ago, and it wasn't very good, but I heard it had new owners and had gotten much better. Wow, was that an understatement. The food is fantastic. The homemade gnocchi and cavatelli (I think it was called?) that I got were unbelieveable. My wife had the fish and the bruschetta and they were equally fantastic. Decadent without being too rich, and filling without being stuffed. The dining room feels like a true trattoria, cozy and comfortable. And the bill was smaller than I thought it would be considering the experience. I can't believe this place hasn't gotten any press, it was definitely a surprise. But they were mostly full so somebody must be getting the word out. Can't wait to go back.
Cozy, Affordable Wine List, Rich Entrees – Seth and Chantal have brought us out of the Olive Garden doldrums into the up and coming explosion that is the Portland food scene. You do not have to be 'trendy' or expensive to be good. The entrees are infused with rich, creamy, decadent flavors. Servings not as large as Ginos but more intense and inventive. Chantal's deserts rival the best in town. The wine menu is affordable and the waitstaff are great at pairing them with your meal. Try the Homemade Limoncello after dinner and the gnocci as an appetizer. The place is small and cozy, great for dates or 2 couples. Yes, there are better options then Portofino for large parties, children and vegans. If you want a nice meal by friendly, knowledable people then come to Sellwood.
Pretension ?! - please – One of the most uncomfortable and disappointing dining experiences I've ever had. Our friend having dined here, with her toddler son before, was ecstatic to have found a restaurant that presented a quality product and didn't seem to mind the presence of a child. This was not the case however when my wife and toddler son and I met our friend, her husband and son for dinner one evening. It was very obvious the children were not welcomed, which is very strange since a reservation was made for four adults and the necessity of two highchairs to accommodate the toddlers ( both are roughly 2 1/2). The children were typical for there age not excessively loud and used to dining out. The pretentious tone and nature of our waiter, whom I believe was also the owner, made it very obvious he felt the children were out of place. What did you expect when you took the reservation? A simple we do not accommodate children would have sufficed during the reservation call. This wasn't our first time out, we would have understood.
The level of pretension was not warranted by the quality of food either. The gnocchi appetizer was the saving grace of the experience, my pasta special seemed undercooked and bland save the bit of Italian parsley that would wiggle its way onto my fork and the rest of our party seemed equally impressed. So I fail to see the appeal of this restaurant and I definitely don't understand the attitude, there is a very successful and accommodating restaurant two doors down that serves food not too regionally different from Portofino with the exception that it is flavorful.
If you don't accommodate families fine but you better make up for it with your product and service, this restaurant failed on both accounts. It is unfortunate, I was hoping to add this to our queue of local eateries but I am afraid I would have to discourage just about anyone from patronizing this establishment except for gnocchi takeout.
Children? Must we put up with them? – O.k. where to start? First off I should mention that I have never been so moved by the quality of my dining experience as to seek a public forum to promulgate what i have had the misfortune of experiencing. It may be worth mentioning that two "Seconds" also occurred this evening beyond the First of writing this review - Those Seconds would be - the second time i wished to not tip a waiter and the second time i would not pick up every scrap of food my son dropped on the floor (he is 2 1/2). My wife picked up the floor - albeit in her own way - and four adults with two two and a half year olds have an 18 percent gratuity applied to the bill - So we just left feeling ill - Basically we were made to feel uncomfortable as soon as we were seated for having a child in the restaurant on a dead sunday evening - if we were not waiting for our friends we would have walked out soon after our arrival - after our friends with their toddler arrived the rude treatment escalated - i wish that when we made our reservations that they had mentioned that our kids were not welcome - they have one high chair and one booster - go figure - I will never go back - I do not mind spending a couple hundred dollars on a dinner - and i can usually put up with too cool for school posers - but i expect attitude problems to be created by a juvenile belief that their food is so good that they can act however they please - not so in this case - yes the gnocchi is good ( tastes to me like doughnut batter that is lightly fried) but all of our dinners were insipid. The Italian restaurant next door is so much better. Children are not treated as plague ridden vermin and the food and service are always very good - oh i gotta mention this - the Ueber pretentious waiter corrected my pronunciation of Pyrat Rum - oh "PeRaht" he says - look it up my friend - it is pronounced Pirate - no opportunity was lost at trying to make us feel unwelcome - anyways - go elsewhere and enjoy yourselves - Anywhere!
Wonderful, romantic dining experience – My boyfriend and I went here for a special dinner and proceeded to have a FABULOUS meal. We first had the special bruschetta (there were artichoke hearts and sundried tomatoes involved.) We also were pleased to see Prosecco on the menu as it is our favorite wine. Turned out our waiter was the owner. He was very friendly and comfortable to talk to, and knew when to let us have "us" time. I had the chicken catchatori over a marscapone polenta. AMAZING. The owner (Seth?) told me that they cooked it all day on the bone and that was why the sauce was so dark and rich. (It was almost purple, it was delicious!) can't remember what kind of ravioli my boyfriend had, but he was very happy with it. Then we had the tiramisu and the chocolate creme for dessert. All the desserts are made by the owner's wife. He told us that all of the food is made on site except for the bread and gelato, because their kitchen isn't quite big enough. When all was said and done we spent around $100 for our meal and don't regret one cent. We can't wait to go back to celebrate our engagement!
Great people, great food – I've been to this restaurant many times with friends and it's always been wonderful. The people are friendly and attentive in a very genuine way, I never feel like they're being nice just to get a good tip. The food is absolutely heavenly as well. Anything with Italian sausage is highly recommended. As for the person who had a bad birthday experience there, stop complaining...The restaurant is small and very busy most of the time and I take it you didn't even have a reservation so to expect to be treated like a princess is pretty ridiculous. Of course they sat you in the middle, there's no where else to seat you! I take it you've never worked in the food service industry because then you would know how inconvenient it is to deal with people like you. Switching chairs when the place is in the middle of a dinner rush? How silly and unnecessary! This place is fantastic, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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