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Brisbane Devoured: Portofino

September 25, 2011


Portofino on Urbanspoon

Continuing on our Italian theme... we seem to have really eaten a lot of Italian lately... after trying to get a late-notice table at a few other places, we booked a Saturday night dinner at Portofino at New Farm a couple of weekends ago. We've eaten there quite a few times, but haven't been in absolutely ages, so were surprised to find upon rocking up for our booking that the decor had changed, and so had apparently the ownership. We were somewhat dubious, however were willing to see how it compared.

The main highlight of Portofino, which otherwise used to be known as Cafe Portofino, is the large cannot-miss-it display cabinet full of Italian desserts and sweets. So many diners seem to come here just for dessert after eating at other restaurants, which was quite evident on the night.

Dinner menu items otherwise include a variety of pastas, pizzas and Italian mains, all very reasonably priced.

We started with a good old basic bruschetta for $10. Serving size was quite large, there were 3 pieces of crusty bread with a pile of tomato atop. I thought the bread was a bit too crusty and overdone and thought the whole thing was a bit too run-of-the-mill, however L disagreed with me and really liked it.

 L decided on a pasta, the spaghetti con vongole ($18.50); spaghetti with garlic, chilli, clams, olive oil and parsley. The taste was there, strong flavours of chilli and garlic, however once the clam shells were gone, a bit light on with the seafood, and the dish definitely visually needed more colour.

I had never had a pizza at Portofino and was very much in the mood for one. My Dante pizza, of tomato base with mozzarella, pancetta, artichokes and olives ($19) was a good size and was excellent, one of the best pizzas I have had in Brisbane. The only thing was that there wasn't much pancetta, despite it supposedly being a main ingredient. The base was thin and edges were crusty.

We ordered our desserts from the cabinet. L had an assortment; hazelnut meringue, ganache filled meringue, and a nutty, cherry fudge log, whereas I had a Monte Nero, an Italian pastry. All of these were rather delicious and a great choice for dessert.

Portofino is still a solid choice for a reasonably priced Italian meal. We definitely believe their drawing card is the window of beautiful Italian biscuits and pastries! Head there for dessert and try it out.


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