Sunday, June 14, 2009

Portofino - Atlanta

With a morning of errands under my belt, I needed something near buckhead for lunch. After a couple of texts with my sister, she recommended I head over to Portofino. I’ve been to Portofino for dinner, and was more than satisfied, so I thought it their lunch would be more of the same.

You really can’t beat the location of Portofino. Situated on West Paces Ferry, the ivy accented porch at Portofino is the perfect way to enjoy the warm weather. Soon enough I was enjoying the weather and my appetizer.

When I saw short rib bruschetta on the menu, I had pictured a few slices of short rib meat that was then piled high with fresh tomatoes. Instead, I was served a bite sized short rib sandwich with cheese….I approve! The first bite revealed an extremely juicy and tender beef that had obviously been cooked in tomatoes. Even though this “bruschetta” was all kinds of messy, I had surrounding tables staring and asking my waiters what I had ordered and if they could get it too.

After such great success with the short rib bruschetta, I had high hopes for my entrée, lamb Bolognese.

And at first glance, everything looked great. There were nicely sized chunks of lamb and thick pappardelle. With my first taste, I was surprised to find so much cumin in an Italian restaurant. In addition to the odd cumin taste, I was a little annoyed that some of the lamb wasn’t fork tender. If you’re going to serve a chunk of meat in pasta, you want it to be tender, not something you need a knife to enjoy. However, the biggest disappointment of the dish was the pappardelle. Maybe I had been spoiled the peppercorn pappardelle in D.C., but this pasta tasted bland and reminiscent of cardboard.

I was surprised with my lunch experience. Even though it was more than a year since I had dinner there, I expected more consistency in their smaller lunch menu. Maybe I would have been better off sticking with just the short rib bruschetta, but hindsight really is 20/20.

Portofino on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was our favorite little spot the past few years. Since the chef left (and I heard it was over a sandwich or something whatever that means) anyway the food and service are outright pitiful attempts to copy what was an awesome patio and small party place , for my husband ,myself and close friends. I would like to know where the old chef is cooking. I would go to dinner in a heartbeat. Anyone who knows blog or message please.