Great Food In A Casual Setting
Of The Week
Porto Bello Offers
Great Food In A Casual Setting
On any given night at Porto Bello, conveniently located in the LaGuardia Shopping Center, you’ll find dozens of tables full of families, friends and co-workers enjoying excellent, freshly prepared Italian dishes as well as some of the best pizza around. Their secret is in the fresh ingredients incorporated into family recipes served in a dining room which is both casual and lovely. The service is delivered by a friendly, efficient wait staff that is always willing to accommodate every party, especially those with children. Best of all, the prices are so reasonable, cooking at home makes no sense, especially on a hot summer evening.
The dining room features cool terrazzo tile floors and cream colored walls hung with framed photos. In addition, an elegantly decorated private party room can accommodate as many as 55 people. Keep it in mind for your next private party or business luncheon or dinner.
Porto Bello entrees measure up to those found at more expensive Italian restaurants and the family who owns Porto Bello has added some new items to the menu, due to popular demand. One of my favorites is the penne melanzana ($10.95). Al dente penne is tossed with diced juicy eggplant and cubes of fresh mozzarella and plum tomatoes. The result is a delicious and satisfying meal perfect for soaking up with the warm foccaccia and rolls brought to your table. Farfalle Calabrese is another new item that combines bow tie pasta with savory sausage and flavorful broccoli rabe ($11.95). Linguine di mare, loaded with fresh seafood, is now available with black linguine, made from squid ink.
Veal sorrentino, tender veal cutlets layered with fresh eggplant, prosciutto and mozzarella is served with salad or a bowl of pasta, for an unbeatable $14.50. This dish is also available with chicken for $12.95. Try their delectable chicken Porto Bello, sautéed with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in light brown sauce. Entrees are beautifully presented on oversized dinner plates with rims garnished with chopped parsley and all come with a choice of pasta or fresh salad.
You’ve got to try a side order of their famous rice balls, filled with meat, or the new vegetarian version, or a crispy potato croquette. There are also daily specials to tantalize you. Portions of all entrees are so generous you’ll probably take some home with you.
Start with a hot antipasto for two, a veritable feast of fried mozzarella sticks, zucchini and eggplant sticks and eggplant rollatini. A fresh and healthy spinach salad tossed with pignoli nuts, red onion and fresh mushrooms in balsamic vinaigrette has also been added to the menu.
Pasta dishes such as cheese ravioli in a pink sauce with chunks of fresh salmon will delight you, while old favorites like stuffed shells, lasagna and manicotti will please even fussy kids. Pasta can be topped with Bolognese sauce, rich with ground meat, and for seafood lovers, linguine with clam sauce is replete with tender clams ($10.50).
Steak prepared several ways appears on the Porto Bello menu as well. Steak pizzaiola style features onions, peppers and tomatoes. Steak alla Porto Bello is accompanied by sautéed mushrooms in a red wine sauce.
Many people choose to share a fabulous Porto Bello brick oven pizza as a first course. These delicate, thin-crusted pizzas can also be had as a meal unto themselves. They taste just like the real thing in Italy and cost about $7.50, to stay or to go. Porto Bello serves both American style pizza and brick-oven pizza, available for free delivery to home or office. A Neapolitan style 18-inch large pie is just $10.25 and Sicilian style is just $12.50. The house specialty is "Grandma’s pizza," aptly named for its nostalgic appearance and flavor. Mozzarella is layered onto the dough first, then topped with a smattering of fresh tomatoes. Try a slice for $1.75 or a whole pie for $13.50. The new "grandpa" pizza is topped with sautéed breadcrumbs, onions, mozzarella and tomatoes for a southern Italian treat. New specialty pizzas are topped with bruschetta or broccoli and mozzarella.
Finish a meal with coffee, espresso or cappuccino and a hand-filled cannoli or a slice of creamy cheesecake, fresh berry tart or tiramisu that is out of this world. Porto Bello has reasonably priced wines available by the glass or by the bottle to enhance every meal, and ice cold beer as well. Beverages for the kids are on tap, too.
Porto Bello is open every day for lunch and dinner, with plenty of great choices for lunch. Besides the pizza, choices for overstuffed hero sandwiches, served hot, include chicken, veal, shrimp or eggplant parmigiana, sausage and peppers or my grandmother’s specialty, potatoes and eggs.
Porto Bello offers free delivery and catering for all occasions. The tastefully decorated private room is perfect for your next office function or family event. Open seven days a week, for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., 10 p.m. on Sundays. There’s plenty of free parking in the shopping center, too. You can fax in your order for delivery to your home or office. All the delicious entrees, sandwiches and pizzas at the new Porto Bello are definitely worth a try.
43-18 Ditmars Blvd.