2018-12-26 / Restaurant of the Week

Portofino Ristorante

Portofino celebrates 44 years of hospitality and pride in Forest Hills where you are always welcome as family. The menu says, “Welcome to Forest Hills, Italy,” and at Portofino you’ll be tended to in comfort while enjoying traditional Italian cuisine, wines and great cocktails. Whether you are celebrating one of life’s special occasions or your average weeknight, Portofino is ideal for gatherings of friends and family.

Enjoy a dirty martini, a botanical martini, Cosmopolitan, or a nice glass of Chianti, Malbec, or Montepulciano while you peruse the menu and nibble on warm, crusty garlic bread. My charming companion started with a steaming bowl of pasta e fagioli home made soup, while I gobbled up a platter of tender, grilled calamari served with savory chick peas. The pan-seared crab cakes are legendary, full of sweet crabmeat and mild spices, served in a puddle of pomegranate sauce. Mussels steamed with garlic and white wine are so delicious and the broth begs to be soaked up with that delicious bread. Everyone loves the fried calamari, meant to be shared, along with baked clams oreganata with delicate bread crumbs and garlic. The hot antipasto platter is loaded with juicy shrimp, clams, mussels, stuffed mushrooms and fresh eggplant rollatini ($15.95). Tuscan antipasto offers your favorite cuts of cured prosciutto, salami, cheeses, fresh mozzarella, and artichoke hearts topped with shaved Reggiano Parmigiano, just perfect for sharing ($14.95).

Order a tri-colore salad, classic Caesar, spinach salad, or roasted beet salad with baby greens, goat cheese, pistachio nuts, and orange segments with citrus vinaigrette. There are always tantalizing specials at Portofino and I couldn’t resist the homemade spinach ravioli made that day by Chef Massimo Carbona. These halfmoon shaped ravioli were so tender, filled with chopped spinach and a touch of ricotta, topped with a delicate porcini mushroom sauce….buonissimo! Lobster ravioli is always on the menu, as is spaghetti mare e monte topped with shrimp, scallops, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Orecchiette are “little ears” prepared with broccoli rabe and sweet Italian sausage for a hearty meal. Gnocchi al sugo Toscana are light, toothsome bites topped with a rich meat sauce with diced mushrooms. Linguine alle vongole with sweet clams, comes in red or white sauce just waiting to be slurped up. Baked pasta dishes are the perfect comfort food such as stuffed shells, baked ziti, and lasagna, with plenty to take home.

Portofino does a fine job with fish, meat, and poultry so you can get exactly what you’re craving. Roasted salmon with grilled vegetables makes for a light and healthy dinner, as does the whole Branzino, oven-roasted with lemon, garlic, and fine olive oil. Shrimp oreganata and fillet of sole are always on the menu. If you prefer meat, try the grilled ribeye steak, grilled skirt steak, veal chops, or juicy lamb chops served with gorgonzola polenta. Chicken Valdostana is their most popular dish, stuffed with prosciutto and mozzarella in a mushroom Marsala sauce. Chicken piccata has a light, lemony butter sauce or you can order your favorite sautéed chicken or veal dish including marsala, francese, saltimbocca, or Parmigiana style.

Give in to temptation because Portofino’s desserts include tiramisu, zabaglione with fresh berries, cheesecake, berry tart, Oreo cookie mousse, tartufo, and more, just perfect with a coffee, espresso, or liqueur.

Let Portofino host your business luncheon, bereavement luncheon, or any private event, day or night. Every Tuesday, loyal diners stream in for the all-you-can-eat Pasta Night buffet which starts at 6pm and provides a splendid array of many of Portofino’s excellent pasta, chicken, meat, and fish dishes, while live music plays in the background. Piano music also fills the air on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and that’s a great time to enjoy Portofino’s inventive specials. Sunday Brunch buffet from 11am to 3pm is a big hit, and call to make your reservations for New Year’s Eve.

Portofino is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, from 11 am to 11 pm. Remember Tuesday Pasta Night, Sunday Brunch Buffet, and the New Year’s Eve dinner. Portofino Ristorante is easy to reach with the E or F trains, and there’s free valet parking. Visit Portofino Ristorante in Forest Hills, Italy, where old friends and good food meet. Congratulations on 44 years in Forest Hills!

109-32 Ascan Avenue
Forest Hills  718.261.1239


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