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I’ve never really been on a diet. But I’ve been eating sensibly lately (thanks to two weeks of holiday bingeing). Tired of sensible eating, my sister and I ended up at Portofino Bistro in Buckhead the other night. It’s in a small house — casual yet chic. I love the unpolished wood floors.

Portofino Bistro

Portofino Bistro

Portofino Bistro

The menu is extensive. Ravenous, we wanted to eat everything. We finally narrowed down our choices to the Butternut Squash soup, the Fritto Misto, and the Shortrib Bruschetta for starters. The squash soup was light and smooth. I liked that it wasn’t as sweet as most versions. The Fritto Misto was a big serving of lightly battered and fried seafood including calamari, shrimp, scallops, and octopus. All tasted fresh and tender and the accompanying puttanesca sauce was really good. The Shortrib Bruschetta was a surprising hit. Two big slices of ciabatta were covered with heaping amounts of fork-tender pulled shortribs that were simmered in a stew-like sauce. It was filling and very, very good.

Portofino Bistro

Portofino Bistro

For our mains, we had the Veal Scalopini and the Seafood Risotto. The veal scalopini was delicious. The angel hair pasta had sopped up the mushroom marsala sauce so each bite was really fantastic. The Seafood Risotto was so good I’d order it again next time. The Cajun-seasoned scallops and shrimp were grilled to perfection and were unbelievably fresh and sweet; while the mussels and clams (both in shells) were steamed in a white-wine sauce that were simply delicious. The bed of risotto they came with was creamy and gave the perfect richness to the seafood.

Portofino Bistro

Portofino Bistro

My sister must have dessert and ordered both the Tiramisu and the Molten Chocolate Cake. The tiramisu was quite good — not too sweet, not too soggy — and was creatively served in a glass. Really neat. The chocolate cake came topped with Caramel gelato which we both wanted to try and it didn’t disappoint.

Overall a wonderful dinner. Service was impeccable, atmosphere was great, food was good, and prices are very reasonable (our tab came to $120 before tip which included 2 glasses of red wine, a big bottle of sparkling water, 3 apps, 2 mains, and 2 desserts). A must-try if you haven’t been.

Insider tip:
The tight parking lot can be tricky to get out of. Try to back into your spot, if you can, so you can easily get out.

The scoop:

Portofino Bistro
3199 Paces Ferry Pl NW
Atlanta, GA 30305
(404) 231-1136

Portofino on Urbanspoon

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jenny Bengen // Jan 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Great blog! I’m a foodie in Atlanta and I love finding out about restaurants like this one.

  • 2 c s // Mar 30, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    i have tried it twice and found it not so hot twice. nice decor and artwork though.

  • 3 jason p. // Nov 12, 2009 at 1:01 am

    We had drinks with the old chef from
    Portofino at Holman&Finch about two weeks ago. He told us a powerful story about his leaving. Looks like the owner should have embraced this artist. We have not been since the summer. The last time we went the service and the food were way off.

  • 4 Steven P // Jan 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I’ve been dining at Portofino for years and have never had a bad meal. I mostly dine there on the weekends, but the place is always busy without being crowded. Any restaraunt that can maintain such a steady level of business in this economy must be doing something right!

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