You might not immediately see Portofino Restaurant & Wine Bar when you visit Dolan’s Plaza on Greenwood Ave. It’s neatly tucked beneath Peachwave facing other shops in the Plaza and not the street. Portofino beckons you though, with a large and inviting outdoor dining patio adorned with beautiful flowers and big white umbrellas.
I made my way past the patio, down a few steps and through the front door where I was immediately greeted by one of the owners, Lou Selmanti. Lou offered to make me one of his famous ‘Loutinis’ which I was more than happy to accept. I must admit, I don’t know what’s in it, but I can tell you this- it’s delicious.
Deciding what to eat was not easy; everything on the menu tempted my hungry self. I decided to start with one of my favorite appetizers: Heirloom Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Salad. The tomatoes were ripe and bright red. The mozarella, like the sliced bread that had been placed in front of me, washandmade fresh on the premises. You must try it to understand how good this cheese is. The texture and taste are perfect.
For my main course I ordered the Pan-Roasted Murray Farm Chicken Breast in a wild mushroom marsala sauce with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The chicken was very tender and the masala sauce was excellent. Nothing competed for flavor on this plate, everything sang in my mouth and I really didn’t think I had room for dessert, but Lou and his brother Chef Rocco had other plans for me… Enter the Almond Cheesecake.
The cheesecake was drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with toasted almond slices and a dusting of powdered sugar. I was already full from my meal but with just one bite and I was hooked. The crunch and flavor of the almonds combined with the creamy sweet texture of the cheesecake had me swooning. I’ll never be able to eat a plain slice again.
Owners and brothers Lou and Rocco Selmanti have created a warm and inviting atmosphere at Portofino. Having opened their first restaurant in Wolcott, CT back in 1996, they were no strangers to the kitchen or restaurant business when they moved to Bethel, CT in 2017. They consistently create delicious, freshly-made food. People keep coming back to visit Portofino and I for one can tell you, there’s a very good reason for that.
Portofino Restaurant & Wine Bar is open Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner and Sunday evenings. Outdoor patio dining is available and indoor dining is at 50% capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions. Masks are required inside unless you are seated for eating.