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Portofino Bistro Italiano: Great food in Old Quebec, but rushed service
I read about this restaurant in my guide book, and being a lover of Italian food and the fact that it was so close to my hotel, decided to try it out. We started off on a bit of a bad note, though. The guide book noted this restaurant has valet service, which comes in very handy in Old Quebec because there is virtually nowhere to park. We went into the restaurant and asked for valet, and were told that it wasn't until 6pm. We got to the restaurant around 5pm, so we had to go back to the car and drive around looking for a place to park, which is not easy around there.
Now on to the restaurant! As I mentioned, it is in a great location in Old Quebec in a historic house from the 1700s. The atmosphere is cozy and the menu is quite big. We ordered our drinks, and it seemed like the waitress was back within two minutes asking us for our order. After our order came, our waitress, as well as a different waitress and staff member, came to ask us how our meals were multiple times. As I was finishing my salad, the waitress literally took my fork right out of my hand.
All in all, this is a very delicious restaurant and I would certainly go back, and it seems to be very popular, but the servers should not rush people as much as they do. I understand they want to get people in and out as fast as they can to get more business, but it is not a good thing when the customer is able to feel it.
Favorite Dish: We started off with what they call a green salad, which was absolutely huge.
I honestly can't remember what pasta I had, but I do remember there was plenty of sauce (which I like), the portion was huge and it was steaming hot.
Dave had chicken with portobello mushrooms, with pasta and veggies on the side. The sauce was quite good and, again, the portion was large.
Portofino: Great Italian restaurant in the old city
Like most restaurants located in the Vieux Quebec area, Portofino is incredibly charming and cosy. But perhaps was puts it one step ahead of some of its competitors and what makes it such a favourite with the locals and tourists alike is the outstanding service offered at this Italian bistro. The last time I was there was on New Year's Day, and the entire staff was incredibly friendly and attentive. I ordered the mushroom risotto and my friend got the goat cheese and sundried tomatoes ravioli and we were both gushing over how good the food was. The Portofino also offers an impressive wine menu ranging from about $30 to $200 a bottle, so it definitely is a great place for wine connoisseurs, but your waiter won't hesitate to recommend a bottle that fits your price range. Definitely one of the best dining experiences I've had in the old city!
Favorite Dish: That mushroom risotto was to die for!
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- Food and Dining
Portofino: very good pizza
During a road trip, we stopped by Old Quebec to stay a few nights. That is how we got to tried this excellent restaurant. We actually walked from the hotel to the restaurant and took some time to appreciate the Old Quebec. I have to admit that finding a parking in this area looks pretty hard, I would recommend to park your car a bit further and just walk.
Now the crunchy part! The food is excellent! We took the fried calamari as an appetizer, then my girlfriend took the scallop salad for her main course and I wanted to try the pizza cooked in their wood-fired oven. I didn't have much expectation since it's basically just a pizza, right? But I was blown away, this pizza with goat cheese and sausages was excellent. The topping was good and the crust was just the right amount of crispy. If you're looking for something lighter, the salad was also pretty original. The mixture of scallops and salad with their house dressing was good.
We went there at 7pm so it was pretty crowded and a bit loud. But it doesn't make the whole thing a bad experience at all, it just gives you a more lively atmosphere with their olive singer singing in the background.
As for the price, I don't think it's too expensive. The food is excellent and you do have a singer and guitarist playing for you while you're having a nice dinner.
I do think it's a must for people that are looking for an Italian restaurant in Old Quebec
Favorite Dish: Goat cheese pizza
Portofino Bistro: Looking for Italian?
For some decent Italian food you can go to Portofino. Overall this is a good place to sit down and have a nice dinner. The wait can sometimes be long for dinner due to its location.
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