Food Review

Restaurant Review – Il Portico


During the last restaurant week, I suggested to my better half that we meet for lunch. We looked for a restaurant that was about half way between our offices and chose Il Portico. We had been there several times before and I was once again reminded that we went to places like this when we were courting but after marriage not so much.

Restaurant week offers a 3 course meal for $20. So, my wife considers this an early dinner, I consider it a good lunch and we both consider it a good value. For our first course, my wife opted for the Insalata Mista and I chose the Insalata Caprese. She thoroughly enjoyed the balsamic vinaigrette and I enjoyed the addition of roasted red peppers to what it typically tomatoes and cheese. The second course offered several good choices and my wife opted for the Gnocchi Al Quattro Formaggi, partly for the pasta but mostly for the four cheese sauce. I selected the Ossobuco since all meat is good but veal is really good. As the course was presented, we realized that we had both made excellent choices. For our final course, we had a dessert sampler that presented a good mix of pastry and chocolate. Fortunately, my wife was getting full and that meant more for me. A 3 course lunch for $20 in under an hour was just what we were looking for. Of course, now that Il Portico has raised the bar, I am left having to meet significantly higher expectations.

5 replies »

  1. I guess Olive Garden is now out of the question.

    3 courses for $20 and you get to eat all the desserts? That’s what I call a bargain. And I too would skip dinner that night.

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      • G-lo has a vendetta against Olive Garden. While I typically take the opposite position from G-lo in arguments we are aligned on the anti-Olive Garden front. Living in the Philly/So. Jersey area with all the good Mom & Pop Italian-American restaurants I have always failed to see the appeal of Olive Garden.

        For example: If you hit a place like Angelo’s Fairmont Tavern in Atlantic City [www.angelosfairmounttavern.com] you get a high quality homemade Italian meal for the same or less than the Olive Garden. Not to mention you might get a good story about Frank Sinatra from the good ol’ days from some of Angelo’s long time patrons.

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        • Agreed Herr Wookie! Gotta keep that money local!

          Similar situation near work, but different cuisine… There’s a Sante Fe Burrito Company and El Fuego walking distance from the office, both of which are locally owned and operated. Both are excellent if you like burritos (though I suspect the Monkey Man from Texas can one up a Philly burrito since he is closer to The Border). There is also a Qdoba within 75 feet of Santa Fe. As long as Sante Fe & El Fuego keep up their tradition of excellence, Qdoba will never get a dime from me. When faced with good local vs. mediocre chain, always go local!

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