Met up with good friends this past weekend at Porto Fino Restaurant in Huntington Village. My friends mainly like Italian food; this makes our choices limited. Since we had been to this place a while ago, and it was good (from my vague memory from a few years ago), it was a convenient location to meet in the middle of the Island. Even though I eat a lot of Italian food (since I’m living with an Italian American man), good Italian food doesn’t get boring when it’s done right. My friend wanted to meet at this place because she remembered the food was very good, portions were large and prices were reasonable. Sounds like a winning combination then, right? Oh and they take reservations, which is key on a Saturday night.
We arrived at 7:00 pm, and my friends were already waiting inside for us. The place was packed to full capacity. The manager informed us that there would be a wait since there was a family who arrived 45 minutes past their reservation, and this was holding up some of the availability. My girlfriend and I are not very patient when it comes to eating out, and we did have a reservation. I cut them some slack that night, as it appeared that everyone who lived in the general area was out having dinner and this place was hopping for a reason. It’s a casual atmosphere and they serve pizza, but offer much more on their extensive menu.
One of the main reasons I think they were so busy is because the food is delicious and they give you family style portions for reasonable prices. My entree was the Rigatoni Toscana, which comes with crumbled sausage, but I asked our server to leave out the sausage since I’m a Flexitarian now, or more likely a Pescatarian. We mostly eat a vegan/vegetarian diet, but with some fish every week or two. This is also known as pesco-vegetarianism. This entree was simply wonderful. They prepared the escarole, cannellini beans and rigatoni with garlic and olive oil; this was perfection and better than expected.
My boyfriend ordered the Shrimp Marinara, which has become his “usual” since he’s very recently avoiding tofu more since men supposedly should avoid soy. I don’t really agree with this theory, but respect his choice anyway. I am avoiding cholesterol this week, and so I didn’t even taste any of his shrimp. They were huge and he said they were very good, as was the marinara.
My girlfriend got their special – it was a seafood stew, also known as Cioppino. On the menu they have a Linguine Portofino, but this special was probably much larger and looked amazing. She was somewhat underwhelmed with the bland flavor, and ended up getting a couple of sides of marinara to liven up her entree. She liked it much better after adding the sauce. The white wine and garlic wasn’t cutting it. From my own experience I also think this dish makes more sense with a marinara.
My friend’s boyfriend got the Penne ala Vodka and added broccoli to it for a healthier spin on this decadent entree. He was the only one, who ate everything on his plate. The rest of us took a large container of leftovers home, but he’s usually the one who finishes his entree and sometimes has a soup and appetizer. The guy has a very healthy appetite.
My friends shared the chocolate mousse cake. This looked off the charts mouthwatering! Again, I didn’t have any since I’m going for my annual physical soon and getting my blood tested. In the near future there will be an occasion for me to have dessert out, and I’ll fully enjoy it – guilt free. The calories won’t count that day.
We will get through this winter together. Happy food exploring.