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  • Portofino

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Portofino Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://portofinolexington.com
  • Phone: (859) 253-9300
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, American
  • Executive Chef: Nat Tate, Rob Nathanson & Jordan Noel
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: Please contact Kristen at the restaurant for more information.
  • Private Party Contact: Kristen Richardson (859) 253-9300
  • Entertainment: Check web site.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Quality
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Portofino
Portofino features an inventive menu of Italian and American cuisine. Located in a beautifully renovated building on Main Street in downtown Lexington, KY, Portofino has an elegant interior design, a menu with the highest quality ingredients, and an extensive wine list. The menu offers fresh food from local producers as well as the best ingredients from around the world. Portofino has earned the Wine Spectator Award seven years in row, from 2003 through 2009 and is proud to offer such a rich and varied selection. The staff at Portofino is committed to providing their guests with the finest dining experience possible.Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "mussels were outstanding, complimented with the lemongrass butter--a meal in itself when paired with the bread which was perfect for consuming it all! The cerviche was unexpected and light, but and the veal meatballs were fabulous! The sauce and vegetables accompanying this were unusual and light--the local pasta a treat! The tagliatelle pasta was a little al dente for my taste but on another visit I asked for it to be cooked longer and it was perfection! (hint to those who prefer more done pasta!)"
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "When I pay $35 for a dinner entree, with meat that is tender and cooked to perfection, I want to be able to TASTE the meat. But the sauces they used were so strong and overwhelming, you couldn't appreciate the flavors of the actual food. They did have a great wine list, but the food menu was small. I'm sure outdoor dining here would be nice, but it rained when we went. Overall it was OK-not the best for the money."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "We love to dine at Portofino. The regular food choices are great, but their specialties are really good, as well. It is difficult to stray from our menu favorites, but the specialties have never disappointed us."
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "A winning combination of good food and an outstanding wine list, combined with a charming ambiance and excellent service. And felt like the dishes were even better on my last visit--refined flavors, evolved dishes, perfectly fresh pasta with stand-out sauce. Adding Portofino back to my favorites list!"
    Dined on 8/16/2014
  • "We have dined at Portofino several times, often on special occasions. We have never been disappointed in the food or the service -both are impeccable. Everything is first-class from the cocktails to the (expensive) wine list to the perfectly prepared meals. We plan to return often."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Great spot for dinner with your significant other. We were a little unsure about the place when we drove up, because the "curb appeal" is lacking— it's actually in the back of a brick building. But the ambience and outdoor seating was great—and quiet too because it's not right on the street. Food was wonderful and service terrific. Server was very knowledgable about the wine list too. The manager even stopped by our table to make sure everything was to our liking."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "This is our fourth or fifth visit to Portofino, a must do when we go to Lexington, and again they didn't disappoint us. They also boast a VERY complete bourbon stock."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "The food, service and atmosphere was outstanding. I applaude the staff and everyone behind the scene. Will most definitely be making another visit and wouldn't expect anything less than the service I had this time. Thank you."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "This restaurant was highly recommended by a Lexington friend, but our experience was disappointing. I ordered the haddock special ($37), which was served overcooked/dry. I suggested that the server inform the kitchen, but no apology was offered. The bean soup, however, was quite delicious. My wife ordered a “restaurant week” feature, chicken marsala, which was tasteless and boring. In contrast, my out of town guest also ordered chicken marsala from the main menu, but this preparation was visibly different; my guest was quite pleased with her choice. Our server was not particuarly attentive and returned once to refill our water glasses. We have no plans to dine at Portofino again."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "We were first disappointed that the menu was not the same as listed in paper but our waiter explained that the paper printed last year's by mistake. The changed menu was OK but we didn't feel that it highlighted the restaurants food very well and that was one of the main point of the promotion we thought. We thought the food was just average and we were expecting more. Overall most things were very nice but we still came away feeling that we could have prepared the same meal at home just as well and probably better. When we go out to a fine dining restaurant we want to be impressed and we weren't."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "We tried Portofino during Restaurant Week, knowing that its regular prices put it into the "special occasions only" category for us. Although the menu warned us of reduce portions for the special offer, we had plenty to eat. With "normal" servings, we would have taken home leftovers. Complimentary warm bread & herbed butter made a nice start. The chicken, polenta, and broccoli dinner was very tasty, especially the broccoli. Salads were small and ho-hum; this was one way they could rein in costs for the special. Beverages cost extra. We each had a glass of quite satisfactory wine. For dessert we had the two offered: tiramisu and key lime pie. Both were delicious. Our server, Tonya, was knowledgeable and friendly. We'll return."
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "Extremely slow service. They didnt appear to be extremely busy but it took over an hour for our orders to be taken. 7:30 reservation; didn't leave til 10:30. If you want a long drawn out dinner, this is the place for you. Food was average."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "As an Italian American this is not what I was accustomed to nor expected. Bone-in chicken breast for marsala or francais??!! I will admit it was better than I thought it was going to be. But the portions are small. An authentic Italian restaurant should have heartier portions. It was our anniversary so I requested a quieter, more private table. Annnnnnnd we were seated next to a loud, obnoxious group of 6 and a family with a baby! Awesome! Our waitress was very polite but service was slow. We were there for 2.5 hours. We didn't care nor complain because we had all the time in the world and wanted to relax. They did comp one dessert for it being our anniversary. Odd, ugly paintings hanging on the walls. Hostesses were rude and unwelcoming."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "One of the few patio's in Lexington that we enjoy thoroughly. If you want delicious Italian and some other maybe more americanized choices with amazing desserts, where the owner always visits you at your table to see how things were...this is the place!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "Ordered the two beef dishes they offer and both were delicious. The filet was ordered med. Rare but came out medium well. The only hiccup of my experience. The management handled it to my satisfaction and otherwise was a perfect experience. Will definitely go back."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Great menu, very accommodating, delicious, nice atmosphere. I would go back for sure."
    Dined on 7/12/2014
  • "We chose to sit on the patio which was lovely and peaceful. The service was warm and attentive. The food was scrumptious and beautifully-prepared. The GM made a point of visiting each table which was a nice gesture. We always enjoy Portofino's and cannot wait to return."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "Enjoyed another pleasant evening on the Patio at Portofino's. The waiter was attentive, yet allowed us our space to have intimate conversations. The food was good, but a tad bit salty for both of us. The wine was excellent and the overall experience left us wishing we could have lingered a bit longer."
    Dined on 7/2/2014
  • "They have an extensive wine and bourbon list, attentive staff and excellent food. I recommend the tiramisu for dessert, as Portofino's is some of the best in town. Overall, we had a pleasant experience at Portofino and we expect to go again. I heartily recommend this restaurant to those looking for a pleasant escape from typical dinner fare. Portofino is a gem--enjoy it!"
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "We continue to eat here and have yet to have a bad meal. Eating on the patio, weather permitting, is hands down the best patio experience in Lexington"
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "We stop here whenever we come through lexington. The mahi was fantastic. We dined on the patio for a very relaxing evening."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "A delicious evening in Lexington is guaranteed if you make a stop at Portofino. Wonderful food and drink "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "My wife and I dined at Portofino for our anniversary based on some recommendations from a friend, and we were pleasantly surprised. The food, wine, atmosphere and staff were absolutely wonderful from start to finish. Our only "complaint" was that the total bill was a bit higher than an average dinner (~$125 for two w/ an appetizer, bottle of wine and dessert), but it was worth every penny. We look forward to eating here again soon!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "We went here for our 5th wedding anniversary, and it was very good. The place was not crowded but had enough people to have a nice environment, our waiter was very attentive, and the food was quite good. We'll definitely be going back! "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Best wine list in town. Very classy and cozy place"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "The enclosed courtyard was a surprise ... we were visiting Lexington and looking forward to a great meal. We were extremely pleased! Our daughter got the gnocchi ... velvety smooth, melt-in mouth. My husband had the delicious pork loin -- perfectly cooked (it's so easy to overdo!) with amazing risotto. Pan seared halibut was a special of the day - garnished with pea shoots and fresh peas/mushrooms - outstanding. Even our picky eater daughter enjoyed the pasta with meat sauce. Great wine list - the first bottle they opened was obviously corked - and the waiter didn't blink an eye, immediately offering the list for a second choice. Don't miss Wayne at the bar -- we enjoyed (and benefited) from his bourbon knowledge. We'll be back."
    Dined on 5/26/2014
  • "It was a great dinning experience. I was impressed with our wait person, she was also doing some shadow training and most the time that is awkward but it was handled very well. "
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Great food, but delivered too quickly. The goal is not to finish the evening as quickly as possible."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Every item on the menu looked interesting and unique, so making our choices was difficult. Our server made the selection process easier as he was very knowledgable about every item on the menu as well as the wine list and made great recommendations. Both meals were excellent, from entree through desert! Each "room" in the restaurant is a little different, so I can imagine that each visit will be like the first time. We are already looking forward to our next visit!"
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "If your looking for a nice romantic dinner look else where the atmosphere here is nothing close. Food was ok nothing blew me away . Price is above average"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "I had the crawfish risotto, and it was spectactular! I'd highly recommend Portofino's! "
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "My husband and I went here for our anniversary dinner. Service was good, a little slow, but the food was delicious!! Highly recommend."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "I was given your restaurant as a recommendation from someone who lives in Lexington (I live in Indiana) and thoroughly enjoyed the service and meal. The service was prompt and food was very good."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Portofino was the perfect place to reunite with an old college friend and catch up. The staff was attentive without interrupting. We were able to visit and did not feel rushed. Food was great - as usual."
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "Liked: Ability to make reservations - we've discovered many Lexington area restaurants do not accept reservations and we hate waiting for a table. Reserved parking for Portofino customers - appreciated that we didn't have to struggle to find parking. Ambiance and decor inside restaurant was lovely. Accoustics were good so it wasn't noisy. Service was excellent. Food presentation was nice and serving sizes were generous. Good bread and seasoned butter was excellent. On the negative side: None of us were overly fond of our food choices. Overall, the food was OK. Pasta noodles too thick/rubbery. We'll try the restaurant again based on the positives mentioned and the hope that other dishes on the menu might be more satisfying."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Portofino is hands down one of the best restaurants in Lexington. Menu is exquisite and the quality of food is second to none. Whether you're looking for drinks and apps (Bruschetta is a house favorite with an amazing Gorgonzola cream sauce) or a proper sit down, Portofino is always consistent with a friendly and knowledgeable staff. I highly recommend the sea scallops, osso bucco, and you can't leave without trying the tiramisu. Prices are more than fair for what you get. It's a regular place for the "thoroughbred crowd" and we continue to frequent. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "I met a friend, and we split the salad with goat cheese which was good. I had the veal marsala meatballs w/pasta -- also good. My friend had the flatbread w/veggies & cheese. It might have been a little hard to eat but good. We split the tiramisu which was very good. Waitress was great!"
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "We had a great Easter dinner. Service was excellent and attentive. Their bruschetta is the best in town. They have an excellent wine selection as well. "
    Dined on 4/20/2014
  • "Last minute reservations when we arrived in town from out of state. Very nice restaurant, great parking, greeter was somewhat slow and aloof but the waiter was awesome! Wish I had room for dessert. "
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "My wife and I visited the restaurant on the way back from our honeymoon. It was perfect. Food was delicious and the feel of the place was fine dining with a casual/laid back twist. We were able to sit outside in their outdoor seating to enjoy the beautiful weather that day."
    Dined on 4/18/2014