Portofino
Portofino

Portofino

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://portofinolexington.com/
  • Phone: 8592539300
  • 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: American, Italian
  • 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 8592539300
  • 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
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Portofino reviews from OpenTable diners
63 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (41)great for outdoor dining (36)fit for foodies (33)notable wine list (33)romantic (31)neighborhood gem (16)good for groups (11)hot spot (4)great for lunch (2)scenic view (2)great for brunch (2)vibrant bar scene (2)kid-friendly (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Dinner with friends
    newdiner
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    I had not been to Portofinos in years. I love the location Downtown especially the building. The atmosphere is beautiful. I did not particularly care for the Gnocchi dish I had. I prefer a more traditional preparation. My husband and friends enjoyed what they ordered. My biggest complaint would be portion sizes compared to price. I felt the portions were a little small for the price especially the meat and cheese plate appetizer. Service was very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • bad food
    green
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    the duck comfit flatbread was way too "ducky" i.e. old duck; the "marsala" meatballs were small and had no marsala taste; the ragu had no sauce and was just herbed ground meat; the marinara that had to be asked for since ragu was so dry was was very plain; the mussels were miniscule but sauce good. Just looks like restaurant is strapped and cutting corners on menu items regarding quality - bad idea.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pleasant Experience
    GeorgeVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    This was our first visit to Portofino, and it couldn't have been better. Wonderful ambiance, great wine list, and delectable food served in a timely, but not rushed manner. The pork special for the evening was outstanding, though perhaps the chef was over-zealous in the size of the servings. Our server, Rusty, was very attentive and even brought a sample of the House Bean Soup for us to try when we inquired about it. We'll definitely return on our next trip to Lexington.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a treat
    boop
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Portofino is an upscale restaurant in downtown Lexington. The service is always impeccable and the food tasty. The atmosphere is energetic, and the dining space is spacious and nicely decorated.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful time.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    The food and service were both wonderful. We had an excellent time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great return visit
    Mamas2Dukes
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Dinner with college-aged daughter and her roommate. Delicious food selections from appetizers to dinner entrees. Attentive and courteous service...we'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    TeamBeckham
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    I was with three other friends from out of town and we will definitely return to Portofino next time we are in Lexington!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Super experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Excellent experience, great food, great ambiance. A bit difficult to find the "front door".
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • thrilled!
    LexingtonNewbie
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    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!)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sauces overwhelming!
    Louise
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • An Outstanding Experience
    finefoodlover
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and wine
    NomNomVIP
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappointed
    Doc9
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • S. Cunningham
    agoodegg
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding
    ncole
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • restaurant week dining
    Wanttobeimpressedeater
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Restaurant Week Success
    learningLexington
    Dined on 7/28/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Slow service
    Overrated
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    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.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good the first time, bad the 2nd
    martynlarry
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Portofino's Never Let's us Down
    jfain
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food and staff was perfect
    will
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good experience all around
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Great menu, very accommodating, delicious, nice atmosphere. I would go back for sure.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Simply delightful
    Sybarite25VIP
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Summer night's pleasure
    Beachwalker
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Portofino: A Lexington Gem
    LexingtonFoodie
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Always wonderful
    FoodieluvswineVIP
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    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
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappointed
    Alex
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We stop here whenever we come through lexington. The mahi was fantastic. We dined on the patio for a very relaxing evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love Portofino.
    CoachKoeplin
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    A delicious evening in Lexington is guaranteed if you make a stop at Portofino. Wonderful food and drink
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect!
    iriomote
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Gnocchi
    nonickname
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best in town
    wineanddine
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Best wine list in town. Very classy and cozy place
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely evening...
    fskelly
    Dined on 5/26/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and food!!
    Sobia
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 28 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.5
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 367 reviews are from the Portofino reviews archive.
  • too fast
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Great food, but delivered too quickly. The goal is not to finish the evening as quickly as possible.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First Visit, but not the Last!
    food4ever
    Dined on 5/14/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not what I was hoping for
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    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
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Specials
    Shrimpandgrits
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    I had the crawfish risotto, and it was spectactular! I'd highly recommend Portofino's!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    MDet
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    My husband and I went here for our anniversary dinner. Service was good, a little slow, but the food was delicious!! Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate