526 23rd St S.
Arlington, VA 22202Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $31 to $50
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.theportofinorestaurant.com/
- Phone: 7039798200x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday- Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Seafood, Italian
- Executive Chef: Rich Micheli
- Dress Code: Business Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wine
- Private Party Facilities: We have two (2) rooms available for groups up to 65 people. Private dining rooms require group menus and a minimum of 20 people.
- Private Party Contact: Rich Micheli 7039798200x
- Cross Street: 526 23rd St S and S Eads St
- Public Transit: The Crystal City Metro station is located at 1750 Bell St, off of 18th Street. We are a short 5 blocks walk to the south along S. Eads St.
Metro bus runs along both 23rd St, and Route 1, Jefferson Davis Hwy.
- Parking: Private Lot
- Parking Details: We have our own parking lot in the rear of the restaurant, and the entrance to the restaurant is also in the rear. The parking lot is accessed by the driveway along the west side of the building next to the awning, off of 23rd street.
A word from Portofino Restaurant
This family-run Italian eatery on Crystal City’s busy restaurant row, a.k.a. 23rd Street, has been dishing up plates of pasta for three generations. Adelmo Micheli and his son, Sergio, opened the place in 1970, later Sergio and his wife Pilar ran it, and recently their son Richard, a Culinary Institute of America grad, has taken the torch. The old world feel -- think dark wood, gilded mirrors, and brocade boudoir chairs -- strikes a nostalgic chord with older couples and extended families with children who frequent the place and become regulars. They come for classic Italian fare -- many of the plates are from longtime family recipes. Pastas include lasagna bolognese, and linguine with Ligurian pesto. More substantial plates range from dishes like veal marsala, with wine and mushrooms, or chicken piccata with lemon and capers, to rosemary-crusted lamb chops with black olive sauce. There’s also an extensive list of daily specials.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Portofino Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
65 reviews since July 2, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (37)special occasion (28)good for groups (21)romantic (21)fit for foodies (19)great for lunch (12)notable wine list (10)kid-friendly (4)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/26/2014Love to come here especially for special occassions!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AmazingOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/20/2014We stumbled across this gem while in town. I grew up working in a local fine Italian restaurant, so I am fairly critical of Italian food. The food here was amazing! The service was awesome, and the place had a charm about it. I highly recommend this restaurant!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Won't go backMO63026Dined on 10/18/2014This was the first time we visited Portofino and it will be our last. A party of five for a 6PM reservation should not have had this much trouble at dinner. 1, Had to ask twice for the wine list. 2. Had to ask twice for butter for the bread. 3. My husband ordered a veal dish, they brought out an entire fish. They took the fish back and brought out a veal dish - the wrong veal dish. Since the other four diners were about half way through their meals, he didn't return the veal. 4. Apologies were made on the mix up of the order, but no offer was made to remove the item from our bill, free dessert, or anything. The bill arrives and we were charged for the most expensive veal special. 5. Terrible parking situation, too.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/17/2014We had picked up my daughter from DCA and we're looking for some Italian to eat. My daughter is a vegaterian and this suited her well. The service was friendly, onsite parking was great. We arrived early but the restaurant was able to seat us quickly.m the food came out quickly was was goodSpecial Features:
- DineoutDCDined on 10/17/2014Had dinner for the second time in as many months. Wonderful meal, in a pleasant atmosphere. Also a great martini, but how about a second olive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PortofinoJv1252Dined on 10/13/2014Best meal we have had so far on our trip to DC. A bit on the expensive side for a pasta meal, but everyone at our table was pleased with what they had ordered. Menu has many options. Went on a Tuesday, service and food prep seemed to take a little longer. But staff was attentive. Overall a very nice restaurant, expensive, great food, great wine, great find.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Neighborhood GemJtdiningDined on 10/10/2014Portofino's is the best kept secret in Crystal City. My favorite wines are from Argentina. To my surprise, the waiter brought us the wine list and my favorite wine was on that list! I love Italian food. Portofini's has the best Italian food in Crystal City. The ravioli stuffed with shrimp was divine!!Special Features:
- This was a real vacation findOpenTable Diner Since 2007VIPDined on 10/2/2014We found Portofino online...within a short distance of our hotel in D.C. We were on vacation....but wish this was our hometown restaurant. Travelling for a week, we decided that this was the best restaurant on this vacation. WONDERFUL food....great waiter....friendly people... cozy feel. It reminded us of the warm, friendly restaurants on "The Hill" in St Louis. So glad we found Portofino.Special Features:
- great food and sericemajorfoodieDined on 9/17/2014We had a party of 8 and the staff handled us fantasticly. The food as excellent as well as the wine list. I would highly recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A gem...bhobbs63Dined on 9/16/2014In the midst of all the places to eat on 23rd Street in Crystal City, Arlington, VA, this place is a real gem. Attentive service and an excellent menu make for an outstanding dining experience.Special Features:
- As great as ever.SCNana1Dined on 9/14/2014I first started going to this restaurant in the 90s. I moved away,but recently returned to the area and was delighted to find that it is still open and going strong. You get great Northern Italian food at reasonable prices.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Outstanding foodOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 9/9/2014This is the best Italian restaurant in the area. Have been here numerous times over many years and the quality has remained superb throughout my many visits. Will definitely return.Special Features:
- ThomasDined on 8/30/2014The outside appearance of an old building and main entrance through the back door gave us pause about our selection for fine dining. Once inside, were pleasantly surprised the clean and quiet atmosphere, excellent service, and wonderful tastes.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Old World CharmGiataVIPDined on 8/26/2014Loved this restaurant...from the gold plated chargers, white table cloths, and extensive menu to the pollished nature of our waiter. We will definitely be returning.Special Features:
- Great foodKarenMLDined on 8/24/2014We got lucky because everything we tried was incredibly good. And we only paid a very modest price. The wine selection is reasonable and it tasted fantastic. The service was excellent. The only thing I would need more twist is dessert. I may be asking too much because it tasted good. I will return soon with my friends in Crystal City.Special Features:
- Excellent!cjb1028Dined on 8/20/2014I was visiting DC and this restaurant was recommended to our group. It was excellent! Food and service were fantastic! The next time I visit DC, I will go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- seems over ratedMichaelVIPDined on 8/20/2014There is a nice, authentic feel to this somewhat rumpled restaurant. The one pasta we chose was very well done (carbonara). The veal special was very ample and fine. The chicken of the house was really nice but skimpy (a second breast was in order, given the size). Caesar salad was fair (leaves were tired and limp). The wine list is weak. Indeed the recommended bottle ($79), a chianti (oro), had zero character. Our first waiter was incomprehensible due to accent; our second was both efficient and helpful. So a very mixed evening. Not sure I would drive across DC to try it again.
- Wonderful experiencecharlesDined on 8/14/2014We have eaten at Portofino many times and enjoy the food, Service and ambiance.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good ValueGoodnotgreatDined on 8/12/2014This establishment has been around a long time and is showing its age - good food at good value. Ambiance is dated - not elegant, looks a little tired, but clean. Food is not to die for but is good and fresh, not somewhere I'd take a date to impress but somewhere I'd bring family for a no surprise favorite dish. A nice place for a quiet business lunch. Menu had good veriety, service was without incident and timely. A solid valueSpecial Features:
- Who have this a four star????OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 8/9/2014We went to this restaurant based on open table reviews of 4.5 stars. It was terrible!!! It's an old house so it smells old. The service was slow, we sat there for 15 mins before anyone came over and we pretty much had to flag them down. The food was worst than eating italian from a bad food court! I got a shrimp pasta with red sauce...it felt like I came out of a bad can food. Basically Olive Garden would have been a thousand times better than this place. For how pricey they are you are better off going to Carmine's or filomena which are both grest
- neighborhood gemdontmakefoodmakerezVIPDined on 8/8/20144 of us dined here for the first time here. We walked there, felt welcome immediately, and had 5 minutes to spear to order a half price bottle of wine, which was very enjoyable. 2 of us really liked our veal dishes and so did the 2 who ordered fish. Two desserts were shared and again the Zabbayone and coconut cake were tasty treats. We'll be back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- first visit--a pleasant surpriseAliceDined on 8/6/2014Four of us dined at Portofino on a Wednesday evening. All of us enjoyed our entrées. Service was good. The food arrived in a timely fashion. I would like to return to Portofino and try a few more items from their nice menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BillDined on 8/1/2014Very enjoyable dinner for two at Portofino. Neighborhood style Italian restaurant has been in business for 40 years so are obviously doing the right things. Good food and good service at reasonable price. Will go back.Special Features:
- Service that can't be beatTheLievenseDined on 8/1/2014Our waiters were some of the friendliest and most generous people that I've ever had as a customer. They were great with the two toddlers too, joking and entertaining them. The food could be a little hit (Hit: Cioppio w/Fra Diavolo sauce, Spinach Salad, & Chicken Marsala were all excellent) or miss (Lasagna was a bit plain/uninspired, calamari was slightly soggy). Ultimately this is a great old school family restaurant and the service takes it from what could be a 3 star to a 4.5 star and it is PERFECT for large groups (we had 10 in our party).Special Features:
- Super place to reaquaint!CapsFan25VIPDined on 7/30/2014Went to dinner with an old friend to get reaquainted -- nice, romantic with good food. I absolutely loved my veal, she was so-so on the gnochi. Half-price bottle of wine was a really nice surprise, and certainly got us a better bottle than I normally would have bought. I'll go back!Special Features:
- Best in Fine DiningWojcikDined on 7/30/2014We've been dining at Portofino's for many years, and it's still the finest in Italian cuisine. The food, service and dining experience is as wonderful as ever. I highly recommend that everyone add this to their list of must dine! You will truly enjoy the experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We had a fine birthday dinner.CurtDined on 7/26/2014We were met well. Aided in selecting our meal choice. Served in a very pleasant and attentive manner. The food selection was wide. The lamb chops were well prepared and very good. Contact with othr guests was nice.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 7/23/2014Made last minute reservations through trip advisor. The restaurants specialty for lobster and shrimp in a brandy sauce was delicious. My son had the Chicken stuffed florentine and his friend had the chiopinino. The calamari was also tender and delicious. Our waiter was very attentive and the courses were perfectly timed. Great find. Next time we are in the area, we will be visiting Portofino.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Rare FinddpdcVIPDined on 7/23/2014A terrific Italian restaurant in the food poor Crystal City. The gracious welcome and service is a reminder of Old Europe at it's best. The food and wine selections are terrific. And, this is the only place with its own parking lot!Special Features:
- Good Food, OK PriceFoodFanVIPDined on 7/17/2014Portofino offers a good variety of food for a reasonable price. The service was good, but they botched one disk -- added garlic to the veggies for one of my guests who expressly stated she was allergic. To their benefit, they corrected the error quickly. The atmosphere is relaxing; fairly quite and conducive to conversation. The location is great...a quick walk around the block! If you want good Italian, give them a try!Special Features:
- A welcome returnlunchbunchDined on 7/16/2014I had not been to Portofino's in many years. I had sort of forgotten about it. A friend suggested it as she needs gluten free and they offer gluten free pasta. It was wonderful. 1/2 price bottle of wine was a good start and both of our salads and entrees were delicious. I appreciate they offer a half portion of pasta dishes, it was a perfect amount.Special Features:
- Good, but not greatNomsDined on 7/15/2014We went at a very quiet hour (6 o'clock on a Monday) and it was actually a little too quiet. I felt like the two or three other people could hear everything my friend and I were saying. The staff was nice and knowledgeable. The food was honestly a little disappointing. I got beef ravioli in a clear broth for an appetizer, and it was just meh. The ravioli didn't have much flavor. Same goes for the bread that was served at every table. I got an appetizer portion of the lasagna, and it was just okay. Not great, not bad. I thought it would have more flavor but it was just meh. I LOVE that you can get any pasta dish served in an appetizer portion. Decent prices on most things too!Special Features:
- Good as alwaysDSReeseMSDined on 7/10/2014I have a meeting in DC every year and always try and eat at least one meal here. Excellent food, good service, great wine list.Special Features:
- Great findRWL00Dined on 7/9/2014Excellent service. The restaurant feels roomy despite its small size. Food was also fantastic.Special Features:
- Great dining experience great foodmelnelDined on 7/5/2014We've been patronizing this family owned place for two years and have found ourselves there almost as our default meal for dinner with friends, romantic occasions and more. The new chef came out to greet us and the waiting staff has always accommodated our preferences. Will be back again soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 6 reviews are from the Portofino Restaurant reviews archive.
- irishdocDined on 6/27/2014Excellent food prepared Italian style (no meatballs and spaghetti here). I go to Portofino every time that I am in the Washington DC area. It is worth the trip.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 2 for 2OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/22/2014The food was outstanding my wife and I have dined at Portofinos twice and both times have been an exciting and delicious experience.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Fantastic 23rd St.CrystalCityBobDined on 6/20/2014Fantastic 23rd Street gem! Great food, good selection of wine, excellent service. We've been dining at Portofino for many years and have never been disappointed!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- surprisingly good foodGIGmbrVIPDined on 6/15/2014We've been to Portofino a couple of times in the past few years for a decent Italian meal - nothing too special. This time we especially enjoyed our dinners - excellent baked melanzane and manicotti. We'll be quicker to go back now.Special Features:
- Great dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/14/2014We enjoyed a wonderful family birthday at Portofino's. Great food, wonderful & friendly service, free parking at the rear of the restaurant. Everybody enjoyed their meal. Also enjoyed the half price wine (ordered before 6:00pm). Overall, a great birthday celebrationSpecial Features: