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Portofino Restaurant
Portofino Restaurant

Portofino Restaurant Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.theportofinorestaurant.com
  • Phone: (703) 979-8200
  • 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: Italian, Seafood
  • 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 (703) 979-8200

Getting there

  • 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 photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Diner Reviews
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "I 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!"
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "There 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."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "We have eaten at Portofino many times and enjoy the food, Service and ambiance."
    Dined on 8/14/2014
  • "This 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 value"
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "We 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"
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "4 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."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "Very 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."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Our 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)."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Went 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!"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "We'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."
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Made 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."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "A 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!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Portofino 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!"
    Dined on 7/17/2014
  • "I 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."
    Dined on 7/16/2014
  • "We 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!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "I have a meeting in DC every year and always try and eat at least one meal here. Excellent food, good service, great wine list."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "Excellent service. The restaurant feels roomy despite its small size. Food was also fantastic."
    Dined on 7/9/2014
  • "We'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."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Excellent 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."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "The food was outstanding my wife and I have dined at Portofinos twice and both times have been an exciting and delicious experience."
    Dined on 6/22/2014
  • "Fantastic 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!"
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "We'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."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "We 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 celebration"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "If you are looking for a romantic place to take your date, look no further. If you are looking for a place who treats you like family, look no further. If you are looking for top of the line meals at great prices, look no further. Portofino's is by far my favorite place to dine. They really do treat you like family and make you feel so very welcome and relaxed. Do yourself a favor and have a night out there."
    Dined on 6/11/2014