Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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.
Arlington, VA 22202
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:00pm; Dinner: Sunday- Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
526 23rd St S and S Eads St
$31 to $50
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
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.
Private Party Facilities:
We have two (2) rooms available for groups up to 65 people. Private dining rooms require group menu and a minimum of 20 people. Also, we have semi-private areas available for non-group menu groups. No setup charge for bar in private dining area.
Private Party Contact:
Rich Micheli: (855) 676-0640
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Happy hour pricing, nightly 5-6pm, half price on full bottles of wine under $100.00, $50 off bottles of wine over $100.00.
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Portofino Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
This is a unique and rare find for the Crystal City/Arlington area. This place will remind you of home and going out dinner with the family. Great food from a by gone era. Uber friendly service, from a wonderful staff from around the world. They so friendly. This place is such a gathering place, full tables, full of good food, good wines and beer and good conversation. Step out of DC and into the world of Portofino. You'll enjoy your trip.
Classic Italian menu well prepared. Place feels very 'old school' needs a freshening up of decor (worn out wood on chairs and carpet a bit worn. That said, food solid. Particularly liked the Italian Wedding Soup. Calimari undercooked. shrimp in pasta dish small and not flavorful. Servers pleasant, attentive. Adequate but wouldn't rush to go back.
Loved the warm welcome by the hostess, followed by our waiter. The ambiance was nice and cozy. The wine by the bottle special from 5pm-6pm is great. The menu included classics and specialty items at fair prices. We enjoyed our meals and look forward to returning.
Is there a restaurant in the DC area that doesn't overcook the pasta?
Overall Portofino's is a pretty decent place. The menu is varied, they had several specials to offer and the food tasted good. My friend had stuffed veal and I had tortellini with sausage in tomato sauce. I grew up in NY eating Italian food, so I can't rave about it, but it was good. The appetizers were tasty and they serve some nice bread too. But ... the tortellini was overcooked :(
Service was excellent, our waiter Julio was very knowledgeable about the menu, pleasant and attentive without being too intrusive.
The ambience isn't great, tables are close together and small. With an antipasto and our fruiti de mar appetizer there was hardly room on our table for two. It is a bit noisy. You can chalk it up to the charm of the place, though. It is in an old building on 23rd.
They do have an excellent deal on wine during happy hour 5-6.
Having lived here for two decades, there's little new under the sun when it comes to dining. We have our limits like most people, so we also have our favorites. We now have a new favorite in Portofino. There are three Italian restaurants in our neighborhood (Fairfax City) we love, but we'll take the drive to come back here any time.
We happened to book an early dinner after work. We had no idea bottles of wine were half-price before 6 pm! (Good wine list; we had the Jordan chardonnay. Small bar for cocktails, too.)
The service was friendly and unpretentious, yet very respectful. Our appetizer--the antipasto--was a delicious adventure, and the salads were great. But the entrees! Yay! My shrimp fra diavolo was in a very light tomato broth, filled with peppers, shrimp, and pasta. Her seafood selection was scrumptious. We passed on dessert, but took a tiramisu to our coffee-loving neighbor watching our dog that evening--a big hit.
This was slightly upscale dining--entrees were $20-29 at its best. The owner came out to greet us and couldn't be more welcoming. I can't wait to return and further explore the menu.
This was the second time my wife and I went there. The service, again, was below par. It took a while for us to be seated, even though we had reservations. A host lady kept coming back and forth, without telling us what was going on. Finally, we got seated, and the waiters come asking what we wanted, without providing us with a menu! Very awkward. The food is good, and the price reasonable. But the service could be improved.
A small group enjoyed a quiet dinner on a weeknight. Very good service from the friendly waiter. We were all satisfied with our food choices. Salads were fresh, butternut squash ravioli special was delicious. We were too full for dessert.
Good ambience; great parking (plenty of space in lot behind the restaurant, accessible down narrow driveways on each side of the stand-along restaurant).
We were celebrating a family get together with members coming in from all over the country. The restaurant was easy to find and the menu selections provided something for everyone. All were extremely pleased with their selections. The wait staff was attentive without being annoying and let us enjoy the delicious meal and conversation without interruption. The noise level was a little high when all the tables were in use, but as the evening wore on and some of the tables emptied, it became more tolerable. Loved the bread!! Would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone. Thanks for a very enjoyable evening.
Chose this restaurant based on 4-start Yelp rating. Service and atmosphere was great, but the food was very disappointing. Had the Veal Marsalla, which was mediocre at best. Took a piece of Ricotta Cheesecake back to my hotel, but after just a few bites flushed it down the toilet.
Portofino is an old-time family Northern Italian restaurant. The service is very gracious and attentive and adaptable. The food was delicious and ample, with many choices, some more traditional "Italian restaurant" dishes and some more spruced up or modernized. It's not cheap but worth paying a little extra for quality. Gluten-free pasta was available with a number of dishes, and I think they would substitute it in others if asked.
Our umpteenth time at Portofino, and once again, everything from the service to the wine to the food to the ambiance pleased everyone. Our guests especially were taken by the entire setting. They are locals (we weren't) and had never been there despite living nearby, but promised to return when they had some special occasion to celebrate. Or even just for a great Italian dinner, no special occasion required.
The food was good; however, the restaurant has a musty and old smell. It is not easily handicapped accessible and we had to enter through an exit door with a very ugly exterior and it was difficult to maneuver the wheel chair on the outdoor stones. This restaurant needs an overhaul! Don't plan to return.
Very dirty. Food was NOT what we expected especially for the price! Marinara was very watery and flavorless.. veal was tough...... service was fair. House wine was terrible. Tasted like it was right out of the box.... will not go back. Food appearances were nice but NO taste!
So I hate to be a complainer so I'll start off with the positive. We were seated. Server was very enthusiastic. Served our bottle of wine (Chardonnay a bit warm) bread & olive oil. Told us specials and note-we had 3 children with us, 8, 11 & 15. He shared that he would be able to serve kids 1/2 orders of pasta or chicken fingers.
Ok, we ordered...and let the kids order themselves. They ordered pasta, 2 penne w/butter and meatballs, 1 penne with red sauce and meatballs.
Rolled eggplant app came out--DELISH!
Calamari--yum, small but good.
Caesar w anchovies--good!
Minestrone--so so. Mushroom soup--so so.
Dinners, sole was good, chicken dishes good
Kids meals come out, FULL giant plates of pasta for $20 a piece. We mentioned this to the server who did not seem to think it was crazy that he brought, at least the little 2 hear giant plates of pasta. Really disappointing. Clearly left a bad taste in our mouth. We won't be back. No remorse.
Desert sounded good but at this point we were full and annoyed.
My husband and I had the pleasure of dining at Portofino yesterday afternoon. We were greeted warmly by Akash the moment we walked in the door. He took us to our table and provided us with the specials for the day. We chose the mussels and the portobello mushroom apps. For the main course we had the Bocconcini Dello Chef (Braised, stuffed veal with fresh mushrooms in a sherry wine sauce) as well as the Omaggi Di Nettuno (Combination of lobster tail, shrimp, scallops, and fresh mushrooms in brandy cream sauce served over fettucine). Everything was delicious but the stand out was the Omaggi!!!
I was weary about the "brandy cream sauce" as I more prefer light wine, lemon, butter, or tomato based sauces but another wonderful server assured me that it was not to creamy and I would enjoy the dish. He was absolutely correct; the sauce was perfect and the flavors were amazing!!
We will definitely be returning-the chef, the servers, as well as the bus boys collectively provided a great dining experience. Much thanks to Akash and the entire staff for the awesome service!
Fantastic little authentic Italian restaurant. Located in a refurbished older home. Was not impressed by outside appearance of it, but was pleasantly pleased once we went inside.
Service was fantastic. Friendly, prompt, and very helpful when ordering.
Food was "over the top".
I had the Chicken Marsala. The best I have ever had. By far.
Will definitely return here whenever I am in the Arlington/Crystal City area.
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