The boyfriend and I went to Al Porto for a belated birthday dinner for myself on Friday. It was near where my boyfriend worked in Downtown, so we had a sweet romantic after work stroll in town before our lovely meal.
Upon entering there is a host whom greeted you, asked for reservation name and seated you promptly. We had a nice seat near the traditional Italian pizza oven (first time I ever seen one in the flesh! I was so excited and because of the pizza oven I was craving pizza :P Our server, Nate, was extremely polite and courteous even though we had a Groupon deal. I’vehad terrible experiences at high end restaurants who don’t even bother to give you the time of day when they know you have a deal. Anyways, I am allergic to Oregano just as severely as people are allergic to peanuts, and Nate was very helpful with the choices to make for my meal. So if you are reading this Nate, thank you!
First off, we had the traditional Italian bread slices with butter. It was unremarkable, except one of the bussers (not our main waiter) noticed our bread platter was empty and asked if we would liked refills. We were always attended to, but they would never be in your face.
We ordered the oysters as an appetizer. It was quite pricey at $2 per oyster, and the pieces were comparably smaller than other places. But the flavour stood out the most with a few squirts of lemon juice and I’m not the kind that usually likes lemon juice.
The boyfriend was in the mood for a Risotto dish, and Nate recommended the Beet Risotto as their classic.
Restaurant Description: Grilled tenderloin medallions, shaved Parmesan cheese. It was not bad and it was very COLOURFUL. Nate did say that it would come out very red and don’t be alarmed, and it was haha. The rice was a little tough to chew (think al dente but little more) and we wished the rice would’ve been cooked a little longer, but it was the blend of the sauces and the meats that really made it a stand out dish that night.
I knew I didn’t want pasta as I had chicken and pasta in alfredo sauce for lunch already, so I ended up going with a pizza. :P I ordered their Salsiccia Pizza.
Restaurant Description: Mozzarella cheese, chorizo, italian sausage, mushroom, banana pepper, oregano. Right off the bat, Nate told me he will tell the chefs to hold off the oregano and he thanked me for letting him know. I didn’t know what chorizo was at first, but at first bite and all the spices and herb blends was like a party in my mouth and it was even on a spicy note. Perhaps it was the chorizo? Whatever it was, it really hit the spot and warmed us up for a longer stroll downtown at night. One pizza was enough to fill the two of us up pretty well. I really enjoyed it, and the boyfriend enjoyed it too.
Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Al Porto and would most likely visit again. The price range was decent as it’s located in the tourist-y area of our city right near major train stations. Service was excellent, and food was great. I would recommend this restaurant for first dates. ;)