Saturday, January 29, 2011

Portobello's - Downtown Disney, Florida

Portobello sells itself as a rustic Italian restaurant, "born in the bounty and harvest of the Italian Countryside. They consider the restaurant an "Old World" type of venue, but truly, the white tablecloths are the only nod to Old World Italy. The Portobello restaurant in Downtown Disney, Orlando, Florida is typical of many of the Disney restaurants - it's big, it's designed to feed a lot of people and get them out the door, and it's loud.
It is set apart from other more "family-friendly" restaurants on Disney property, by their wine list and their menu. Though there are food items for the shorter folks, this is clearly a restaurant for the adults.

The Portobello's staff was a little short-handed the night some friends and I stopped by, so the service was slightly slow and surly. The food was worth the wait! We started with fresh Italian bread served with a roasted garlic bulb and olive oil. I ordered a Raymond Cabernet, 2007 vintage from Raymond Vineyards in Napa Valley. (Actually I ordered it from the waiter, but at some point it came from the Raymond Vineyards.) Earlier vintages of their Cabernet range in price from $85 - $180 per bottle. For a mid-range priced "house wine", I found this Cabernet to have a nice balance of powerful Cabernet juiciness and spicy complexity. It would make a lovely gift for someone who appreciates a hearty, yet delicate red. The Portobello house salad is a simple plate of locally grown mixed greens and a typical vinaigrette dressing. Garlic slightly overpowered the overall flavor.

Tonight's entree was an enticing skewer of shrimp, keeping company with a plate of polenta and a buttery white wine sauce. A light hint of lemon ran through the wine sauce. In a nod to the wintery weather, the chef included squash in the polenta. It was the perfect combination for a chilly evening in Orlando.


  1. I can almost smell the garlic. But I'm not protesting for I love garlic. And it's good for you. So what's not to like? Did someone rummage around in the salad before you took the photo? It looks... uhm... very rustic ;-)

  2. I hope the food was good cause the presentation certainly wasn't...looks like someone just slapped the food on a plate...must be Disney