Portofino is friendly and inviting at the moment you walk in the door, a beautiful, hammered copper topped bar greets you with an ample selection of bottled beers and well selected regional wines to please a discerning pallet. Wines and beers also by the glass as - well - as a well appointed selection of liquor. A recently updated decor lends an open, friendly feeling with wonderful, well chosen paintings and prints to accent the cheerful ambiance.
A large television at the bar to catch the game scores and plenty of seats at the bar for a drink before dinner in case there's a wait. I was told that Fridays and Saturdays it's a good idea to call ahead for reservations. We did have a short and pleasant wait but got a booth in the dining room within 15 minutes, our gracious hostess Tammy had a sharp eye and masterful control of the seating complexities, and it was akin to watching an orchestra being conducted, while Pete, our bar tender masterfully controlled the busy bar.
Once seated our waitress Brenda was quick to get us started even though the restaurant was humming, the menu is complete but not overwhelming with the selections described well enough as to not have to bother the waitress who had us stocked with Italian bread and delicious home-made herbed foccacia. The kitchen staff had no problem keeping up with the busy floor and Brenda informed us that the chef, Bryan had not only been brought up in the business but was classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America, a world renowned and locally placed school of culinary studies which became obvious with the arrival of the first and subsequent courses lavished upon us.
The wonderfully presented and very generous portions presented us with the problem of having to wrap some of our entrees in order to enjoy the fabulous homemade dessert and espresso.
Back to the bar for after dinner drinks and another espresso really topped the delicious dining experience and left us with a need to come back on the next visit.
One of the reviews on the board outside stated "a hidden gem in Staatsburg” and even though located slightly off the beaten path, we very much agree with the reviewer.
When visiting the Hyde Park or Rhinebeck area, Portofino Restaurant is not to be missed