We took my mother-in-law to Portabello's after visiting the nearby Longwood Gardens. To tell you the truth, I didn't expect to find such a great restaurant in such a small town. We've lived in several major cities, and this was one of the better experiences at a restaurant in recent memory.
What's great? The atmosphere, the food, the service. Also, this restaurant is BYOB, i.e. "bring your own bottle" of wine. It's located conveniently across the street from a wine seller who will let you taste before you buy. Of course, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of this.
The menu was diverse enough to satisfy a range of tastes, yet specialized enough to call it Italian food. The steak was perfectly prepared. The ravioli was rich and satisfying. The best item, in my view, was the Veal Madeira. The dish allowed us a nice taste of the local specialty, mushrooms. The menu and the serving sizes were surprisingly large for a restaurant of this caliber.
We sat at a chef's table in the back, which I recommend. This allowed us to see that plenty of other dishes looked great. We will certainly return to try the Chicken Parmesan.
Finally, the owner of the restaurant was quite friendly and visited our table to chat. They gracefully encouraged us to try some of the other restaurants in the area and admitted that these, too, deserved their reputations. Still, if I find myself in this town again, I'll return to Portabello's.
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