We chose Portico for our Friday night meal this week, as it came up when I searched for top restaurants in Richmond. Since we don't usually decide if or where we want to go until we're heading out the door, we didn't make reservations. However, this usually isn't a problem for us, because we go as early as we can, when the restaurant first opens. We arrived at 4:55, five minutes before the restaurant opened. They had valet parking out front, and as my husband prefers to park his truck himself, he drove around to the back, thinking he could do so. The valet attendants quickly informed him that it was valet only, and that they would have to park for him. They then asked if we had reservations. We told them "no", and they acted a bit alarmed, informing us that we should always make reservations if we want to eat there on the weekend. One attendant made a point to go to the door and check and see if it was possible for us to eat there, but we'd have to wait outside. We were told it would be a 5-10 minute wait while they checked. Soon, the host came out and said he was ready, asked if we had reservations, and then seated us. Wow. Not exactly the warmest welcome! I'm happy to say it got better from there! The interior decor is appealing, and the outside patio area is quite beautiful. We chose to sit inside which was comfortable. Our waiter was pleasant and the food was good. We both agreed that the portobello mushroom appetizer was especially delicious. We were pleased that Gelati Celesti ice cream was a dessert option-yum! Overall, we enjoyed our meal here, and will probably return, but with reservations next time. (We did note that the entire time we were there, 5-6:25, one other table inside the restaurant was used, so we're not sure what all the fuss was about.)
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