Italian for the win at Portofino
Don Jevonn is Herald’s in-house food critic. He (or is it she?) will appear incognito, sample wares from off the menu and then leave, having paid the bill in full. For Don Jevonn is one of Goa’s quintessential characters and believes that in order to be objective, he must appear to be your average diner
Think ‘love’ and chances are that you’d think Italy; and Shakespeare is one of the culprits to be blamed for that. Ever since Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, Italy has been the portrait of an Italian romantic city and arguably the most romantic city in the world. But back here in Goa, Valentine’s Day is around the corner and what better way to show the special someone in your life how much you care? If you’re looking to have a well planned, elegant Italian dinner for two and tell the one you love, “Ti voglio bene”, we have a recommendation to make. Nestled in the white sands of Utorda Beach, Kenilworth Resort and Spa, is one of the oldest resort properties in Goa. After having a rather discreet yet successful run over the years, the property is now aggressively promoting its offerings, after undergoing a makeover. Portofino, the Italian trattoria at the resort, embraces traditional Italian recipes and showcases a wood-fired pizza oven, with menus featuring an authentic selection of antipasti, risotto, fresh pizzas and pastas. If you’re a fan of semi air outlet like I am, then you’ll love the setting. The ambient lighting and the soothing live music set the mood just right for a dinner with your loved ones. When we entered the restaurant, the place was almost full with a large family seated a few tables away from us. The looks of concentration and delight on their faces as they forked out a heap of spaghetti looked like they were having a great time with Italian food. It was our turn to order soon and when the food eventually arrived, it was clear why the family was having such a good time. The menu is not very extensive and that is a good thing. But for those who find it a task to choose what to pick from the menu, there is an option of a set menu too, and wine by glass. There is a wide variety of wood fired thin crust pizzas to choose from. Additionally, there are live seafood grills, which we are told are a big hit with Russians and expats. The seafood dishes at Portofino are worth delving into; The Tagliatelle alla Gamberi, for instance, is made with fresh tagliatelle, prawn with saffron chilli garlic, fresh herb and tomato. Then there is the Rissotto ai Fungi Misti made with wild mushroom and truffle oil. And when the choice of food is Italian, the only recommended way to pamper your sweet tooth, is to end it with Tiramisu Classico – the traditional Italian mascarpone cheese and coffee dessert. For a family style Italian restaurant this place does it justice - large portions, great value, fantastic service... can’t ask for any more than that. The restaurant is open for dinner only. So the next time you’re feeling Italian, I’d suggest you add Portofino to your list.
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