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“Freshness not taste distinction” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Ristorante Villa Portofino

Ristorante Villa Portofino
101 Crescent Avenue, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
+1 310-510-2009
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Ranked #9 of 46 Restaurants in Avalon
Price range: $15 - $35
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood, Pasta
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Large groups, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Freshness not taste distinction”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2012

The menu is well laid out with a complete course of hot and cold apetizers, entrees and desserts. The wine list is short, half-dozen reds, half-dozen whites, with a strong bias towards California labels.

The taste is appropriate for its Italian label but it might have been too generic. Don't be shy and go all out for a regional flavor!

Kept with the maritime theme and ordered the special fish entree. Looked everywhere for the risotto that comes with it but had to settle for a regular rotini twist sprinkled with the usual parmesan accessory.

Ah, big surprise, the halibut is super fresh. It comes on a boring white plate looking like a steaming first generation Ipod rectangle. It melts in the mouth and is delicious. Should we thank Apple or the cook?

Summary: Hard to pinpoint the unique taste of this Italian restaurant. One should always sign one's work, but it feels like you are looking at an inked-stamped signature. Go here for the freshness of the ingredients, not the taste.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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221 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    118
    59
    22
    11
    11
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Oceanside, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Excellent Italian food!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Had dinner here with some friends before Jazz concert. Glad we did! Excellent pesto chicken pasta dish and good wine selection. Will definitely come back here next trip to the island!

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Excellent food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

Excellent food, service and atmosphere. We actually sat at the bar for dinner and enjoyed everything from the fresh salad to the well prepared pastas. I had the Linguene Portifino, I highly recommend this place for dinner.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camarillo, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“September 23rd at Villa Portofino, Catalina Island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

My wife and I dined there for the first time that Sunday evening. For a first time in any Italian restaurant, I look for veal piccata as my yardstick. They had it and it was fantastic. My wife had a seafood dish and likewise was very pleased. Everything served us was first rate, and we thought all were appropriately priced. Great wine list as well. Our server, Jason, went out of his way to be caring and professional without being obtrusive. Toward the end of dinner, we discovered he is from our home town of Camarillo, CA. Just an added bonus for us in our favorite place to visit in Southern California. My wife is German and we've traveled Europe several times. To us, Catalina is like being in Italy on the Med but far less expensive. Enjoy this fine restaurant.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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El Paso, Tx
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Just a bit pricey but good”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

The service was fantastic and the food was very good. We thought it was just a bit pricey for what we ordered, but then it is Catalina and we were on vacation. If we stayed longer, we probably would have eaten there again.

Visited September 2012
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