My wife and I origianally visited Portofino,s for first time in Feb.2012 with our neighbors and had a delightful lunch. My cousins were visiting St. Petersburg and I suggested we meet at Portofino's for lunch. I emailed them directions using this site and the reviews showed up. I read thenm and could not believe it was the same place from a year ago. They were reluctant to dine here after they read the reviews.After a few emails and phone calls we decided to meet there and change to another restaurant if needed. I had made arrangements for a party of six. We arrived and were immediately met by a receptionist and showed us our table. It was set with reservation label on the outter porch as I had requested. My wife felt that we would be better off inside and the waitress was polite and accomodating. She quickly moved us to an inside porch table. asked if we would like anything to drink, cold water or other beverage while we waited.
Shortly I guests arrived and we were seated. My cousin had trusted my judgement based on my previous visit and my wife's and my experince of dining in various places all over the world. Menu's were disrtibuted in a timely manner and shortly afterwards, our waiter, Robert, showed up with 6 glasses of water, ice filled with lemon slices on the side and asked us for other drink orders. He returned immediately with ice tea's and a frosty beer mug filled with his recommendation of the type beer. He took our orders in a very professional manner and a short time later showed up with the appetizers and soups, The calamari was shared by all and conceded it was excellent. We all had ordered the panni 'Isabella" and it was excellent. It was deliverd after a short wait, it was hot and cooked just right. It was comparable to the panni's we had eaten many times in Italy. Robert who was our server as well as the bartender was polite, efficient and attentive to our needs.He has been there 6 years, enjoyed working there, could not understand some of the negative reviews but conceded that during peak hours the restaurant ia packed from one end to the other and it is difficult to keep up with clientile who expect a fast food type service.
All in all we had a great dining experience and expect to return if th eopportunity arises. Recommend lunch as it is not so hectic and you can enjoy a leisurely meal. If you had a previous bad experience request Robert as your server although he may be tending bar and not available. Great view and despite previous reviews the windows were clean..
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.