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“Not worth it”

Restaurant Portofino Bistro
Ranked #51 of 1,506 Restaurants in Quebec City
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations
Neighborhood: Downtown Quebec City
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Portofina has a great location in Quebec City but thats about the best thing about this restaurant. I went with my girlfriend on a Saturday night. We decided to eat at Portofino because it was absolutely packed with customers, and the menu looked like it had some nice options.
We started by ordering the three-color salad to start things off....... and order which our waiter conveniently changed to a more expensive salad with duck meat "I had to change your order, I know you will like this" was his comment. Fine. The salad came and it was ok howeve rit was slightly salty, I found myself wishing that we had gotten the cheaper salad, that I actually ordered.
For dinner, I ordered a shrimp pasta dish with arugula. For $28 I was expecting a nice dish. What I received was worse than any olive garden meal I have ever had. The $28 shrimp dish had ONE shrimp on the plate, with about 12 baby (literally smaller than the size of a pea) shrimp. I had to pause several times to ask if I had actually ordered a soup because there was about 2 inches of pure butter that had settled at the bottom of my plate. Additionally the plate was underseasoned, and bland. There was so much butter in my dish and my girlfriends dish, that we ended up feeling sick to our stomachs after the meal.
The prices at this restaurant simply do NOT justify eating here. Our dinner came to $160 (with tip) and I found myself thinking that I have had much better meals at cheap chain italian restaurants in the US that were not only 3 times better, but also half the price. I will absolutely never go here again.

The one thing I admire about this restaurant is the owner, because he has quite a sham of a business going.
Step 1: charge $25+ for pasta dishes
Step 2: Cheap out by reducing quality ingredients and replace them with butter.
Step 3: Laugh all the way to the bank

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3  Thank Michael R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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576 - 580 of 1,031 reviews

Reviewed March 19, 2013

Perhaps more 2.5 than 2. I had mixed reservations about coming here based on some reviews but it was recommended by the front desk, it was a 5 min. walk from the hotel and my dining partner wanted Italian so off we went. We didn't have a reservation so I guess I can't complain about having to sit in a little room away from the main restaurant but it felt like I was sitting at the children's table. After viewing the menu and trying to decide between the $25 pizzas and the $30 pastas, I went for the table d'hotel. My partner ordered the veal parmagiana but got the chicken - could've have been a language thing, who knows, but I got the sense the waiter was good at turning tables and may have missed it in his haste. My appetizer was scallop ceviche - I was expecting nice raw scallops with some citrus and spice. What I got was something you'd see in a self-serve section of a grocery store - mushy scallops swimming in olive oil and balsamic. Seafood linguine for the main course and I even asked the waiter if the seafood was fresh - "of course!" he said. I'm sure the mini, pre-cooked salad shrimp were fresh at some point before they were cooked, frozen and put on a boat to Canada - ditto for the scallops and for whatever else was in the dish (supposedly clams but they were microscopic and, therefore, unidentifiable). Sauce was olive oil based - nothing special. Creme brulee for dessert was only so-so, mushy and tasteless. My dining partner said the veal/chicken parmagiana was okay but I noticed it only came with a side of pasta and the waiter never inquired if she wanted something else. Wines are marked up around 300% - bill was around $130 for what I calculated the cost to be around $25 (food and wine). The place was packed so either I ordered the wrong thing and should've stuck to pizza or the marketing guy who said location, location, location had it right. Or maybe P.T. Barnum is more apt here...?

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Thank Paul Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

Went to Portofino last weekend with a date. Their thin crust Pizza is something worth trying. I had the Pizza Gladiator (Salami,italien sausages, ham and meatballs), delicious! The decoration gives the place a cozy look and the service that was given to us was pretty good.

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Thank Mario C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

The Caesar salad is very good and so is the Fettuccine with mushrooms and truffle oil. The live music was very nice but maybe a little too loud for friends to really enjoy their conversation. The server was great and so was the wine he suggested with our meal. We definitely will go back!

Thank Joanne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013 via mobile

I went there with my wife and 2 children. My wife ordered shrimp linguine. The shrimp were tiny (like a 1970s prawn cocktail). I ordered the pizza which came covered in dried herbs in a premade base. Terrible.

The waiter could barely hide his contempt whilst serving us.

For 30 bucks for a plate of pasta I expect more.

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Thank Andy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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