We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Just Excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Il Portico

Il Portico
Reserve with OpenTable
Il Portico is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #709 of 22,373 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $45 - $71
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Romantic, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Kensington and Hyde Park
Description: The oldest family run restaurant in London. Spanning 6 decades and three generations, Il Portico Restaurant on Kensington High Street has been cooking regional Italian specialities since it was first opened in the 1960"s by acclaimed chef Pino Chiavarini. Still managed to this day by the same family, siblings James and Francesca draw heavily from their roots, providing simple, authentic Italian food from their home region of Emilia Romagna and surrounding area. Whilst the family are always on hand to welcome you in, our Executive chef, Eduardo (currently in his 25th year of service with us) concentrates on slow, homemade dishes with a sense of history and provenance.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Just Excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2013

Il Portico is my choice when I want a treat. Not as often as i would like (once or twice a year), but always the expectation is really high. Once again, I come away feeling that I have had a memorable meal and as close to perfect as it gets.
Usually I choose the vongole, which is unrivalled in London. This time I had the seafood linguine which was amazing followed by the calves liver which was crispy on the outside and medium rare to perfection inside.
The team are delightful, welcoming and relaxed but attentive.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Marcus B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James C, Owner at Il Portico, responded to this review, December 27, 2013
Thank you! With best wishes for 2014. James and all at Il Portico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

429 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    286
    96
    29
    10
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
1 review
“Perfect every time!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2013 via mobile

I first went to this restaurant with colleagues for a business dinner. It was the perfect atmosphere for a relaxed but purposeful evening with superb food and perfect wine! The only problem was that we all spent too long talking about the new gem of a restaurant that we had found!
I've since been back with my partner to celebrate an anniversary and again it did not disappoint! The team prepared a perfect table for us and delivered prosecco upon arrival to begin our celebrations! The homemade pasta is delicious and northern italian specialities such as the veal Milanese (which I had) beats any I've had before!
The service is jut like the food-outstanding! You are welcomed as one of the family and the personal touches really make the difference. It's not just a meal in a restaurant it's an experience-and my new favourite one at that!
I'll be back Il portico! Highly recommend!

Helpful?
Thank JuliAnn99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James C, Owner at Il Portico, responded to this review, December 27, 2013
Thank you so much for the review, and we wish you the best for 2014! James and all the family.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Just average”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013 via mobile

After reading the reviews we thought we would give it a go. Well to be honest was dreadfully disappointed. As for being cosy all the tables are set in a line next door to each other with about a 6 inch gap. Well that's fine if there is a party of you but if you wanting a romantic meal for 2 well forget it. You will be listening to everyone else's conversation and they will be to yours. The front door opens straight into the restaurant so we got a blast of cold air every time the door opened which was not nice. Not to sure why they call it an Italian restaurant either as didn't seem a lot of Italian influence on the menu. I had the veal escallop which to be honest surprised me as within only a few minutes it was delivered to the table and wasn't the best i have had . The dessert of chocolate ( some form of mousse) was also delivered within seconds and was just lumpy and poor. The best thing about the night was the Soave. It was smooth and one of the best I have had for some time. Would I recommend this place in a word no ! and the final straw is when they give you the bill they dump on 12.5 service charge. Just sheer greed !!!!!!!!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jonbecker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James C, Owner at Il Portico, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Dear Sir, kindly allow us to correct the inaccuracies in your review.

Our tables are spaced 1&1/2 feet away from each other, which means that no guest is sat closer than 2&1/2 feet away from the next. If you wished for more space, we would have happily moved you to our private booths, had you asked at the time. Please note that we have 2 curtains at the door which shield our guests from any cold air. Should you have liked a table further in, we would have happily accommodated if you had spoken with us.

Our menu and family is 100% Italian, as are our staff. My father and grandfather started the restaurant 48 years ago, and to this day we have always kept it in the family. A veal escallop takes very little time to cook, which is way you didn't have to wait very long for your food. I make all our deserts every morning, and serve them from individual portions straight from the fridge, so they don't take long to arrive.

A discretionary 12.5% service is the industry standard for Central London restaurants. This is by no means obligatory, and we would have been happy to take it off the bill had you asked.
With all best wishes for Christmas.

James Chiavarini
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
89 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Perfect meal in London's best Italian restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2013

When you step through the doors of Il Portico in Kensington High Street you could be forgiven for thinking that you have stepped into someone’s home in Italy. The welcome is warm and the hospitality immediately makes you feel at home. The atmosphere is lively without being noisy or over the top and you can immediately tell that the staff are there to ensure that you do the most important thing in a restaurant – enjoy the food. The charming waiter who served us described the specials of the day in a loving way that really made you want to eat everything on the menu – which over time I intend to do.

On our latest visit, though, I couldn’t resist going back to something we had on our first meal there – Sardine alla Genovese. These are fresh, grilled Dorset sardines split open and flattened out and gently seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. It is a simple but perfectly prepared dish with the seasoning complementing and not dominating the delicate flavour of the sardines. It is one of the best fish dishes I’ve tasted. The Afetato e Mozzarella di bufola, Parma Prosciutto with mozzarella was great – flavours and textures mixing wonderfully.

The main courses were up to the high standard of the antipasti and made for a great meal overall. I went for the Galleto al matone – roasted free range poussin prepared with garlic, chilli and rosemary and just a hint of lemon. It was cooked so that the skin was crisp and just on the right side of blackened. The meat on the bird was moist and full of flavour. Liz chose the duck with balsamic vinegar and raisins and we both had the zucchine fritte and sautéed potatoes. The duck was cooked just to the right level of pinkness and was tender, melting and seasoned delicately with an unctuous jus. The zucchini was cooked in a light, tempura-like batter and was crispy and not over cooked, so the vegetables were still firm. The whole meal was accompanied by a tasty red wine – Salice Salentino Riserva from Puglia.

We had no room for dessert, which was a shame, but rounded a superb meal off with a delicate but powerful grappa. My only thought now is when we book to eat there again!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KSAfricaHack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James C, Owner at Il Portico, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you kindly! May your Christmas be full of joy, wonder, and fantastic food! With best wishes from all at Il Portico.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Authentic, welcoming and eager to please.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2013

A homely feel to a London restaurant.Tasty food, smiling service ,and a genuine effort to please.
The gamberoni starter was as good as you can get and all four of us enjoyed all our courses.
This is not a smart dining venue. This is proper Italian food,lovingly prepared and served with a dollop of goodwill. Pleasant, relaxed, informal and fun. If you enjoy a welcoming ambience and some tasty food give it a try.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Giffers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
James C, Owner at Il Portico, responded to this review, December 10, 2013
Thank you so much! Anytime you need a table, please do not hesitate in asking. With all best wishes from James and all at Il Portico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Il Portico also viewed

 

Been to Il Portico? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing