I love Portobello's - we have been "regular" customers there for many years. Before several family members moved away, this was a favorite spot for us all to go together. The booths are big (most have room for 6), but they'll push tables together for larger groups like ours (we often had 8-10 people). Now that it there are just a few of us left in the area, we mostly get "take out" but I stop in so often that they know me by name. I love that! When I arrive, many of the staff greet me by name and they'll have my order ready. It makes me feel like I am part of the "family" there. I'm not sure how to spell his name, but "Emil" the owner, runs a top notch operation there and he ALWAYS says Hello to me by name when he sees me. The servers all work together as one big team. Whoever happens to be near the register will stop and assist whoever is standing there...I don't sense that anyone has the "not my job" syndrome in there. So, if you are looking for a nice atmosphere, this is a great place to go. For those who do dine "in" as I stated earlier, the booths are large, but they also have high backs so the sound gets absorbed...you can actually have a private conversation and hear each other talk in there, even if the place is jammed packed. I can't say that about many other restaurants in the area where sound seems to reverberate off the ceiling!
So, I hope I've convinced everyone that the atmosphere is friendly and customer-service oriented. On to the food...
The food is wonderful, and the earlier reviews are correct when they say that the portions are generous! Whether you dine in or get takeout, you will have plenty of food! My husband and I often share a large salad or one of the entrees. One of our favorite entrees is chicken parm which comes with two chicken breasts. One piece of meat doesn't generally satisfy my husband though, so I requested an extra piece, which they were very happy to do, for a very reasonable price...maybe $3.00 extra? It comes with pasta and a garden salad (or soup), which is very easy to divide up into two ample portions. If you buy separate takeout meals, unless you are part Viking, you will almost certainly have leftovers to enjoy later. The same holds true for when you dine "in." Another favorite of ours is Penne a la Vodka. Their sauce is super creamy and so flavorful! If you order this as take out, be sure to ask for some parmesan cheese...they'll gladly include a small container of it for you for no extra charge. With regard to the salads, we've had the grilled chicken salad, the greek salad, and the mozzarella salad. All are fresh and fabulous...and quite large. If you order one in the restaurant, it's even bigger! All of the salads and entrees come with fresh baked rolls. When you dine in, a nice treat is to dip your roll in the olive oil provided at the table. If you are eating your meal as take out, order the house italian dressing for your salad and dip your roll in that! Either way, you can't go wrong!
Other things I've had over the years that are winners...their calamari...we shared it as an appetizer with a group. It was a big serving, but our group downed it quickly because it was so good! I like their pizza, but I wouldn't say it is my favorite in the area, but that is only due to a matter of "style" preference. For those who like thin chewy crust, you will love their pizza! They are true 16" pizzas and the ingredients are always fresh and tasty! One thing important to note, if on any (very rare) occasion you are disatisfied with anything, it's ok to speak up...they'll fix it for you without any big ordeal. One time they packed up my takeout meal but forgot to include one of the items. I didn't notice it til I got home. I called and they took my word for it and made note of it. The next time I came in (later that week) they included a portion of the item that they'd forgotten to include on the prior visit. (That was the solution I'd agreed to, but they'd have done anything I asked...so long as your request is fair and reasonable). The menu at Portobellas is quite diverse...ranging from reasonably priced traditional favorites like Manicotti to high end surf/turf combinations, etc. If you have guests that you want to take out this would be a great place to go. It's also a nice place to go if you want to celebrate a special occasion...you can do it without breaking the bank. Thursday and Friday nights tend to be the most crowded there, but you can make a reservation. If you order take out, you can usually count on it being ready within 20-30 minutes regardless of the crowd. I have not tried any of their desserts. I dont' know who would have room for them, but I'm confident that they would be good. Everything else is! I do have one suggestion...when it's busy, although drinks come with free refills, sometimes it's difficult for the servers to get refills to you in a timely manner. A simple solution is to order a large ice water in addition to your soft drink or coffee. That usually is enough to cover the interim time period if they are not able to get to you immediately.
This restaurant should be "TOPS" on the list for New Hartford. It's a gem! It's easy to find, right on Route 44 across the street from Satans Kingdom rafting. By the way, you can go in there all dressed up or in shorts and a tee shirt...you'll blend with the atmosphere, either way!