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“Food, one of best in Booth Bay”
Review of Ports of Italy

Ports of Italy
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $32
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: Come and explore the cuisine of the Ports of Italy from our cozy restaurant on the waterfront in Boothbay Harbor.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Food, one of best in Booth Bay”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We made a 6:30 res. We arrived a little early so we sat at the bar while we waited. Nice bar tender, bar seats available, we both got a glass of wine. We were seated within 15 minutes, and the bar tender nicely carried our tab to the server. Our waitress was sweet and professional. Our wooden booth was cozy and romantic, and the lighting was nice, however the drop ceiling and decor are out dated and a bit "low rent". The evoo with olives was fantastic, but I was surprised the bread wasn't heated or at least better. My husband got the "meats and cheese" to start, followed by a side of pasta and finally the pork. None of which was fantastic, but the pasta being the best. I had the caesar which was so garlicky it was all you could taste. I was totally unimpressed with the salad. We really wanted to try the gnocchi so we got a side to share. It was out of this world! For an entree I got the eggplant which was quit good, sauce was nice. No doubt the homemade pasta they do well. In comparison to other restaurants we went to in Booth Bay this was one of the best for sure. However, it wouldn't stand up to the better restaurants in Portland.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank acg2878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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956 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lincoln, California
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Finally, a really good restaurant in Boothbay Harbor”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We went with a group of five couples and were unable to find any really well rated restaurants in this beautiful seaport town, except this one. None of us had ever been there before, but decided to give it a try. This is real Italian food - not just another spaghetti joint. The service was slow but the waitress was terrific and made the meal a pleasure, despite the slowness. Among us, our favorite dishes were the Cioppino, the seafood appetizer, lobster stew and the baked salmon filet. We were all glad we could satisfy our seafood hankering, even though it was an Italian restaurant. It was crowded and loud, but we were in a festive mood and so it didn't matter.

We'll all go back there next time we're in town, for sure.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BartFrame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Misleading menu description; incredibly rude and condescending service”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I am writing this review to highlight the incredibly rude service we received at this restaurant during our recent trip to mid-coast Maine.

Having had lobster previously on this trip, both freshly cooked live lobster and lobster rolls, we were looking forward to trying some Italian recipes. Being familiar with lobster sizes and weights, we decided to share a lobster risotto and a fettucine with chicken.

We were unsure whether to laugh or be furious at what was brought out. I am attaching a photo of the lobster risotto we received since it is worth a thousand words. According to the menu, the risotto should include a whole 1-1/4 lb lobster. We have had 1-1/4 lb lobsters previously and even after shucking it and discarding the shell, the amount of meat that came in this dish was about half a lobster, certainly nowhere near the amount of meat that would be expected from a 1-1/4 lb crustacean.

We first brought this to the attention of our server, who, unsurprisingly (since he didn't cook it), brought out first the manager and then the owner himself (an Italian gentleman who had formerly worked at a NYC pizzeria). The owner proceeded to berate us, in a very condescending manner, for not knowing that a "1-1/4 lb" lobster referred to the entire being, not the meat. Thanks, but we are very familiar with that basic culinary fact, having had freshly cooked whole lobsters, and pointed that out to him. He then told us that the lobster meat in this risotto (again, see attached photo) was, in fact, from a 1-1/4 lb specimen, that he had been cooking lobster for years and was, therefore, right. No offer to take it back or bring us a replacement dish.

And, by the way, the tiny amount of lobster in the risotto was very underwhelming and did not compare to the several other lobsters we had in Maine. I'm sure my wife's chicken fettucine tasted better, but after the owner's rude and condescending attitude towards us, we left hastily without ordering anything else, but made sure to tip our server generously since none of this was his fault.

I hate to use the term, but this restaurant is a classic "tourist trap." There is virtually no other Italian restaurant in mid-coast Maine, so this restaurant rakes it in. If you're from any big city, however, I guarantee you'll find better Italian food and service there. There is no need to seek it out in Maine. Avoid this place.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank gvn2fly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trevett, Maine
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Always Good”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Once again the Ports of Italy lives up to my memories. It is consistently the best restaurant in Boothbay Harbor. Excellent service, food cooked perfectly, a great sense of hospitality, it is almost like bringing Boothbay Harbor to Italy. The food is fresh and takes advantage of local seafood while remembering its Italian origins.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Duxbury, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great food but crazy busy”
Reviewed September 2, 2013

We chose this restaurant based on reviews and recommendation of our B&B hosts for our anniversary dinner. We made a reservation, as was suggested. We arrived five or ten minutes before our time to find at least 15 -20 others crammed into a small area behind bar patrons around the top of a flight of stairs. There was no other place to wait and every one seemed to also have made prior reservations. Staff was rushing trying to get back and forth around and through the waiting customers, manager or owner was also rushing around barking orders to hurry up to his staff. Not exactly the fun friendly atmosphere you look forward to going out to dinner. When we were finally seated, the table was behind bar patrons, right next to the hoard of people waiting, backs butts hips and bellys was our view. They were close enough to sit on our table. We finally repositioned our table against a wall and window, changed our seats to face one another instead of the crowd, and opened the window to get a draft to blow the body heat and perfumes away from our noses. By the time our meals came the crowd had thinned and most were seated. The food was wonderful and worth the wait but it could have been a much nicer experience if reservations had been made appropriately and staff was calm and friendly.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank makingmemoriesfrom79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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