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“Awesome atmosphere but ok food”
Review of Portico Restaurant

Portico Restaurant
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Ranked #47 of 1,644 Restaurants in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Chef Paolo Randazzo, former owner of Franco's Ristorante and current owner of Sensi, both in Richmond, VA 804-784-4800
Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

The complimentary valet parking is nice and you can't beat the atmosphere. We made reservations for a Friday night and it was a perfect temperature for a night out on the patio overlooking the well manicured gardens. We ordered the gnocchi and the baked spaghetti. The sauce in the baked spaghetti tasted more like chili than marinara and the gnocchi was nothing special. We will definitely go back and try something different simply because the atmosphere is so nice and relaxing. Definitely still worth a visit!

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Thank Josh M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 - 146 of 163 reviews

Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

Very busy, small and charming. The bartender was very personable, cocktails generous but pricey. The food was very good. Service was also very good. It is the patio and fireplace, however, that put Portico on my "Will Return" list.

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Thank cylmorg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Portico is an excellent restaurant at all times of the year - roaring outside fire and heat poles continue the outdoor dining throughout even the chilliest of evenings - but Spring brings the beautiful patio dining alive. The menu is not huge, but allows for delicious opportunities in each of the seafood, meats/poultry, pasta and salad categories. If you want more sophisticated fare, choose one of the entrées or specials, but the burgers and pizzas are delicious as well. Whatever you do, make a reservation if you want a seated meal at a precise time; otherwise you may be turned away. Dining at the bar is a lively and viable option; an attentive and friendly bartender, plenty of elbow room and a big bar chair make it comfy non-reservation dining.

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Thank virginiaviajera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

This is a beautiful restaurant in a gorgeous setting complete with patio and outdoor fireplace. The food, too, is excellent and the presentation is first rate. Our party of four started with a big bowl of mussels in a delicious soaking of a tasty, garlic-and-buttter-rich sauce. After that, two of us chose the sea bass, which was perfectly cooked, while the other two members of our group opted for a seafood combination and a wonderful salmon dish respectively. Everything was cooked and presented to perfection. This is a very good restaurant.
Now for the downside. First of all, the place is way too noisy. I mean, we're talking noise at a level that makes normal conversation nearly impossible. While I realize that noise is all the rage among restaurant operators these days because it supposedly makes a place feel exciting, this one needs to lower its noise level a good deal. After all, Portico is a rather romantic, dimly lit restaurant and romance hardly goes well with shouting. The other downside was the rather long wait we had to endure despite having a pre-8 p.m. reservation. If a restaurant is going to accept reservations, which most good ones should, it should be skilled at managing them so that no customer has to wait more than ten minutes or so for his or her table. This is not a big criticism because the waiting place at Portico--in front of the big outdoor fireplace just off the patio, surrounded by elevated heaters--is pleasant even on a cold night. But it is still annoying to have a long wait.
Our service was good but not great. I think our waiter was a bit overwhelmed on a very busy Saturday night. The wine list was quite nice and included a wide array of prices. We chose a Cakebreak Chardonnay, which at $69 was not at all overpriced for that paritcular wine. In fact, we had a second bottle. Our total tab, including wine and a $46 round of pre-dinner drinks and 20% gratuity, came to just over $300, or about $75 per person, which wasn't bad for such a good and sophisticated restaurant. I hope to return to Portico in the late spring or summer so that I can dine on the very inviting patio. That should make for a quieter experience at the very least.
On balance, Portico is a terrific restaurant despite the noise and wait. If the owners address those two shortcomings the place will be darn near perfect.

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Thank RonANorthCarolina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013 via mobile

This place has been totally renovated. Beautiful outdoor seating area with huge fireplace. Food is excellent and a good value. Perfect for me. Only minutes From my house. Often do takeouts.

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

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