Hidden behind Brewer Stirling Harbor Marina in Greenport, there is a quaint Italian restaurant called Porto Bello. When you first pull into the pebble-covered lot, it is a bit confusing because there are no signs, but keep driving to the back and you will find this elusive gem. It is situated right on the water and the scenery is picturesque; they even have tables outside. Although I have never been to Italy, with the delicious food and beautiful backdrop, I felt like I was there.
On the night my mother and I went to Porto Bello, the sun was still shining and there was a nice breeze. It was still too hot to sit outside, so the owner kindly put us by a window overlooking the docks. As an appetizer I had their famous cranberry salad, which had goat cheese, dried cranberries and was lightly tossed in raspberry vinaigrette. To start off, my mother ordered their signature portabella mushrooms, which had melted Gorgonzola cheese and sundried tomatoes on top, and were drizzled with a sweet balsamic reduction.
For our main courses, we both decided to choose from the night’s specials. I ordered the pecan-crusted salmon with spinach risotto and a strawberry reduction. The pecan crust had a nice, light crunch to it and gave the salmon a lot of flavor. The risotto was perfectly cooked with a silky texture, and the strawberry reduction added a little more sweetness to the whole dish. My mom had the rack of lamb, which was coated in breadcrumbs and accompanied by garlic-mashed potatoes with luscious, meaty gravy. The lamb fell right off the bone and the potatoes were creamy with an intense garlic flavor. The gravy was just the icing on this meat and potato cake.
After all of this scrumptious and filling food, we didn’t have much room left for dessert, but we forced ourselves to share a piece of tiramisu. I love tiramisu because it’s coffee, cake, and custard all rolled into one awesome dessert, and this was one of the best I’ve ever had. The ladyfingers were soaked in strong espresso, which gave the whole thing a fabulous coffee flavor. The filling was smooth, yet it still had some texture to it, and the cocoa powder sprinkled on top brought out that chocolate flavor in the coffee even more. Overall, it was a great and satisfying meal, and the service was also suburb.
Even though Porto Bello is an Italian restaurant, they have wonderful choices that show their range. They, of course, have Italian staples on the menu like ravioli, chicken Marsala, and shrimp scampi, which are also fantastic, but don’t be shy to try something off their specials list because it is sure to be just as good. And just as a side note: If you see a window seat open, ask for it, because the view is incredible, especially at sunset.
Porto Bello, 1410 Manhasset Avenue, Greenport, 631-477-1515, www.portobellonorthfork.com.