About Portofino

249 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507
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Portofino features an inventive menu of Italian and American cuisine. Located in a beautifully renovated building on Main Street in downtown Lexington, KY, Portofino has an elegant interior design, a menu with the highest quality ingredients, and an extensive wine list. The menu offers fresh food from local producers as well as the best ingredients from around the world. Portofino has earned the Wine Spectator Award seven years in row, from 2003 through 2009 and is proud to offer such a rich and varied selection. The staff at Portofino is committed to providing their guests with the finest dining experience possible.

Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Italian, American

Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

Cross Street:
Quality

Dress Code:
Business Casual

Price Range:
$31 to $50

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(859) 253-9300

Website:
http://portofinolexington.com/

Entertainment:
Check web site.

Executive Chef:
Nat Tate, Rob Nathanson & Jordan Noel

Private Party Facilities:
Thank you for considering Portofino for your function. Business luncheons and dinners, rehearsal dinners, special events or celebrations, weddings, receptions, corporate outings, lectures, demonstrations, cocktail parties and holiday parties can all be accommodated.

Private Party Contact:
Private Event Coordinator: 8553995327

Additional:
Bar Dining, Fireplace, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Restaurant Photos

Portofino Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.4

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.4

ambience

4.5

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Notable Wine List
Central Kentucky
Italian
Central Kentucky
Best Ambiance
Lexington
3 More
Fit for Foodies
Lexington
Romantic
Lexington
Most Booked
Lexington
Best Restaurants in Lexington ›

special occasion (55)
romantic (46)
notable wine list (41)
See All
fit for foodies (40)
good for groups (28)
great for outdoor dining (27)
neighborhood gem (16)
great for lunch (16)
hot spot (7)
great for brunch (4)
late-night find (3)
scenic view (3)
vibrant bar scene (2)
kid-friendly (1)
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Newest
525 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5

Everything was excellent!! The outdoor s ...

Dined 3 days ago

Everything was excellent!! The outdoor seating was very nice. The food was perfect, wine was fabulous, and our server couldn't have been better!!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect meal and setting. Some of the b ...

vip
Dined on May 23, 2016

Perfect meal and setting. Some of the best soft shell crab I have ever eaten. I was in Lexington on business and wish we had this restaurant back home.

Tags: neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

I have been to Portofinos many many time ...

Dined on May 21, 2016

I have been to Portofinos many many times and have never had a bad experience there.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, hot spot
food3
ambience5
service4
value4

It is a very nice place. I ordered the ...

Dined on May 20, 2016

It is a very nice place. I ordered the scallops and they were $39 for 4 large scallops, not sure if that is a good deal or not but other than a small amount of garnishment that was my full meal. My date had a pasta dish which looked more filling. Otherwise the place is great!

Tags: good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Wonderful menu; our entries were perfect ...

Dined on May 11, 2016

Wonderful menu; our entries were perfectly prepared and presented.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Consistently Excellent!

Dined on May 9, 2016

Portofino's is a great dining experience. We love the ambiance of the old building and the downtown scene. The service is truly special and the food is always amazing. Connoisseurs will love the wine list and the creative upscale menu that has been created by a very talented staff. This restaurant is a sure bet!

Tags: kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Mothers Day

Dined on May 8, 2016

I took my wife and kids there for Mothers Day. The atmosphere and waitress was nice. Only complaint was w1.5 hours e arrived at 5:30 and did not get food until 6:45. The positive was we had a lot to talk about.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5

Still the best restaurant in Lexington. ...

Dined on April 29, 2016

Still the best restaurant in Lexington. Superb food and presentation. Servers are senior, experience people like one would have at the best restaurants in New York City, etc.

food5
ambience5
service4
value4

We were on vacation, so we don't know al ...

vip
Dined on April 27, 2016

We were on vacation, so we don't know all the ins and outs of this restaurant's best features. We went there on the recommendation of The Wine Spectator Magazine, and had an enjoyable conversation with the owner. We observed business dinners, groups celebrating, couples at a romantic dinner. The food was outstanding with appropriate sized portions - not huge and wasteful. There were specials in many categories: pasta, seafood, risotto of the day. Too bad we do not live there so that we could return soon.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
food1
ambience4
service4
value4

nice atmosphere

Dined on April 26, 2016

It was my first time to have lunch at Portfino. My friend will leave Lexington soon in this May. Before she leaves, we could have a good time at the chic restaurant Portfino in downtown. She was satisfied with the food, elegant service, and nice atmosphere. I was, too!

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Travelers enjoyed Portofinos

Dined on April 24, 2016

We were traveling for pleasure and stayed in Lexington. Selected Portofino's based on location and TripAdvisor ratings. It was a perfect evening to enjoy dining on the patio which is private and separated from the street. In addition to a good wine and cocktail list they have an extensive selection of bourbon which I was excited to explore. My first choice was unavailable so the waitress recommended the Old Medley 12 yr which she said was local and not well known but a good value. I ordered it with the ice ball and it was smooth and a great choice as I like to sample new labels. For dinner I had a simple soup, Tuscan Bean, and salad, Goat Cheese and Walnut, both of which were quite good. My wife had the cheese ravioli and the taste she shared was excellent. For desert we shared a bourbon-maple cream filled Cannoli. And I tried their Bourbon Coffee liquor with the Cannoli. You may notice the Bourbon theme here which was my choice but certainly not the only reason to try Portofino's. The service was a bit slow because they got an unexpectedly large crowd at the dinner hour. Our waitress apologized repeatedly which was completely unnecessary in our case. We had plenty of time and enjoyed the beautiful evening on the patio and took advantage of the slower pace to savor the rich and varied flavors of our meal.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food3
ambience5
service5
value3

Pretty good for a date

Dined on April 23, 2016

Had a nice time there. Food was good though it didn't stand out compared to similar restaurants. Atmosphere was really nice. My wife and I were celebrating an anniversary and it was a nice venue for that. Waiter was very attentive. A nice walk to other areas downtown.

Tags: romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service2
value4

Great food and ambiance but service was ...

Dined on April 22, 2016

Great food and ambiance but service was slow, especially getting started, even though it was not completely full.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience5
service5

Beautiful night for dining on the patio. ...

vip
Dined on April 20, 2016

Beautiful night for dining on the patio. Our food was all great (seafood of the day and ravioli) and our server was delightful. She was knowledgeable, personable and attentive without hovering too much!

food3
ambience5
service4
value2

Traveling, in Lexington for one night.

Dined on April 18, 2016

Restaurant was lovely, service excellent. It was a nice night and the outdoor seating was great. Food was... OK. I little disappointed.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Service, Wonderful food.

Dined on April 15, 2016

We had a party of 8 and at a few hours before we could not get but 2 tables of four. When we arrived we asked if possible to be seated close to each other and they put us at two tables next to each other which worked. Our waitress was very nice and knowledgeable of the menu. The food was really good. I would definitely go back.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Always a wonderful experience!

vip
Dined on April 10, 2016

We never visit Lexington without visiting Portofino's for dinner during our stay. Been dining here for the past 5 or 6 years, and the quality of food and service never disappoint. Always a wonderful experience and our evening wouldn't be complete without a visit from Wayne, the owner of Portofino's, who is always attentive to our needs and a pleasure to talk to. Will be returning again in May with friends on Derby evening!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent

Dined on April 9, 2016

Kearn was an excellent waiter and excellent suggestions regarding the menu. Portofino is a quiet, very clean, enjoyable dining experience. The overall vibe was finer dining with a laid back/non arrogant atmosphere. This is the best Italian dining I have found in Lexington and I will be returning. This is our new "place" to go when visitors want Italian dining and/or an excellent wine list.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food2
ambience4
service1
value4

A very disappointing evening.

Dined on April 8, 2016

We have been dining at Portofinos since shortly after they opened. I have always rated them with 5's across the board. For many years, we have traveled to Lexington for the Keeneland spring meet. For many years, we have included Portofinos as one of our reservations to make early so that we were not disappointed. This year we got a reservation but we were very disappointed. We waited at least 45 minutes between salad and entree. Our waiter was not to be found. When he finally appeared and checked on our order, he announced that our order was up. My risotto was wonderful but my husband's halibut was dried out. Perhaps under a heat lamp for too long. Maybe we will have better luck next year.

food4
ambience4
service5

Always enjoy dining at Portofino's .

vip
Dined on April 8, 2016

Always enjoy dining at Portofino's .

food3
ambience5
service5

Great service. Food was not seasoned pro ...

Dined on April 8, 2016

Great service. Food was not seasoned properly, but it was still very good with added salt. Great atmosphere. Great waiter.

food5
ambience3
service5

My wife's Favorite place in Lexington. T ...

Dined on April 2, 2016

My wife's Favorite place in Lexington. Take advantage of the weather and enjoy the patio!

food4
ambience4
service4
value5

Lexington has Italian!!!

Dined on March 6, 2016

Ok, so we're accustomed to the best NYC and NJ has to offer and were a little skeptical that Lex could do Italian the right way...well Portofino certainly did! their homemade pasta was exceptional, service was great, and we vowed to come back the next time we are in town! Good job Portofino!

Tags: fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, notable wine list
food2
ambience4
service3
value2

A so-so experience

Dined on March 6, 2016

The restaurant ambiance was very nice. It was quite and pleasant. The food did not match. My husband's paella was over cooked and dry. He did not send it back because we were with people that recommended the restaurant. My ravioli was very good but I got the marinara sauce because the waiter recommended it instead of the regular sauce since I have a garlic sensitivity. It tasted good but he was wrong about not having much garlic. We started with Bruschetta which barely had any topping-mostly bread. We got a cannoli for dessert and it came out ice cold, the shell and everything was ice cold. Obviously made ahead of time and not let to thaw. I am not sure about our guests, they did not say anything at all.

Tags: romantic
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Great place for entertaining out of town guests

Dined on February 26, 2016

We have lived in Lexington most of our lives but had never been to this restaurant before. Although it's downtown, parking is easy - directly beside the restaurant. We were seated in a room with a fireplace and the bench seating (with pillows) was very comfortable. The selection of cocktails and wines is extensive. I had one of their signature martinis and he had beer. We skipped the appetizer and had the apple walnut goat cheese salad which was wonderful. I had the lasagna and my husband had the short ribs. Both plates were huge, too much for one person. The deserts sounded wonderful but we were too stuffed to partake. Over all it was a wonderful dinner for $80 including tip.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service3
value2

Lackluster

Dined on February 21, 2016

My first meal at Portofino was a little over four years ago, and it immediately became my go-to special occasion restaurant. In the past year or two, however, the food and service has just seemed so-so, not the wow factor I remember from prior years. Just my imagination? Who knows. But for the price, I feel like there are now better options out there.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Perfect Valentines Day!

Dined on February 14, 2016

Perfect combination of atmosphere, good food, great wine selection and excellent service. it was worth to leave home under snow to have a great dining experience.

Tags: romantic, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Good Place

Dined on February 14, 2016

Atmosphere and Food were good, great wine list. Very enjoyable.

Tags: special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service4

Best lasagna I've ever had. Got the Ragu ...

Dined on February 14, 2016

Best lasagna I've ever had. Got the Ragu sauce.

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Overall a good place for occasions

Dined on February 13, 2016

I have been to Portofino several times, they have some really good food there and the servers are always friendly. Unfortunately, this last time I tried something new and did not like it very much, but everybody has different tastes. Overall the experience was good and I would recommend it to friends.

Tags: special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Great place for a special dinner.

Dined on February 13, 2016

This was a great place for our Valentines Dinner! It was my wife's first visit. I have been a few times for business dinners, so I decided to take my wife there. It's now her favorite Italian restaurant.

Tags: good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Excellent choice

Dined on February 12, 2016

We've eaten here many times for special occasions and we have never been disappointed. Excellent atmosphere and food. Great Valentine's Day dinner choice.

Tags: great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

Excellent quality food. Eat soup or sal ...

vip
Dined on February 7, 2016

Excellent quality food. Eat soup or salad and dinner, and skip dessert.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic
food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Always Excellent Food.

Dined on February 5, 2016

This restaurant never disappoints. I highly recommend Portofino.

Tags: fit for foodies, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Nice evening out

Dined on January 31, 2016

We had a fantastic meal, well - paced great service, in a great setting at Potofino's. We ordered a prosciutto plate, well accompanied, cheese to go along with, and an olive plate - a great start paired with a great regional Italian white wine. Entres were specials; 18 oz bone-in ribeye that was the best steak I've had in Lexington, hands down, and blue cheese polenta accompanying the dish that was extra flavorful and a great accoutrement. The char special was delicious as well, with a cream sauce that was very, very good. Topped off with a caramel cheesecake, Portofino delivered across the board - 5's all around with a nice, quiet, romantic setting. Hands down one of the top three restaurants in Lexington, and at the top of my list! Highly recommended! Cheers!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Evening with VIPs

Dined on January 27, 2016

Prior to our UK basketball game, three of my friends and I wanted to enjoy a nice dinner. Portofino is not unfamiliar to me and several others in the group, but was a pleasant surprise as to atmosphere, food variety, food flavor, and top notch service. Very nice. We'll certainly return.

Tags: fit for foodies
food5
ambience4
service4

Love the ravioli. And, friends lasagna ...

Dined on January 2, 2016

Love the ravioli. And, friends lasagna looked awesome. Start with bruschetta!!

food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Good variety of dishes and a nice atmosp ...

Dined on December 31, 2015

Good variety of dishes and a nice atmosphere. Also a nice variety of wines.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Great Dining Experience

Dined on December 31, 2015

Portifino's was a great dining experience. The food was excellent and the service was very good. The price was no more than any other fine dining restaurant. This was our first time to eat there and I would definitely go back.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience3
service5

After not eating at Portofino's for seve ...

Dined on December 25, 2015

After not eating at Portofino's for several years, we have eaten there twice in the past couple of months and had excellent meals! Coincidently, we had Tom both times and he was wonderful. The first time we had a table by the window and the atmosphere was vibrant and cheerful. This time we were seated in the basement room and it was not as pleasant but still enjoyable.

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