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
Portofino
Portofino
Portofino
Portofino
Veal Marsala Meatballs
Ravioli di Casa
Tuscan Bean Soup
Flower Bomb Martini
Bread & Butter
Caesar Salad
Rowan Creek Small Batch Bourbon
Chicken Portabella Lasagna
pizza with goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes
Veal Meatballs

Portofino Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.5

ambience

4.6

value

4.2

noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Notable Wine List
Central Kentucky
Outdoor Dining
Central Kentucky
Italian
Central Kentucky
2 More
Best Ambiance
Lexington
Best Value
Lexington
Best Restaurants in Lexington ›

special occasion (43)
fit for foodies (35)
notable wine list (32)
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romantic (29)
great for outdoor dining (29)
good for groups (28)
neighborhood gem (16)
great for lunch (13)
hot spot (7)
scenic view (4)
great for brunch (3)
late-night find (2)
vibrant bar scene (1)
kid-friendly (1)
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Always Wonderful ! Been one of my favori ...

vip
 (Louisville)
·Dined on July 10, 2016

Always Wonderful ! Been one of my favorites for many years.

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food5
ambience5
service5

We were celebrating our wedding annivers ...

vip
 (Key West)
·Dined on July 2, 2016

We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and had requested a table in a quiet, secluded spot, which we obtained. The staff was efficient, but not over-bearing once we indicated we were not in a hurry. Our entrees were excellent (both specials of the evening), and the complimentary tiramisu was delicious. We've never been disappointed when we've dined at Portofino in the past, and this evening was no exception. Highly recommended.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

We had a great meal with excellent servi ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 26, 2016

We had a great meal with excellent service. Our server was attentive and everything went well.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our dinner experience was mixed. One of ...

vip
 (Greensboro)
·Dined on June 25, 2016

Our dinner experience was mixed. One of us had the bruschetta, which was creative in its presentation and delicious. The other had the goat cheese salad: a few bits of cheese, a few nuts, a lot of bagged greens. For entrees, one had the pork chop--delicious sauce, baked just right to a bit of pink. The other had the wild ramp pasta: an overly large serving, with a bland sauce tasting primarily of garlic. The menu lacked the most interesting features of the one on the OpenTable site--needs to be updated. Lexington offers other, better restaurants. for the price we paid, we probably will not return.

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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

Portofino does it every time. Outstandi ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 18, 2016

Portofino does it every time. Outstanding northern Italian cuisine, superb ambiance. Quiet. In good weather, the outdoor dining area is quiet and well-decorated with flowering and other greenery. Wine list is extensive and the bartender knows how to make great drinks. Always a winner.

Tags: great for outdoor dining, romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

It was great. Just a perfect night.

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

It was great. Just a perfect night.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Overall my husband was very pleased with ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 17, 2016

Overall my husband was very pleased with the bourbon selection, and our dinner was fine however the service was very slow. We waited almost 40 minutes between our soup/salad course and our entrees. It seemed as though the outdoor patio was understaffed because our waiter was clearly busy but unable to service everyone in his area. We might consider returning for a drink but will likely not return for a meal.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

Beautiful flowers & art. The food was fa ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 11, 2016

Beautiful flowers & art. The food was fantastic! Only wish the staff would've had smiles half as big as ours after tasting the food. Are

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining
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food5
ambience5
service2
value3

Wow oh, WOW!

 
 (Nashville)
·Dined on June 10, 2016

The next time we are in Lexington, Portofino will be on our must list. The food was fabulous and beautifully plated. The service was first class. Our waiter was very knowledgeable and happy to make recommendations. Everything was fabulous from start to finish.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

The food here is always exceptional! Our ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on June 5, 2016

The food here is always exceptional! Our waiter was kind, courteous, and knowledgeable. The menu is a little pricey but well worth it. I had the Ravioli Di Casa and my friend ordered the risotto of the day. Both dishes were cooked and flavored to perfection. The portion sizes here are large but they are perfect to be shared.

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

Excellent Italian

 
 (Cincinnati)
·Dined on June 4, 2016

They bourbon list is impressive and they actually had my favorite brand. The bruschetta was an excellent appetizer. Best we have eaten and the bacon wrapped fillet melts in your mouth. Highly recommend.

Tags: romantic, special occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

The entree were well presented and prepa ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on May 31, 2016

The entree were well presented and prepared. Great food. Our server was very attentive, professional, and respected our privacy all at the same.

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food5
ambience5
service5

Always enjoy eating at Portofinos. The p ...

vip
 (Louisville)
·Dined on May 30, 2016

Always enjoy eating at Portofinos. The proprietor, Wayne Masterman, is a congenial host and runs his restaurant in a relaxed, inviting manner. The food is amazingly delicious. Try the ravioli with sage butter! To die for!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Everything was excellent!! The outdoor s ...

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on May 29, 2016

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

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food5
ambience5
service5

Food, service and ambiance were excellen ...

vip
 (Louisville)
·Dined on May 28, 2016

Food, service and ambiance were excellent. One of the very best places to eat and carry on a dinner conversation.

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food5
ambience5
service5

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

vip
 (San Antonio)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

I have been to Portofinos many many time ...

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

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

 
 (Cincinnati)
·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
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food3
ambience5
service4
value4

Wonderful menu; our entries were perfect ...

 
 (San Francisco)
·Dined on May 11, 2016

Wonderful menu; our entries were perfectly prepared and presented.

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

Consistently Excellent!

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Mothers Day

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food3
ambience4
service3
value3

Still the best restaurant in Lexington. ...

 
 (Louisville)
·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.

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food5
ambience5
service5

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

vip
 (Columbus)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

nice atmosphere

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food1
ambience4
service4
value4

Travelers enjoyed Portofinos

 
 (St. Louis)
·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
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

Pretty good for a date

 
 (Chicago)
·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
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

Great food and ambiance but service was ...

 
 (New York Area)
·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
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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

Beautiful night for dining on the patio. ...

vip
 (Louisville)
·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!

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food5
ambience5
service5

Traveling, in Lexington for one night.

 
 (New York Area)
·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.

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food3
ambience5
service4
value2

Great Service, Wonderful food.

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Always a wonderful experience!

vip
 (New York Area)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Excellent

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

A very disappointing evening.

vip
 (South Carolina)
·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.

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food2
ambience4
service1
value4

Always enjoy dining at Portofino's .

vip
 (Louisville)
·Dined on April 8, 2016

Always enjoy dining at Portofino's .

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food4
ambience4
service5

Great service. Food was not seasoned pro ...

 
 (Chicago)
·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.

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food3
ambience5
service5

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

 
 (Louisville)
·Dined on April 2, 2016

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

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food5
ambience3
service5

Lexington has Italian!!!

 
 (New York Area)
·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
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food4
ambience4
service4
value5

A so-so experience

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food2
ambience4
service3
value2

Great place for entertaining out of town guests

 
 (Miami)
·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
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

Lackluster

 
 (Louisville)
·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
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food3
ambience4
service3
value2

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