If looking to have a nice dinner out with friends, family, or anyone else for that matter, look no further than Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant – a staple in East Ridge! This lovely restaurant has a homey feel and a welcoming flare. Named after a colorful fishing village in the heart of the Mediterranean, Portofino’s serves up dishes true to its roots. While it would be impossible to truly capture the essences of this town, Portofino’s in East Ridge does a fantastic job of recreating the ambiance and taste!

In true Italian fashion, the meal began with breadsticks and oil, along with a side of dolmades. The dolmades are grape leaves generously stuffed with beef and rice paired with a lemon butter that melted in your mouth. The breadsticks arrived hot, crisp and fresh from the oven, served with an herbed oil blend- the perfect starter as we talked and waited for the rest of our party.

Our last friend arrived just as we finished the appetizer. A friendly waitress, or cameriera in Italian, quickly greeted her. Our friend knew exactly what she wanted and ordered her wine for the evening-a glass of Spiropoulos Red Stag, a Greek, medium-bodied, ruby-red wine that imparted flavors of blackberry on the tongue. After one sip of hers, I had to order a glass for myself.

After chatting and enjoying our drinks, the waitress requested our order. In the spirit of adventure, I decided to try the “Tour of Greece Numero Due” consisting of a pastitsio, a Greek lasagne with a creamy béchamel sauce instead of marinara, moussaka, a baked eggplant dish, and more of those tasty dolmades! With an enticing aroma, the flavor did not disappoint.

Everything on the table looked and smelled delicious. Across the table laid a Grouper Florentine comprised of a roasted filet topped with creamy spinach and red pepper sauce; a “Tour of Greece Numero Uno;” a sampling of gyro meat as well as pork souvlaki; pita bread with a side of tzatziki sauce, and a filling vegetarian lasagne with mozzarella/romano cheese. It all tasted even better than it smelled!

Unfortunately, the downside of devouring a delicious appetizer, a few drinks, and a generous entree, is that none of us had any room left for dessert – oi′ vā′! We soon regretted this obvious mistake as we passed by the desert bar with mouthwatering cannoli and baklava teasing us as we made our way outdoors.

If seeking recommendations for a nice night out on the town without all of the downtown traffic, please visit Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant in East Ridge. It is an experience like traveling to the Mediterranean without ever leaving Tennessee!