Ancient Italians were renowned for eating every part of the angels they hunted—even the hair. Enjoy divine flavour with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian fare at Al Porto Ristorante in Gastown.
A fanciful, haute cuisine haven, Al Porto whisks palates on a polished journey through traditional Italian fare amidst a warm, rustic interior. House specialties include wood-fired pizza prepped with in-house dough and tomato sauce, and bedecked with such flavour combinations as the Giovanni, with mozzarella, chicken, feta, pesto, and tomato ($10.95). Diners disdainful of discuses can opt for heartier dishes, such as the herb-dijon-encrusted lamb with rosemary demi sauce ($27.95) or the seared halibut with tarragon and lemon butter sauce ($23.95). Fortify your feast with an intoxicating moat—Al Porto's offers a dizzying array of fine Italian and global wines. Otherwise, wrap up a meal in more style than Sofia Loren’s butler with such shareable desserts as the chocolate ganache torte ($6.95) or gelato freso ($6.95).
The main dining room features mosaic tiles, terra cotta arches, and colourful murals of Tuscan pastoralia, well-suited for a romantic evening of eyelash fluttering and nostril wiggling. Regal recluses can also settle into the sunny, spacious loft, with elegant eggshell walls and a private bar. Situated near the waterfront, satiated saturnaliasts can meander through the surrounding environs for languid window-shopping or a romantic stroll through Portside Park.
More than 70 OpenTable reviewers, more than 30 DineHere users, and more than 20 Yelpers give Al Porto Ristorante an average of 3.5 stars. Sixty-one per cent of more than 100 Urbanspooners recommend the restaurant.
- The food was plentiful and very delicious. The service was attentive without being overbearing. – namit m., Yelp, 12/25/09
- Best tiramisu I've ever had. Well done pasta dishes, excellent and user friendly wine list. The ambience is superb, particularly in the lower level, no detail is spared; lighting, tables, flooring, etc. are all wonderful. – OpenTable user who dined on 05/02/2011
Al Porto Ristorante
Nestled within historic Gastown, Al Porto Ristorante's chef Dave Bell treats taste buds to authentic Italian and seafood flavours. Pastas tangle with clams or veal ragú, and a wood-fired oven suns house-made dough topped with capers, anchovies, and olives. Salty sea air filters through arched windows, mingling with the piquant aromas of marinated salmon and fresh mussels. Chef Dave's team of culinary artisans carefully builds requested bites around dietary restrictions such as gluten allergies. Servers flit dishes to tables dotting a terrace flanked by rustic wooden doors, and exquisite aerial views of the North Shore Mountains and the waters of Burrard Inlet recall the picturesque backdrops of poignant karaoke videos.