Pastas are produced in a wide variety of shapes, which are specialized to soak up sauces, bake evenly, or power fork-twirling dynamos. Tap into fettuccine fuel with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Italian fare plus a complimentary dessert at Portofino Restaurant in City Island (up to a $7.50 value).
Chef Guido Flores presides over Portofino’s elegant menu of authentic Italian fare forged from a medley of fresh ingredients. Foodies can pen an enticing prologue across the thinly shaved beef carpaccio, which is framed by mixed greens, shaved parmesan, and tartufo olive oil ($9.95 for dinner). The epicurean adventures of fusilli and salmon with a light brandy sauce ($17.95 for lunch; $19.95 for dinner) enthrall utensils as effectively as an inspirational speech from a spork. Diners sink pearlies into a hearty filet mignon festooned with portobello mushroom and an Italian barolo wine sauce ($32.95 for dinner), and the fried-seafood plate enlists a crowd of golden-battered shrimp, scallops, and fillet of sole ($24.95 for dinner) as impressive as Poseidon's prom. Groupon-holders also receive a complimentary dessert, which they select from such decadent options as chocolate truffle mousse or a dulcet quartet of sorbets.
The dining room’s rustic artwork evokes the idyllic Italian countryside, and the wall’s painted hearths cull their radiance from the golden glow of overhanging chandeliers. Guests can send smoldering gazes into battle against the gauzy candlelight prancing across Portofino’s leather booths, or they can admire the placid harbor, city skyline, and rampaging Godzilla from tables situated on the open-air deck.
Portofino Ristorante wins over visitors with feasts of baked clams, slow-cooked pork loins, and tender sautéed chicken atop beds of pasta. Perched upon City Island's waterfront, the restaurant cultivates an atmosphere that, like a tractor christening, is simultaneously rustic and urbane. The patio gives diners a view of New York's skyline; the interior evokes the image of a banquet hall in an Italian countryside villa—maroon leather chairs, warm light descending from chandeliers, and walls decorated in a stucco-esque scumbling and murals of Mediterranean harbor scenes. Guests sup on shrimp stuffed with crab meat or sautéed broccoli raab in cozy candlelit booths, break bread in the Piccolo Room or banquet area, or toast goblets of wine at the tucked-away wraparound bar.