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Il Portico - Family-Owned, Traditional Italian on High Street in Kensington since 1967

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Andy Hayler's Review


We invited some friends for dinner at Il Portico after almost random restaurant picking.  What an amazing bit of luck.  Home made pasta, an owner and servers who treat you like family and food that was both beautiful to look at and even more beautiful to consume.  We started with Prosecco and asked for focaccia rather than the (home made) thickly sliced bread that was offered.  The owner (who also happens to own the pizza restaurant next door) told us that he would be right back because he would have to go to the pizza restaurant to fix it for us.  I hate to abuse superlatives, but even the focaccia was excellent.  Just the right amount of crispness and perfect chewiness.  There was a bowl of olive oil on the table when we arrived and after savoring the focaccia sans oil, we made use of it. A great way to start.  I'll try to put the courses in some order of what was served.  Because we asked for Antipasti and then a Secondi followed by dessert there was a lot of food on the table.

Antipasti:  Salumi (directly sourced from small family run butcher shops in the Apennines Mountains) with Coppa and Pancetta with cubed Pecorino.  Second dish was butterflied prawns lightly broiled and just brushed with olive oil  Third was Parma Prosciutto with Lardon and Pecorrino and the fourth and final antipasti was Pulpo (octopus) gently broiled and finished with olive oil and spices.

Primi: Grover decided she wanted Linguini so she had Linguini with squid ink, lobster, shrimp and cherry tomato.  This was a huge serving of linguini with almost a half lobster, tons of shrimp and enough cherry tomatoes to ensure the contrasting sweet, tart flavors.

The three of us had: A T-bone of Tuscan veal with wild porcini mushrooms,  broiled Monkfish, and tortellini. This was three separate dishes as everything was served family style.Suffice it to say, there were four very satisfied (and satiated) people at the table and a number of cleaned plates.  The only thing left was some Linguini that Grover was unable to finish.

Dessert:  Let's just say traditional.  Tiramisu, Affogato, Gelato con Balsamico.  We all shared in spite of everyone complaining they were full. 

We finished with "golden Grappa" made in-house which was one of the best grappas I can recall every having. Needless to say there was no room for coffee but it was hardly missed. For wines we had Prosecco di Conegliano and for dinner a red from a region just north of Tuscany which unfortunately I did not get the name of.  Just let me say, it like the food, was excellent.

This is traditional serious white tablecloth Italian dining and worth every penny.  Dinner was approximately £65 a person.

Il Portico is located at:

277 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 6NA

Phone: 44 2076026262

and is open for lunch and dinner.


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