Hello, all! Today we are heading to Disney Springs to check out Portobello.
Portobello is a rather understated Italian restaurant tucked away next to Paddlefish. There was a time when this little restaurant had a bad rap, but according to several sources, the kitchen is under new management, and the menu changed for the better. We actually visited on our last day in Florida in March. It was noon and 80 degrees and we were planning to go to Earl of Sandwich, but of course, there was a line to rival the Frozen ride. So we turned around to go look for a new place to eat, when we stumbled upon a basically empty (and air conditioned)Portobello, so we had to give it a try.
Inside, this restaurant is clean, modern with a Tuscan feel. There is also patio seating overlooking the lake and Paddlefish.
The menu for lunch consists of sandwiches, salads and flatbreads along with a selection of pastas and other traditional Italian dishes. I have also included the wine and signature drinks, for the thirsty reader out there. 😉
Our servor Ian (who was amazing, BTW) brought out a small loaf of fresh sourdough bread and a plate of roasted garlic to which he added olive oil. Can you say delicious! 😋 Fair warning, it is straight up roasted garlic. I only spread a little on mine because of my sensitive stomach, but a little was more than enough to make me invincible to all forms of vampire attack. Bring some mints with you for after the meal! The bread itself was fresh out of the oven. It would be wonderful with butter, if only they brought some out with it. Granted, I didn’t think to ask for some, since the bread isn’t really the meal- even though most of us would like to make a meal out of fresh roasted garlic bread! Alas, the entrées have to come out eventually, so lets get to them:
I ordered the eggplant parmesan. Two GIANT, thick slices of breaded eggplant covered in melted mozzarella. It normally comes with a side salad, but I opted for a side of spaghetti instead. In hindsight, that probably wasn’t my best idea, considering it was hot out and this was a heavy, hearty pasta. I had also underestimated the shear size of the eggplant. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but my stomach was so full when I finished I thought I was going to leave this restaurant a human eggplant, sweating marinara sauce. Plus, the side salad they serve with their meals is light and refreshing. Quick side note before we continue: they do parmesan Olive Garden style here. I am a serious cheese fan, and I have several friends who are the same way, so I know this information can be important.
Another meal we ordered was the vegetable sandwich. We ordered it with mozzarella instead of goat cheese, but when our food came out, this substitution wasn’t made. The staff was excellent, though, and they fixed it very quickly. I only tasted a piece of one of their Portobello mushrooms, since the person who ordered this item said they were amazing. And boy, were they right. Portobello has indeed earned their name. The mushroom was cooked perfectly and was bursting with flavor, but at the same time was not heavily seasoned. The side salad that accompanied it was a simple mix of lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cabbage and fennel tossed with a light Italian dressing. Like I said, very refreshing.
The last thing we ordered was a Margherita pizza, which is cooked in a wood burning pizza oven. Just a heads up, in case you didn’t already know, these pizzas are individual, single serving size. They use large slices of mozzarella and giant fresh tomatoes for this pizza. It was topped off with plenty of fresh basil. Not the best pizza on the planet, but it was definitely pretty good.
The only reason most of us didn’t get any pasta was because it was a Friday and mom is very dedicated to the “meatless Friday” rule for Lent, even if we were on vacation. If we were to go back, we would probably order a chicken parmesan or spaghetti with meatballs dish instead. This trip to Portobello gave us the chance to try some of the vegetarian options on their menu, which is always helpful for people with dietary restrictions! Our meals were all very filling, and we were unable to make enough room for any of the delicious looking desserts on their menu. I guess we have to go back now, right? 😉