Located right next door to Saks and opposite the back of Lord & Taylor, Porto is not that easy to find based on its address of Ring Road, but once you find it, surprising and delightful Mediterranean- inspired cuisine awaits.
The restaurant is a spacious and white washed with splashes of ocean blue in décor lending itself nicely to memories of walking into a high-vibe dining establishment in many parts of the Mediterranean. The first visit to Porto was with my friend Rob (BosGuy) where we sat at the inside bar area. The restaurant also offers a full outside bar and lounge seating, a restaurant which wraps around the full floor space, plus chef table dining in front of the open kitchen. On this quiet Monday night we had the bar to ourselves, which gave us undivided attention from our bartenders.
We started with ordering a bottle of the Rosé – Grenache/Cinsault/Syrah, Cote Mas, Languedoc-Roussillon – 2015, which paired perfectly with the fresh seafood coming our way. In addition, the Rosé was our way of trying to keep summer going.
Our bartender talked us through their menu, which is split into four sections: raw, small cold, small warm, main plus dessert. While we were thinking about what to order we started with Kalamati Olive Bread with a rich dipping olive oil. This tasty just out of the oven and looking like a misshaped pretzel bread is a perfect way to keep you satisfied while further menu decisions are required. I loved it so much I have since stopped by just for this and a glass of wine at the bar.
Based on a recommendation from our bartender, our next small plate was the Hamachi Tartar. Seriously good delicate tiny bites of Hamachi is seasoned to give it a bit of bite. I highly recommend this plate if you like tartar.
For our main we thought we would share the Grilled Swordfish, again recommended by our bartender and very kindly split for us. I am huge fan of swordfish when it is done right and this dish is faultless combining sweet onion, which tasted like candied figs and green tomatoes.
This particular evening was lovely, relaxing and really tasty with great service. I loved it so much I went back again the following Sunday with some friends for their fun twist on brunch menu. What I can share is that the food, in particular my Lamb Burger, which was absolutely the best lamb burger I have ever tasted is overall just as good as the dinner menu, however, the service was sadly not good. I did get water after I had asked and when I asked for coffee the answer I got was “I don’t do the coffee.” So, I asked for the waiter to be sent over while I waited for my friends. He never came. My first friend arrived and we had to ask for service just for coffee and when my second friend arrived, unfortunately we were left again with no-one coming over to us at all until we requested it. We were there almost an hour before our brunch arrived and had to request water and coffee refills. When our food arrived it truly put aside our frustrations and definitely made up for it. While this did sadden me a little, I am going to put it down to a new restaurant with new staff just navigating their way through the busy brunch crowds.
I did go back again this weekend to sit at the bar and again the food and service was outstanding.
The inventive menu will keep me going back to Porto and I am hopeful if I go back for brunch both the food and the service equal each other in this new Back Bay locale.