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With irresistible Italian dishes, top-notch service, and a friendly, neighborhood vibe, Portofino’s Italian Restaurant has been a local go-to for close to 25 years.

“It’s about developing good relationships and making people part of our family,” says owner Brett Maynard about the restaurant’s staying power. “I grew up with more than half of the people who dine with us. We’re now seeing the third generation of diners who come here to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations – they’re like family.”

Maynard’s father first opened the restaurant on Augusta Road and East North Street. Ten years ago, he closed both locations and relocated the business to Orchard Park. In 2018, Maynard purchased Portofino’s from his father and became the sole owner.

“In addition to our loyal customers, a number of employees, like B.R. Wilson and Mike Lawson, have been with us since the beginning,” he says.

Chef and kitchen manager Juan Gomez steers the menu packed with familiar Italian classics as well as a number of new additions.

“We’ve also added a few meat and potato entrees which are incredibly popular like steaks and pork tenderloin – there’s something for everyone,” Maynard says.

Menu highlights include a six-cheese tortellaci pasta, sautéed with a mix of Portobello mushrooms, prosciutto, red onions, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes finished in a rosemary cream sauce, a spicy carpello pasta with basil pesto sauce and red snapper francesca.

Another favorite is Portofino’s a la carte salad drizzled with a signature red wine vinaigrette. It’s served with every entrée along with warm garlic butter rolls.

Portions are more than generous, so bring your appetite. “You will not leave hungry,” he says. Red wine vinaigrette dressing, as well as all of the sauces and pestos, are original recipes and are made in-house. Gluten-free, low carb, and vegetarian options are also available.

“We’ll make it the way you like it,” says Maynard.

Behind the bar, there’s a full beverage program with wine pours starting at $8. Grab a bite out on the covered patio, where red-checked bistro tables are spaced accordingly to enjoy the simple pleasures of good food, wine and conversation.

Takeout has always been a strong part of the business, and Maynard says to-go orders have doubled from last year. In addition to items on the regular menu, there are also reasonably-priced takeout specials that feed a family of four.

“The community has been good to us,” he says. “After almost 25 years, it’s still a favorite neighborhood hangout where everyone knows your name.”

For more information, visit www.portofinossc.com.

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