Monday, January 17, 2011

Il Porto Ristorante, Alexandria, VA

Il Porto Ristorante exterior
It was cold, we were hungry, Italian cuisine fit the bill. Maryland and I left Dupont Circle and headed to Alexandria to meet my college friend, Majorly. At her suggestion, we sought out Il Porto Ristorante on King Street. With Maryland’s good prep, we found King Street easily and after a few minutes discovered a parking garage that was only $3/hour on South Fairfax Street near the intersection of Wales Street (make a mental note). Most other garages were $5/hour or a $7 flat rate. Once parked, we strolled up to King Street and decided to pop in Pop’s Old Fashion Ice Cream Company since we had a few extra minutes. Homemade ice cream in a variety of unique flavors placed Pop’s at the top of our evening dessert list. See the review on Pop’s **

We arrived at Il Porta slightly before 7pm and were quickly seated by the fireplace upstairs. This was a plus since we had been walking in the cold and sampling ice cream (who does that!). Once Majorly arrived, we made our selections. She and Maryland both chose one of the specials, a cheese tortellini with chicken in a tomato cream sauce. The waiter told us that everything is prepared to order and customers are encourage to change the pasta type or sauces to make their desired dish. I was torn between the Fettuccine Alfredo, the special sans the chicken or Capellini Primavera. I consulted the waiter and he said if I was hungry, go with the Primavera and that I could change the sauce to a cream variety. I said that was splendid and I EVEN changed the pasta to whole wheat fettucine since I prefer fettuccine to other long pastas. Il Porto offers whole wheat spaghetti and fettuccine. Finalized, it was a Fettuccine Primavera with cream sauce. Customization is key, especially without griping from the kitchen!

Fresh, hot bread arrived and soon thereafter, our entrees. Maryland and Majorly were quite happy with the special, as I was with my own version of primavera. The portions were hearty, but none of us had a problem finishing our dishes. We sat and enjoyed ourselves for a while after dinner. The waiter allowed us to relax after our meal and chat without shoving the bill under our noses, as some other servers do.

We did view the dessert menu, but already had Pop’s Ice Cream in our heads. Some of Il Porto’s dolce offerings were a white chocolate mousse, a white raspberry truffle, Tiramisu, Cannoli and a few others. I am fairly certain these would all be fabulous, from what we experienced with our entrees.

We did not need a reservation, but I am sure it would not hurt to make one, especially if you have a larger party. Il Porto Ristorante is open 364 days each year (only closed Thanksgiving Day) and serves lunch and dinner daily.

Thumbs up!

Il Porto Ristorante
121 King Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone: (703) 836-8833

Il Porto Ristorante on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

So funny to read that you drove to Alexandria and enjoyed Il Porto. You may or may not know that this is the sister restaurant to the Il Porto that was at Waterside Festival Marketplace for about 14 years, mostly thru the 90s. The owner of the Norfolk Il Porto was booted along with other tenants during the original renovation of the Marketplace that brought in Joe's, Hooters, and Outback to replace the local restaurants that were kicked out. Good to see his former partner is still running this location. Nice memories of a good restaurant.

Laine and Alex said...

I had no idea it was the sister restaurant to the Waterside Il Porto! That was when Waterside was fun and I went there many, many times. Thank you for the post and I agree, great memories. Laine and I were just talking about Waterside and how it used to be and could still be great, if they got rid of the chains and brought back decent restaurants and shops.