A little slice of the Italian Riviera comes to Birmingham’s own little slice of historic paradise, the Jewellery Quarter, courtesy of the gracious hosts at Portofino. Named for the beautiful coastal Ligurian township famous for its colourfully painted buildings stacked up above turquoise waters, this Italian restaurant down Hockley’s Frederick Street is a primary port of call for those in Birmingham looking for a quick drink or a full Mediterranean banquet. Be greeted with a friendly welcome, and allow the Portofino’s talented chefs to craft an unforgettable Italian dining experience for you and yours.
Like any good port-bound ristorante, Portofino overflows with good drink. The list at this Jewellery Quarter Italian restaurant is the envy of many a similar establishment in Birmingham, with careful annotations guiding diners to the perfectly matched bottle. Indeed, ask Portofino’s famously friendly staff for their recommendations when you order, and enjoy wine dominated by old world and Italian vintages, but with a few new world surprises thrown in for good measure (the New Zealand sauvignon blanc comes highly recommended). And it helps more than a little that Portofino has found a quaint spot in down Hockley’s Frederick Street to call home – though landlocked it’s got the charm of its Italian namesake down pat.
When it comes to getting down to the main event at Portofino’s Jewellery Quarter premises – eating – those looking for something on the lighter side of the good life are advised to sample some classic Italian antipasti or, if in good company, shareable plates. These entrees can easily double as a light meal, and showcase the traditional tenor of the whole menu at this formidable Birmingham Italian restaurant. Go for the strong showing of seafood, with the piatto di mare and the cozze alla Francese (mussels in a white wine, garlic and cream sauce) being particularly good. From there, the classically structured menu at this highlight along Hockley’s Frederick Street is a no brainer no matter where you moor up: pesce, carni rosse e bianche, pasta and risotti, and of course a good selection of pizza.
I loved the look of the place,the service was excellent the waiter who served us was very helpful and attentive.would recommend this place to all my friends and will be going there again soon.
Restaurant was virtually empty at 8pm on a Sat night so no atmosphere. Food was acceptable but nothing special and my other half's was not as hot as it could have been.
Food was great but they are closing and had limited stocks. Going to miss this place. Let's hope new owners are Italian. Good luck to all of the staff