For Grayson’s brithday weekend, the two of us decided to go Italian and went to Al Porto in Gastown. This was an absolute surprise to me because 1) for once it wasn’t Japanese and 2) we usually go to Old Spaghetti Factory for Italian. But I guess this was a coming of a new age thing for Grayson so he was in a trying new things mood.
Anyways, Grayson said that Al Porto already looked promising before we walked into the door because of the cobblestoned alley way that was leading up to it. His hunch was then confirmed upon walking into the restaurant because of the authentic European vibe it was emitting. Grayson’s been to Europe before and commented on how closely the interior resembled the restaurants he went to there.
Oh and if you’re wanting a more private dinner, Al Porto offers private dining spaces by reservation as well.
Anyways, onto the food right? I’ve been trying to stay away from bread for a while now and I was succeeding until this bread basket was placed in front of me. Actually I was doing pretty good until Grayson started raving about how good it was. It might not sound like a big deal but it is because Grayson, unlike me, is not a bread fan. But oh goodness that white bread (right) was gorgeous. I’m a pretty avid bread baker so I know my stuff and I’m pretty sure they used a special type of flour because it was a little different than normal. We weren’t too big on the garlic bread (left) though because we found the topping to be a little salty and it had a bigger crumb = it wasn’t as soft.
We decided to order oysters ($2 each) for our appetizer and even though Grayson was looking forward to these because our dinner started off so well with nice bread, he was not impressed with these. He said that they were much too ocean-y and not in the good way!
For dinner Grayson decided to try something new and ordered the beet risotto with sliced beef on top ($18.95). He said that the risotto was a little too al dente for his taste and the cheese made it quite rich. I’m sure that it was a perfect risotto but I guess he’s just not used to the taste of it since he’s not too big on cheese either. Well, the dish wasn’t a total miss because he liked the earthy beet notes that came through and said that the beef was perfectly medium-rare.
It’s no surprise I decided to get the linguine pescatore ($18.95) for dinner. I mean shrimp, mussels, scallop, clams, fish AND it’s in tomato sauce? SIGN ME UP! The linguine was cooked perfectly al dente just the way I liked it too so what more can a girl ask for right?
Here’s a close up of all the seafood in it! I’m not too big on pasta anymore but I’d definitely have this plate of goodness again in a heart beat! As a matter of fact, Grayson wished he ordered this himself because it looked that good!
I should probably mention that our food came super fast too though because apparently something was going on in the kitchen and they were just pumping out dishes like no tomorrow. We weren’t really complaining because we were hungry but it made it difficult to enjoy the food because we felt almost rushed into finishing our meal. Plus, because the food was coming so fast, our servers were so busy delivering food to other tables that we almost felt ignored at ours. Even though Grayson wasn’t completely satisfied with his meal because there were a lot of hit and misses with his dishes, he said that he would come back because he liked the ambiance.