Pizza a tasty staple

Pizza a tasty staple

May 26th, 2013 in Chattnow Dining

Portofino's Greek and Italian Restaurant continues to grow and change as customers request new recipes, but still honors its traditions - including its house-made pizzas.

"We have launched a new line of gourmet pizzas by popular demand," says Dimitris Agrafiotis, who co-owns the restaurant with his father-in-law Douvris. "Among the delicious Greek and Italian fare our pizza has been a staple of our menu, not only for the quality and freshness but the budget-friendly buy one, get one free price."

The new gourmet pizzas available include Maria's pizza, named after Agrafiotis' oldest daughter, who came up with the idea of replacing the red pizza sauce with the restaurant's housemade blended olive oil mixed with fresh herbs and Greek spices, then topping it off with the restaurant's specialty blend of cheese.

From left, Leah McCain and Susan Parrish

Agrafiotis says customers have been asking for a pizza topped with Portofino's gyro meat and now it's finally available as well. The Athenian is a balanced mix of gyro meat, feta cheese, tomatoes, black olives, onions and green peppers topped with mozzarella cheese.

"Along with our gourmet pizzas, our all-you-caneat buffet continues to be a popular choice with patrons, lunch and dinner alike," Agrafiotis says. "We strive to keep it stocked with fresh daily-made pastas, salads and pizzas. The staff is continuously on top of making sure items are filled and rotated to ensure customers enjoy it every time."

The daily buffet is a satisfying choice for families because adults can enjoy Greek or Italian fare from the menu while children stock up on an all-around favorite: pizza. The buffet is also budget friendly, priced at $6.95 for lunch, $8.95 for dinner and just $3.95 for kids age 10 and under.

Portofino's continuously takes customers' feedback and uses it to create the strongest menu possible, says Agrafiotis.

Recently, the restaurant updated its menu and rearranged the salad choices. Now all fresh salads - tossed, Greek, Greek Village and Caesar - can be topped with a variety of protein choices. For $3 more, guests can add grilled chicken or gyro meat, and for $5.95 they can add a slab of grilled salmon or some grilled shrimp.

Portofino's has also introduced two new wines to its expanding wine list. Blue Fish Riesling, from the Pfalz region of Germany, features seductive perfumes of ripe apricot and peaches. It is a sublime match with fish dishes, risottos and creamy pasta dishes, says Agrafiotis.

There's also a new Chardonnay from the Round Hill Line, which was named in the "Top 100 Wine Brands On Premise" by Restaurant News. He says this wine pairs beautifully with baked herb chicken, grilled salmon and the guest's favorite cheese platter.

"It is always difficult to satisfy every taste, but it has been our goal to provide East Ridge with a restaurant that we can focus on bringing a balance on our menu with budget-friendly prices and the right variety to keep customers coming back," Agrafiotis says. "It has been the recipe for success the past 20 years and something we plan on doing for the next 20 years as well."

Portofino's also caters specialty events with unique Mediterranean menus. From events for 10 to 500 guests, each is special; Agrafiotis puts a lot of pride in creating memorable events, he says. He will sit down with the customers and work out a menu that is custom fit to their needs and then make it a reality.