Family-style Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, welcoming hosts and a vast menu – there’s only one restaurant that comes to mind: Portofino. Step inside this family-run eatery and you may feel as if you have been transported to a bustling piazza in Italy.

The kitchen makes everything from scratch, even the pasta, offering excellent value with refreshingly large portion sizes and affordable prices. Share with the table or take some home for lunch the next day- either way you’re sure to enjoy every last mouthful. Best of all, it’s only a short walk from Hamilton’s main attractions, in a quieter locale with a cozy outdoor patio.

With a name that harks back to memories of Portofino, Italy, this well-loved restaurant was born in the kitchen of Sandra and Cesare Maranzana forty years ago. The couple began making pizza in their brick oven at their home and became a local tradition for their authentic, handcrafted Italian cooking. The close-knit staff, headed by now owner Simone Maranzana and wife Karen, along with manager Giovanni Guglielmucci, who has been with the team for over 25 years, is committed to making you feel at home from the moment you arrive. As the founder Cesare Maranzana always said, they strive to be “the best, the fastest and the most courteous”. That’s the motto Portofino lives by to this day.

Everything about Portofino is friendly and inviting. Inside, memorably eclectic decor is a treat for the senses; walls are covered in pictures of Italy, old maps, paintings and antique wine bottles, which impart a certain sentimental timelessness that first-timers and repeat guests always enjoy. Choose from comfortable booth seating inside, or reserve a patio table for a quiet and romantic candle-lit dinner. And the lively Italian waiters aren’t strangers to a crowd, effortlessly handling large groups and parties with the confidence of those with many years of practice.

As for the food, regulars rave about their signature pasta, the Fettuccine Portofino, featuring sun-dried tomatoes, grilled chicken and mushrooms in a creamy pink sauce. Seafood lovers will enjoy the variety of ocean fare options, including deep-fried calamari, jumbo shrimp, clams and fresh Bermuda lobster, when in season, as well as local catches. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of their more exotic offerings like the Cannelloni Alla Cesare: pillowy crepes filled with minced veal and spinach, baked casserole-style with tomato sauce and bubbling mozzarella cheese. Or try their homemade Eggplant Parmigiana.

And then there’s their famous pizza, made with thin but chewy crusts with just the right amount of char, classic flavors and the freshest ingredients. Opt for the chef’s weekly special pizza for a uniquely creative treat. Gluten-free and kid-friendly options are also available.

And to complete your meal, enjoy a perfectly paired libation, such as Limoncello or grappa, or sample the vast variety of homemade desserts. Be sure to try the decadent Zabaglione, which is only found at Portofino and made in the traditional way, using a copper pan. No matter what you choose at Portofino, your palate is sure to be delighted!

Portofino Restaurant
20 Bermudiana Road

Reservations are kindly required.
Lunch: Mon-Sun: 11:45am-3pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun: 5:30pm-closing