For family-style Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, there’s only one restaurant that comes to mind: Portofino. Now recently renovated to offer a refreshed look and new menu choices, Hamilton’s first pizzeria continues its 40 year plus tradition of impressing locals and visitors alike.
Portofino has always made it’s own pizza dough and much of it’s own pasta from scratch, but the new menu takes it a step further; everything is now fresh and homemade. The kitchen offers excellent value at affordable prices. Best of all, Portofino is only a short walk from Hamilton’s main attractions, in a quiet locale with a cozy outdoor patio.
This well-loved restaurant was born in the kitchen of Sandra and Cesare Maranzana more than forty years ago. The couple began making pizza in their brick oven and became a local tradition for their authentic, handcrafted Italian cooking. The close-knit staff, headed by, their son and now owner Simone Maranzana, and his wife Karen, along with long-time manager Giovanni Guglielmucci, are 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.
In February 2019, Karen and Simone Maranzana set about revitalising the restaurant to coincide with current dining trends, all while maintaining the same charm and comfort that customers love most. Changes extend from the décor to a new wine list, a new menu and new head chef Maximo Villagra and Sous Chef Sarath.
Everything about Portofino’s ambiance is friendly and inviting. All the furniture is new and has been arranged to prioritise comfort. The lighting and floors have been overhauled to make it brighter, and the new ceiling tiles greatly improve acoustics. The flow of the restaurant also works better. Portofino can host 12 people around one table easily, while also being able to accommodate smaller parties in warm and cozy fashion. 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, the new menu still focuses heavily on pizza and pasta, but each is now made with homemade ingredients, and the restaurant works closely with local farmers to include locally grown produce and herbs. Lighter options are available for those wanting to enjoy traditional Italian cuisine without the heavy carbohydrates. There is something for everyone at Portofino.
Many of the desserts will also look familiar, with the exception of the Zeppole, which is doughnut fritters, served in cinnamon sugar with vanilla custard and chocolate ganache and Molten chocolate. Try any one of the homemade sweets with a well-paired libation, such as homemade cream of Limoncello, Orancello or grappa, for the perfect end to your meal. No matter what you choose at Portofino, your palate is sure to be delighted!
Reservations are kindly required.
Lunch: Mon-Sun: 11:45am-3pm
Dinner: Mon-Sun: 5:30pm-closing
20 Bermudiana Road