Report by Paula Antolini
January 5, 2016 1:58PM EDT
Photo above: Portofino Restaurant and Wine Bar owners Rocco Selmanti (left) and Louie Selmanti (right) and another chef Fernandez Alburetta.
Portofino Restaurant & Wine Bar in Bethel to Reopen with Full Hours/Days/Menu/Entertainment
Exciting news! Portofino Restaurant and Wine Bar is reopening with full hours/days/menu/entertainment!
Bethel Advocate paid a visit to business partners and brothers Louie and Rocco Selmanti and found them hard at work preparing their restaurant for a return to the Bethel scene as it once was in 2015. Louie was sitting at the bar with a telephone in one hand and a pen in the other hand, with piles of note pads, books and papers around him, busy attending to business details. The company also recently ran a want ad for hired help and were swamped with applications, Rocco said. A new staff and entertainment/musicians are all lined up now.
Always ready with a quick smile, Louie graciously took the time to speak with us a while. We also spoke with his brother/partner/chef Rocco who was busy cooking in the kitchen and the aroma in the air was tantalizing. Another chef, Fernandez Alburetta was also there to help.
The restaurant/bar has been closed since January 2016 due to the extensive water damage to the interior, due to a sprinkler system problem. Their construction crew worked for months on repairs, which were just completed, Louie said.
The place looks fabulous! View photos below of the restored restaurant, which includes a beautiful bar and wood interior, crafted from a 100 year old walnut tree, seen on the right as you enter the premises. There is also a main dining room to the left of the entrance, roomy, yet allows for a quieter more intimate dining experience.
Photo above: Louie Selmanti (left) and brother Rocco Selmanti, owners of Portofino Restaurant and Wine Bar.
This local establishment offers a Northern Italian Continental Menu. “Fresh and simple food” is their concept and the restaurant still uses a real butcher from New York City and hunts point marketplace to hand pick meats, poultry and seafood. The food is delicious and is a treat for the palate and other senses, artfully created and a beautiful presentation. The unique menu will have you going back for more whether you try one of their many appetizers or a multi-course meal.
They stock a large selection of fine wines from around the country and the world, as well as a distinctive cocktail menu and and assortment of beer on tap. The atmosphere is relaxed and prices are reasonable, and there is live music on Sundays usually featuring local musicians.
The restaurant originally opened in September 2011 and quickly became a favorite of many residents near and far. Portofino Restaurant was missed greatly in the past year and many locals are happy to hear about the reopening.
You might catch Louie and Rocco in the restaurant/bar if you check in, but they have not announced an official reopening date yet.
The restaurant is located in Dolan Plaza, 213 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel, CT (behind Molten Java, back left section of Dolan’s parking area), telephone 203-797-8131. Lunch and Dinner with a Bar is available, they also have Specials, offer a Children’s Menu and a Party Menu, should you choose to reserve a date for your celebration.
Hours of operation will be :
|Monday – Thursday||11:30 am – 10:00 pm|
|Friday – Saturday||11:30 am – 11:00 pm|
|Sunday||12:00 pm – 9:00 pm Dinner|
Thursdays is Ladies Night! 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Buy one Drink Get the Second One Free!
Sunday Nights from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Live Entertainment!
I’ve personally tried the Maryland Blue Crab Cakes, Sweet Chili, Yuzu, Caper Aioli, with Rainbow Baby Greens, and the Hummas, Romaine Hearts and Tortilla Chips with Tomato Dip (Appetizers from the Lunch Menu), with friends, when we wanted something to compliment drinks. I also had the Classic Maine Lobster Roll, Lemon Butter Roll, Cole Slaw, and French Fries from the Lunch/Sandwich Menu on another day, all were delicious.
I went back for more!
VIEW MORE PHOTOS BELOW:
(Click on all photos to view larger.)
Joan Kelly: We were so happy!!! Great news!!! Had a wonderful dinner there a few nights ago!! Welcome back!!! 😘😘❤💙🎉🎉😀😀
S Snobben Zejneli: Treas amigos🎉🎉🎉❤
Maria Infurchia: I am so excited you guys are back!!! Yay!
Danielle Nichols: My favorite restaurant around!!! The best and most fresh Italian food around!! You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, one thing is better than the next!!!! Friendly inviting staff!! Highly highly recommended!!! Their bolognese sauce is the ABSOLUTE BEST I have EVER HAD!!!!!! Hands down! The place is so clean too! Definitely something I find very important in a place I’m eating at!!!
Jeffery Albanesi: Delicious food and nice Ombiance! Plus our girl Michele bartender on Mondays and Tuesday. Added bonus.