Toronto Bites: Portico

Sunday, March 24, 2013

HELLO! I  have a not-so-secret secret.

I am a foodie.
I realized that I've been going out so often I might as well photograph my food adventures, seeing as I love food so much and food photography is something I'd love to get more acquainted with.

It was a friends birthday and she made reservations for a fine dining restaurant in downtown Toronto called Portico. If my friend says she likes a restaurant that's usually a good sign because she's notoriously picky. Here's my take of the food!

Before I start all the foodie goodness, I can't post without showing you how *I* looked at the evening. I am after all a fashion lover too! Unfortunately being the photographer my slr didn't work well with others so my phone pictures will have to suffice!

Dress was from Urban Planet believe it or not! I wasn't going to get it since it looked atrocious on the model (sorry!) but for FIFTEEN DOLLARS you can't really go wrong. I wore my white blazer on top but it was a bit warm inside (possibly from our sparkling wine) so I took it off.

Onto the food!! 
We were greeted by friendly a friendly hostess who asked to hang our coats and then took us to our seat. We were then served out sparkling wine (it was my friend birthday after all!) and complimentary bread.

The most surprisingly thing I found was that there was a variety of different types of bread. White, whole grain, even pumpernickel I think! There were also dry crackers baked with seeds and dried cranberries. As a health conscious person I really appreciate the variety! They were served with a delightful black olive butter and regular butter. The black olive was a hit with our table, the olive taste wasn't overwhelming but tickled your taste buds.

As someone who doesn't eat meat (pescatarian) I often find it troublesome to go to restaurants as there is usually zilch for me. Portico only had one vegetarian option so it'd be nice if they would incorporate some more in their menu.

I opted for the vegetarian pasta instead of a fish dish since I had fish in the day.

For 18$ you get a LARGE portion. I could barely finish mine and I was definitely too stuffed to eat anything else afterwards. I was shocked because while browsing for photos online their portions seemed small. LIES. It's definitely good enough for one person (and maybe too much!). However I found the meat dishes to be of healthy portions (I like this healthy trend).

I am Italian and as such, I'm a harsh critic when it comes to pasta. Nothing beats my pasta sauce but this was very yummy!! The absolute best past of this pasta was the addition of not only button mushrooms but also shitake. HELLO! Yes, fantastic combination. I am a mushroom lover, I admit. The sauce was a sweet tomato sauce which I'm generally not a fan of but it was tangy sweet, and I love my tangy flavours. I also dislike runny thin sauces; you can see the chunky tomatoes in this one. BONUS! I also appreciate the parsley/sprouts on top (so good for you!), I ate all my garnish happily. The servers also come around with cracked pepper (!) and cheese if you'd like.

...I'm craving some more now that I'm thinking back. It was so good!!!

The birthday girl ordered, "land and sea". I'm told the meat was delicious, I can assume since she had to cut pieces for the rest of the people to try. They all agreed.

She said, and I quote, "best shrimp of life". Nothing more, nothing less. The influence of her drink could have been why...

This is her instagram photo, conveniently the other side.
For drinks I only had sparkling wine; I stole a glass for another friend as it was so bubbly yummy. Can I have some more? Like now?

This is the Lychee Cloud martini. A bit too much vodka for my liking however I'm not a big drinker and for all I know it was supposed to be that strong. Smelled wonderful though. Lychee is a very intoxicating fruity scent.

That was it for the food! The prices are reasonable (unless you're a broke student like myself, however I'll splurge for a friends birthday!) but it's such a gorgeous restaurant. It's not huge but the decor is stunning. They had these wonderfully comfortable floral print chairs that I want in my house. The tables were set up with these gorgeous candle holders and they had the most interesting ceiling lighting. Basically the place looks beautiful and I loved walking around in it.

Oh and the bathrooms are very fresh and clean, also, the lighting in there is amazing and great for impromptu photoshoots. Just sayin'.

If you'd like to try them out, here is their address, click for their website:

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