Classic and family-style Italian dishes, as well as new creations, are served at Portofino.
Every cruise ship needs an Italian restaurant, and the Freedom of the Seas has Portofino. Located on deck 11, opposite from Chops Grille, it has a beautiful view over the ocean and a similar layout to Chops. Portofino’s back room is a bit different, however, with a bench along the wall and in the middle of the room. Tables laid with white cloth and cutlery welcome guests and give the restaurant an elegant flair.
The menu consists of classic Italian dishes, like carpaccio, minestrone, an antipasti plate, risotto, saltimbocca, and pasta. Some dishes, such as the prosciutto salad with apples, mozzarella and a red wine vinaigrette, and the tuna carpaccio, are more adventurous.
Diamond members of the Crown and Anchor Society can get a small breakfast here, but it’s off limits for everyone else.
Portofino’s menu is not very long, but it offers classic Italian dishes as well as some new creations. Antipasti include a mixed plate for two with prosciutto, artichokes, Caesar salad, and minestrone. There are also two carpaccio, one beef and one tuna. The beef was good, but the meat was served seared, not raw, which made the thin slices a bit chewy. The tuna carpaccio was better, but a little watery, as it seemed to have been frozen before cutting.
Amongst the main courses are a prawn and crab risotto made with saffron. The rice in the dish was al dente, and the fresh tomatoes were tossed in moments before serving. It was well-seasoned, and the shrimp and crab were both well cooked. Other dishes include pasta with pesto, a tuna steak, lamb chops, ossobucco, a T-bone steak, and the classic saltimbocca, which might be the best dish on the menu. The marsala sauce was tasty and savory, and the mushroom risotto on the side complimented it very well.
Portofino does not offer lunch, and reservations are highly recommended for dinner.
Despite having some more adventurous dishes on the main menu, the desserts at Portofino were fairly classic. The tiramisu featured crushed, marinated raspberries, and a pine nut almond tart came with citrus-ricotta cheese. For those who can’t get enough chocolate in one dessert, Portofino offers a chocolate tartufo. The tartufo is a layered dessert using only chocolate: it has a chocolate mousse core, covered with a darker chocolate, and topped with a chocolate glaze with some cherries for decoration. The tartufo doesn’t just sound good, but it was excellent tasting as well.
Portofino focuses on Italian wines like Chianti, but also offers wines from all over the world.
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