My longtime friend Sonya and I went out to eat Wednesday night at Portofino in the Sellwood neighborhood. It's a lovely little place, cozy and charming, with friendly staffers. I had the Wild Mushroom Fettucine, a deliciously creamy dish with more mushroom than cream flavors, and the taste of the pasta came through. My plate was left clean. Sonya had the Seafood Risotto, a varied, luscious blend of shrimp, scallops, and a nicely-herbed, creamy risotto. I had the Montepulciano, a red wine that went very well with the pasta. The petite basket of bland bread was nothing to rave about. Our server, who appeared to be alone to serve the entire room full of customers, was surprisingly attentive -- perhaps too much so, which I suppose is better than being ignored.
For dessert I had a Special that night, a peach and blueberry cobbler with cinnamon gelato. It tasted as good as it sounds. The flavors complemented each other well in a dessert that wasn't overly sweet; a comforting finish to a fine dinner.
Portofino is a very pleasant stop in my quest to try the Italian restaurants in the Portland area. It rates high with me because of our food and the welcoming attitude of the staff. Also, I must admit to a touch of nostalgia: the atmosphere reminded me a little of the late, great Piccolo Mondo, an Italian restaurant at the Johns Landing Water Tower.