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Portofino's: Fine Suburban Dining

Off the beaten path, this Mills Street Italian restaurant offers a tasty, reasonably-priced lunch.

Sometimes, it's nice to get away from the hustle and bustle.

While no one would mistake South Street for Times Square, it is certainly better-traveled than, say, Mills Street, a surburban road people mostly drive through, rather than walk upon.

But, besides , and houses, there is another destination here: a restaurant.

When I first moved to Morristown nearly two years ago, it struck me as a little unusual that would be so off the beaten path. It's not just one road off–though it crosses with Washington Street. The closest place to get a bite to eat, however, is at . Thankfully, this distance from the hungry public eye did not seem to affect its quality, at least when I went for lunch recently.

It was quiet at Portofino's at about 12:30 p.m., save a group of about five businessmen talking about Jeremy Lin over lunch. I sat down and my server quickly had a glass of ice water ready for my parched palette. Soon, he had a small basket of warm bread join the party.

The menu at Portofino's is about what one would expect from a traditional Italian restaurant: You've got your Parmigiana's, your Alfredo's and the like. And, of course, your Chicken Marsala, my favorite Italian meal. During lunch, almost all meals (which come with a side of pasta in red sauce) are between $7.50 and $8, a good deal during midday.

As I waited for my meal, the conversation nearby turned from Jeremy Lin to Wilt Chamberlin, and his alleged legendary virility ("I'm about 9,998 away from him," one man noted, though I'm pretty sure the legend was 20,000. But, who's counting?).

Soon arrived my meal, pieces of chicken resting in what I would discover was a very flavorful marsala sauce. The chicken was tender (if a little ordinary), and a nice amount for the price. The pasta was pasta. Like fries, it was good, but perhaps not required. The red sauce, however, did have a nice, homemade flavor.

After everything was finished, I cleared my plate of remaining marsala sauce with a spoon. It was that good.

Overall, I was in and out of Portofino's faster than my basketball-debating friends. For someone looking for a quality Italian meal, in relatively quick order, this suburban stop is a pretty good option.

Sharon Callahan November 06, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Portofino is a diamond in the rough! The owners are lovely and the staff is very helpful and polite. The atmosphere could be so much more lively with better lighting and some refreshed painting. They are missing alot of business due to the tired, dim lighting,etc.. The ice has a metalic taste that spoils the soft drinks. Please give Portofino an updated look and the Morristown crowd will be lining up as it did in the past. We want you to succeed!

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