Sunday, 14 September 2008

King / Bourke Quest Part 20: Portello Rosso

Portello Rosso
15 Warburton Lane, Melbourne (map)
9602 2273

Portello Rosso

A Melbourne Gastronome reader suggested I check out newish (5 weeks) city pizzeria and jamón bar, Portello Rosso (thanks Andrew... oh, and everyone should check out Portello Rosso's very nifty website).

Portello Rosso

Portello Rosso is tucked away in Warburton Lane, just below one of my favourite CBD cocktail bars, Murmur. The restaurant was airy and light-filled during a sunny lunchtime when CJ and I visited last week, and I think it'll prove to be a great evening venue too.

Portello Rosso

The centrepiece on the downstairs communal table was a huge bouquet of flat leaf parsley. The two women who served us (one dreadlocked, one tattooed, both lovely and friendly) suggested CJ and I sit upstairs on the mezzanine level.

Portello Rosso

We were just nipping in for lunchtime express pizze, but had we had more time I would've loved to try out some of the tapas and jamón/prosciutto on offer - they slice up Jamón Serrano, Jamón Ibérico Joselito, Paleta Joselito and 24 month Fratelli gold prosciutto.

Portello Rosso

Drawing attention to Portello Rosso's laneway location, almost all of the pizze are rather cutely named after Melbourne laneways (eg Meyers, Crombie, Bennetts) - but alas there is no ACDC pizza. :)

I had the Highlander pizza ($10 for the lunchtime sized version, and it costs $14.90 for a bigger size). It featured jamón, manchego, rocket and olive oil, and had a wonderfully thin crust. I loved it.

Portello Rosso pizza

CJ had the Waratah pizza ($9/$14) with leg ham, tomatoes, black olives, mushrooms, anchovy and fior di latte. I had a taste, and it was also very good. As CJ says: "Yeah, I love anchovy. And I don't care WHO knows it!"

Portello Rosso pizza

I reckon Portello Rosso is a most worthy addition to the CBD pizzeria scene, and I predict many a future lunch down there...

Portello Rosso


Jodes said...

I tried this out a week or so ago with some friends after a few drinks at MurMur. Everything sounded good and I ordered the Crombie pizza, only to send it back as the potato was anything but cooked. Everyone else really enjoyed their pizzas and the atmosphere and staff were lovely.

jamesbluntknife said...

god i love murmur - you have to order the papa doble there!
they even serve it in a brown paper bag...

Anonymous said...

I am pleased you enjoyed it.

Murmur is a favourite of mine, too.

An acquiantance used to live in that space a half dozen years ago; how I loved the idea of a shower cubicle placed somewhere in the middle of what amounted to a living room.

A review of La Vita Buona coming up?


Anonymous said...

Great looking place but the pizza base was like a crispbread. The dough should've had some give & moistness whilst maintaining its thinness.

claire said...

Ooh, sorry to hear about the undercooked potato Jodes. :(

The guys at Sweatshop serve beers in brown paper bags. I guess they're going for that whole "Derelicte" vibe, eh James?

Hi Andrew, yes I've had a half review of La Vita Buona kicking around in my drafts folder for a little while now. Will try to get around to it soon...

Hi anonymous. My pizza was really lovely - it still had some give in it. Not crispbread. But then I always prefer to err on the side of too thin rather than too thick when it comes to pizze - it's the Italian in me :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Claire...

I went a few weeks after it opened as it's just around the corner from home. I actually remember when it used to be a gallery (but I never knew it was someones home before that! How cool!).

I didn't take photos (it was way too dark at night), but I really enjoyed the food, service and ambience. I felt the pizza erred on the side of being too thin, but the toppings were great (we went the jamon). But Dan and I had the most fantastic tapas-y dishes; chorizo sauted with tiny olives, and then a cuttlefish with chanterelle mushrooms (real ones!) with a herb salad. Oh god..that was soooo good.

The desserts unfortunately bombed in my opinion. Let's hope they pick up on that.

But I'm looking forward to going back!

claire said...

Hey mellie!

Thanks for the comments. CJ and I are thinking of going back for dinner one night next week, I'd like to try some of their tapas.

It feels like ages since I last saw you guys! Perhaps we should arrange a meal sometime, non? :)

Hungry Hamster said...

The pizza crust looks wonderfully crispy! I'm really craving for one right now!

Anonymous said...

The place looked good but the food was extremely disappointing...burnt pizza and oily toppings. These operators should go a spend a week dining at Ladro to know what good pizza is like.

Anonymous said...

After going in for coffees a couples of times served by a great girl who makes my day everytime I meet her I decided to go in for dinner one night.
I was unimpressed to say the least, the staff as always were gorgeous and lovely to be served by but the food just didn't hit the same mark as the service. Pizza was way to thin and burnt, tapas was something straight out of a how to cook tapas in three easy steps book and the desserts were ok but didn't redeem the meal.
They do have some of the best staff in town so I would go back again for coffee and drinks but I'll probably give the food a miss for a while!

Anonymous said...

Ive been back to Portellos a few times since it opened... i think they have refined their menu (I suppose a bit of trial and error) The pizzas were much better... base wass good, not too thin and there is more topping on the pizzas which makes it value for money in my opinion.

I dont usually eat dessert so I cant comment about that, but the cheeses are superb (try the truffle cheese) with a late harvest riesling.. they have some amazing dessert wines.

I usually head upstairs to Murmur too... got to love that double daddy!

claire said...

Hi anonymous, thanks for your comments. I must say I prefer to err on the side of pizze being thin (crisp but not burnt) and with slightly less topping. If the dough is spongy and there's lots of topping I don't see it as value for money - rather all that topping will weigh the pizza down and make the base go all soggy (ugh!).
I haven't been back to Portello Rosso for a while, must revisit soon... :)