Monday, March 5, 2012

Il Porto Restaurant, Gathersburg MD

We decided to try out the little Italian restaurant right in my neighborhood called 'Il Porto' on a Saturday night.  Little did we know, the place was crowded!  We only waited about 5-10 minutes though before seated at a table.  Just a side note, apparently this little Italian spot is very popular and they try to fit a lot of tables, so there aren't a lot of room to move once you're seated.  Definitely not a good place for family with kids that require room and high chair.

We were served water and bread right away.  The bread was just okay, it was cold and a little dry.  They brought the olive oil and I ate a piece with oil, salt and pepper, definitely not my favorite.  We proceeded to order fried calamari for appetizer since I was in the mood for fried seafood and wanted to try their marinara sauce.  The appetizer turned out to be the best out of the entire meal!  The fried calamari was airy and breading fluffy, tasted very fresh.  I'd probably order it again even though it was priced at $10.50.

Then we proceeded to order the entrees.  We ordered the sausage with eggplant, chicken Marsala, and I ordered the rock fish market special for $24.95.

sausage and eggplant with side of linguine ($13.99)

chicken Marsala with side of linguine as well ($13.99)

rock fish topped with crab meat ($24.99)

my low carb selection in place of linguine

The sausage with eggplant was pretty good.  The marinara sauce was flavorful but not overly sweet or sour, sausage had good flavors, and eggplant, well, tasted like eggplants.  We didn't like the chicken Marsala dish though, the chicken was cooked in this overly sweet sauce and the linguine pasta was very mediocre (a bit overcooked).  My rock fish, on the other hand, tasted pretty good and the sauce on top was delicious.  The side of vegetables with broccoli and carrots was especially good, not that it was difficult to cook though.

Overall, I would give a B- based on food.  I actually like Olive Garden better because they have better deals and I absolutely love their soup and bread sticks, but I guess it wouldn't be fair to compare a family restaurant to a large chain restaurant like Olive Garden.  We did have issues with our waiter, he was impatient and wanted to take our plates away several times while we were still eating.  He succeeded one time and already took both plates away and then had to 'give it back' since we said we were still working on the appetizer, how weird!

FoodiePop's rating: 3/5

Il Porto Restaurant
245 Muddy Branch Rd
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

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