Friday we went for lunch in Gastown at Al Porto Ristorante (previous blog). We had been there before for dinner and enjoyed it. We had a reservation for lunch at 1pm (they are open for lunch Monday to Friday) and were very surprised at how busy it was when we arrived.
The building that Al Porto is in is called Hudson House. In 1885, the Hudson’s Bay Company built the Hudson House as its main warehouse for fur and liquor products. It was owned by the Hudson’s Bay Company for 60 years. It was then renovated in 1977 by in order to accommodate offices and retail. The souvenir shop and restaurant that are there now came later. The restaurant decor maintains the brick walls, arched windows and round arches of the original design.
Food and Service
It was very busy at Al Porto but our server and his assistant did a very good job. We were both torn between pizza and pasta so decided to order one of each. The pizza (as we remembered) was very good. The traditional thin crust had a bit too much outer crust but was cooked well in the wood oven and the sauce had lots of flavour. The risotto (porcini and wild mushroom) was also cooked well with lots of mushrooms. The flavour though was a bit bland and tasted too much like a beef broth rather than of mushroom flavours. Service – yeah, Pizza – yeah, Risotto – nay. The Tiramisu was a double yeah with firm but creamy layers and great flavour.
There are two entrances to Al Porto – one directly off Water Street and down in the elevator and one off of the alley and down the stairs. This is the alley entrance.
The dining room is large and divided into sections by the arch ways. The tables are set with lines for lunch and dinner with nice flatware and glassware. There is some great art work along the walls.
Pepperoni Pizza – house-made dough, san marzano tomato, fior di latte, mozzarella, pepperoni, oregano – $10.95 (All pizzas are $10.95) Yum!
Porcini and Wild Mushroom Risotto – mushroom broth, shaved parmesan – $12.95 OK.
Half litre Desert Hills Gamay – $30.50 Yum!
Tiramisu – $6.95 (Even better than at our favorite Italian joint – Nook) Delicious!
There is a nice private room at side of the restaurant that would be great for a small group event.
Love these bottles! My parents had a bunch in there basement bar – Built in 1970. Will have to ask what kind of wine it was.
Please send us your feedback on this or other restaurants we have written about.
Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is there 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf industry.
I have been at this restaurant with family and enjoyed a delicious fresh feta salad with fresh tomatoes and balsamic vinegar and pizza, yum! Great restaurant and service.