City Island’s Portofino Restaurant For Italian Romance, Great Seafood & A View


I had never heard of City Island before last month, an island that is an easy drive from northern New York City, a hop, skip and a jump from the North Bronx.  You can drive to it, so no need to take a boat, although the island itself sits along the water, and there are lots of fun seafood restaurants you can take in along the main drag.

We went for Portofino after checking a few out, largely because it was oh so Italian and had that romantic aura to it that takes you away to another country. IT also opens up onto a deck where you can sit outside or by the window, so either way, there’s a great view. Our waiter, a Venezuelan spoke both Spanish and Italian and clearly learned the tricks of the trade on both continents well. He professionally prepared the Branzini (a whole fish which is very popular in the Mediterranean) in front of our eyes on  a side table, removing the bones perfectly.  Below was a scrumptious salad appetizer: fennel, beats, lettuce and onions. Yum!

There was also a shrimp, tomato and avocado salad, but if you like carpaccio, definitely give the beef one a try here. It is served with tartufo oil, mixed greens and shaved parmesan cheese.

The entries are varied and you can choose from a wide selection of meat dishes, including chicken, veal, beef (including massive steaks for those who are hungry) to seafood, such as the fresh Branzini below. There’s also Tilapia which is popular on most of the menus on City Island, as well as shrimp and sea bass.

And, of course if you’re a pasta fan, you can’t go wrong! We tried a scrumptious linguini with crab and other seafood, in a creamy tomato sauce with garlic and herbs. They also have a shell pasta, with broccoli, zucchini garlic, olive oil and touch of cognac, linguini with clams and seafood (shrimp, clams and mussels),  pasta primavera with mixed vegetables, olive oil and garlic, a lobster ravioli, which includes chopped shrimp in a park lobster sauce, frusilli with salmon in a light pink and brandy sauce, penne all vodka, a small tubular pasta in a pink cream sauce with vodka, spaghetti all tina, which includes pieces of chicken, sun dried tomatoes, baby broccoli, shiitaki mushrooms, touch of brandy sauce, a risotto served with mushrooms tartofu olive oil and a calamari and scungulli over linguini fra diavolo.

All of it was fabulous as was the service and the wine selection. Go for a barollo or one of the medium bodied Pinots or Chiantis. Two thumbs up, especially the ambiance!


555 City Island Avenue
City Island, NY 10464

Other options on the island for food include:

Artie’s of City Island
394 City Island Avenue
City Island, NY 10464

The Black Whale
279 City Island Ave
City Island, NY 10464

Chef Rafael’s
415 City Island Ave
City Island, NY 10464
(718) 885-9656

City Island Lobster House
681 Bridge Street
City Island, NY 10464
(718) 885-1459

Crab Shanty
371 City Island Avenue
City Island, NY 10464,
(718) 885-1810

The Harbor Restaurant
565 City Island Avenue
City Island, NY 10464
(718) 885-1373

Johnny’s Reef
2 City Island Avenue
City Island, NY 10464
(718) 885-2090

Sammy’s Fish Box
41 City Island Avenue,
City Island, NY 10464
(718) 885-0920

Sammy’s Shrimp Box
64 City Island Avenue,
City Island, NY 10464
(718) 885-3200

Sea Shore
591 City Island Avenue,
City Island, NY 10464,

For other great New York Restaurants (and top New York Restaurants / finds, check out our New York food section / top New York City restaurants)

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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