Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Portobello - Italian in Jupiter Florida

As a final entry on my trip to West Palm Beach back in September (!), on Saturday night of the visit, we headed up to Jupiter to have dinner with some of Nick's mother's friends at Portobello.  While we had reservations for our group of five, we really did not need them as it was still the off season during our visit.  It was amazing to see how many places were closed for the season, but after dealing with the heat and humidity for a long weekend, I am not surprised - it's HOT!

Upon sitting down, we ordered some wine for the table to share.  I really enjoyed this Malbec and would definitely consider getting it again.  In general, I feel like you get a nicer wine for less money with a Malbec

Dinner Wine
To go with our basket of bread at dinner we had some nicely roasted garlic cloves sitting in olive oil - is there anything better to put on bread than this?!  Good thing we were all friends here though, because I had more than my fair share of garlic.

Roasted Garlic
Since we were a bigger group we decided to order a couple of appetizers to share.  First up was the calamari Luciano, which had sauteed baby calamari with capers, black olives, freshly chopped tomatoes, garlic, oil and white wine.  This calamari dish was a nice change from the more popular fried variety.

Calamari Luciano
For the second appetizer we had a sauteed broccoli rabe with sweet and hot sausage.  This is not a dish that I have seen before, but loved the combination.  Broccoli rabe is another ingredient that isn't used all that often makes the dish a bit more special.  The rabe was simply cooked with garlic and olive oil.

We also ordered a sliced eggplant dish where the eggplant had been lightly battered and fired and stuffed with three cheeses and baked in a marinara sauce.  While it was a little smothered in sauce for my taste, the eggplant was well cooked and tasty.

Rolatini di Melanzane Ripieno
While the menu is expansive at Portobello, they also had a number of specials that included lots of fresh fish. Seeing as there is a dive shop right next store, much of their fish is literally off the boat.  Unfortunately, this first dish was one of those specials and I cannot remember the fish type!  It was delicious and something really different (part of the reason why I can't remember!)

I ordered the Grouper special.  To me there is nothing better than fresh Grouper, even though they have little puppy faces when you see them underwater.  While the sauce looked heavy, it really was not at all - it just added nice flavor to the fish.
Grouper Special
They had a couple of lobster specials, and for those living in Florida lobster is a treat!  Here they cooked and cut up a 2 pound lobster and tossed it with some linguine.  We asked for it to be spicy, however it was almost too spicy. I unfortunately didn't snap a photo of the lobster, but Nick ordered the shrimp version of the same dish.
The final entree was soft shell crab.  This is something I have always been too nervous to order because I'm never sure if you REALLY eat the shell!  So, I got to watch someone else eat the shell and see that it was still tasty, and when they were willing to offer some up I just HAD to taste it.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Soft Shell Crab
We were stuffed from dinner, but I was definitely interested in a cappuccino, and when it arrived I was excited I ordered it.  Look at all the different layers in the glass and the fun rock candy garnish (which I just ate and did not use in the coffee).
We also decided to split (i.e. just taste) the homemade zabaglione and berries, which is a light Italian custard.  This dessert was really fluffy and had such a great consistency.  This dessert is something I really would like to try making at home.
Overall the meal at Portobello was yummy, their menu is extensive (almost too many choices) with wonderful fish specials.  Florida fresh fish is so delicious!

Portobello Cucina Italiana on Urbanspoon


  1. It's funny how it was off season in September, but I guess it makes sense! I love Malbec too, I will have to try that one.

  2. OMG my mom is in Jupiter RIGHT NOW!!! I'll have to ask if she's ever been here, and if not, recommend it to her. And I totally know what you mean about soft shell crab, it still seems odd to me to eat the shell.


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