May 11, 2018
The latest venture from the guys behind Bodega, Porteno is a winner on many levels. This vibrant, exciting bar and restaurant is South American in influence and packed with character. Upstairs there’s a cocktail bar which serves killer drinks (the tequila-based Palermo Hollywood is a case in point) while downstairs the dining area is the place to head for superior small plates the barbecued calamari is insanely good and the guys in the kitchen clearly know what they’re doing. (You can actually see what they are doing, too, since food is prepared in full view on Parilla barbeque or the fantastically named Asada (pit of fire). Authenticity is the order of the day, with an emphasis on quality meats prepared Argentinian style, but luckily there’s plenty for seafood lovers and vegetarians to enjoy as well. Portions are generous and the South American sweet tooth is much in evidence on the dessert menu try the Leche Quemada if you have room, a delicious combination of burnt milk custard and cherry and chocolate ice cream. Wash it all down with one of a carefully selected menu of that most misaligned of drinks, sherry trust us, this isn’t the stuff your granny drinks at Christmas. The place’s popularity is such that it can be hard to snag a table, not helped by the fact that it’s only open from Tuesday-Saturday and evenings only, and bookings are only accepted for parties of 5-12 people (though if there’s a group of you and you book plenty in advance, you may be able to secure the private dining room).