Thursday, November 19, 2009
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Gwinnett Daily Post
Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Porto Bello serves, clockwise from left, the fruta d'mare with jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari and fish over linguini. Also served is the veal frances served in a lemon butter sauce and the sol contadina served with diced tomatoes and onions with a garlic and oil sauce.
960 Scales Road, Suite 100, Suwanee
Open since: February 2007
Location: Porto Bello is the corner business in a row of shops off Scales Road in Suwanee, a turn just off McGinnis Ferry Road.
Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Owners: Porto Bello is family owned and operated by the Garcias. Lawrenceville residents and husband and wife duo Victor and Alba run the kitchen, while their son, Hugo, manages the dining area.
Atmosphere: Porto Bello is a small, upscale establishment where tables are draped with white tablecloths accented by burgundy cloth napkins. The restaurant offers booth and table seating as well as a patio area for outdoor dining.
Menu: Porto Bello offers authentic Italian cuisine crafted from Victor Garcia's quarter of a century of experience as a chef. His homemade sauces top pastas -- ravioli, tortellini, penne, fettuccini and angel hair -- and meats -- anything from chicken and sausage to veal and steak.
The most popular pasta selections are both made with eggplant. The eggplant parmigiana is thin layers of eggplant with parmiggiano and mozzarella cheeses baked in a fresh tomato sauce. The eggplant rollatina is similar, with thin layers of eggplant stuffed with pasta ricotta then baked in a tomato sauce and topped with parmiggiano and mozzarella cheeses.
The chicken francese is another popular item, a fresh Ansley Farms breast of chicken in a lemon butter sauce, along with the veal chop dolce vita, grilled prime veal in a cream marsala wine and mushroom sauce.
Meat dishes are served with a choice of spinach, artichoke hearts, broccoli or mushrooms.
Porto Bello offers more than 40 wines and typically hosts wine tastings twice a month.
- Things you might not know: Hugo Garcia said Bernie Marcus, one of the founders of The Home Depot, used to buy cases of his father's marinara sauce to stock his private jet.
If you have a restaurant you would like to see featured in The Dish, call Staff Writer Deanna Allen at 770-963-9205 ext. 1321 or e-mail email@example.com.