Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Portage By: Patricia Nicandro

Patricia is a graduate student at DePaul University who enjoys traveling, reading, culinary exploration, and playing sports that don't require much athleticism. If Patricia was forced to choose her favorite kind of food it would be breakfast food with a heavy emphasis on bacon. Patricia may not have a car but she is willing to travel as far as the CTA/Metra tracks will take her in order to reach a good restaurant.
The Portage describes its food as “contemporary southern cuisine,” but I just call it good food.  The chefs cook with what’s in season and, to me, that’s the best and only way to cook.  For instance, on the winter menu one of the dishes that The Portage featured was gnocchi with diced squash, zucchini, sautéed arugula, smashed peas, brown butter sauce, and shaved parmesan.  Normally, I shy away from vegetarian dishes at restaurants because they tend to taste a little on the bland side, but not this dish!  It was perfectly seasoned and the veggies weren’t overcooked or undercooked, which some restaurants tend to do. 

If you’re more of a meat-eater and love comfort food, then I’d stick with staples like the Portage burger and southern fried chicken.  Though these dishes sound common, both are delicious and decadent.  The Portage uses Kobe beef for its juicy burgers; and the fried chicken is boneless, crispy, and has a slight kick to it.  While you may want to scarf down these dishes, don’t forget to save room for dessert.  The Portage makes its own ice cream with very unique flavors, like buttered popcorn and strawberry-goat cheese.  The chefs recently added the sweet polenta cake to their dessert arsenal and it is by far my favorite dessert there.

Cocktails are another must at The Portage.  Though I’ve only stuck with my favorite cocktail there, the Portage Mango Martini, the bar has an abundance of wines, beers, and spirits.  And the bartenders are very knowledgeable and friendly.

The host and servers at The Portage are also extremely friendly and will go to great lengths to ensure that you have a pleasurable dining experience.  They will do their best to seat you where you feel most comfortable; bravely ask the kitchen staff to see if a dish you ordered could be slightly modified; and check-in with you regularly during your meal. 

The interior of The Portage is also a reflection of the food and service – warm and inviting.  But if you’d rather dine al fresco, the restaurant has a lovely patio in the back.                   

All in all, the Portage is a true neighborhood gem in the heart of Portage Park. 

The Portage 
3938 North Central Avenue
Chicago, IL 6063
(773) 853-0779 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment and be a part of the "Check, Please! Effect"

Search This Blog