Friday, June 09, 2006

Portofino: Specialty restaurant

Like most big ships these days, the Freedom of the Seas has two fine-dining restaurants. To dine in them, you pay an extra $20.

Last night I dined in Portofino, the Italian restaurant washed in subtle Venetian golds and reds. Was it worth the money? If you're a foodie, the answer is yes. Menu options included starters (carpacio, caprese insalata and a salad with smoked duck, among the others) and three pastas -- I had a creamy pappadelle with funghi and a mascapone sauce. For a main, I had the saltimbocca -- beautifully prepared, but a little heavy for my taste, and I wished I'd ordered the spectacularly-presented seafood skewer with lobster, scallops and fish. Desserts are a work of art ... you hate even to touch them.

What to wear: There's a mix. Some men were in shirt sleeves, others in jackets and still others in suits. For women the dress ranged from trousers to cocktail dresses.

Tip: Getting a reservation is a tad easier on formal nights and on lobster night in the main dining room.

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