Exceptional dining at Le Bistro
Portofino Resort encompasses it all: great rooms, amazing tours, fabulous staff and one of the best culinary experiences on Ambergris Caye!

Portofino Resort, located on North Ambergris, defines itself as one of the finest establishments in Ambergris Caye. With eight beach cabañas and three top Suites, you can be certain that the view from your room is the very best that Belize has to offer. Unobstructed, pristine and simply gorgeous vistas are just one of the many attractions at Portofino.

Aside from thatched palapa rooms and suites, a new swimming pool, Portofino has many packages from which you can choose from; all carefully designed to not only meet your needs but make your vacation memorable. You can be certain that the staff at Portofino will keep you occupied with many tours, dives, and expeditions. However, since 2003, there has been yet another attraction at Portofino and this one has kept many faithful patrons returning to its beaches.

Le Bistro is among one of the top restaurants on the island receiving rave reviews. With his Euro Caribbean Fusion Cuisine, Chef Ermito Patt has an eight year culinary background and has learned from the best. With his various training, courses and love for the culinary arts, Patt hosts a background in French and Italian cuisine that, when coupled with our Caribbean influence and Latin spiciness, makes for an unforgettable meal. “I incorporate my local touch in every meal,” he explains, “Here on the island we have the luxury of finding the freshest produce, meats and seafood. This makes for ‘exceptional’ meals.”

Maybe it is the fresh products, or Patt’s extensive training; maybe it’s the friendly, professional staff or wonderful ambience; whatever the case may be, Le Bistro certainly lives up to its self-title “exceptional”. Their menus are extensive, and now proudly include a Vegetarian’s Menu. Whether you choose to have a romantic dinner or a family get together, Portofino is still somewhere you want to go during the day. Visit Portofino anytime before 4:00 p.m. and taste their exquisite soups, salads, finger food favorites, seafood, meat and poultry. The dishes are too many to list and all have their own distinctive goodness to them. The ‘Above the Cut’ Salad is sub par - a combination of shrimp and scallops, sautéed and tossed with garden vegetables, and complemented with their very own margarita vinaigrette; the Tres Cocos Shrimp are spectacular – succulent, juicy, coconut dipped, fried shrimp; chicken steak and fries. Many, many are the choices, and all are just as great.

Portofino, however, is known for their exquisitely elaborate, yet pleasant dinners. The choices are again extensive and the twinkling stars, cool Caribbean breezes and a friendly staff make for a treasured experience. Wherever you choose to sit, you can be certain that your Caribbean view will be the best. Whether it may be on the terrace, balcony or main dining area, all can be accommodated to fit your needs. Making your night most enjoyable is their experienced staff. Manager Marlon Castro and/or host Steve DeMaio meet you as you arrive at Portofino.

Dinner can be something small but is even more pleasurable when you indulge yourself with Chef Patt’s and his wonderful assistants’ delectable meals. Appetizers are just a taste of all that you are in store for. The Bleu Beef – tenderloins sautéed in blue cheese, the Shrimp Cocktail, the Seafood Panache – wow! That is all that you can utter after taking a nibble off of these freshly baked garlic toast rounds that are deliciously topped with Portofino’s baked Caribbean seafood mousse. The Coconut Caribbean Newburg is just as superb – made with coconut cream and served in freshly baked pastry shells, these traditional shrimp and scallop Newburg definitely has a taste of the tropics.

If you are not absolutely stuffed from your appetizers, then move on to the second course. One of Le Bistro’s top selling dishes is the Lobster a la Ritz, and believe us, once you try it, you’ll see why people love it so much. Having performed at the Ritz Carlton, this dish is a delightful blend of shrimp and lobster cream sauce served in a luxurious bed of linguine and to make it more sinful, it is topped with sautéed lobster which has been flambéed in fine whiskey. Just as their menu defines it, this dish is very rich, elegant and decadent.

The Pineapple Picante Pork Tenderloin, a sweet taste of the tropics derived from the fresh pineapple married so beautifully with lime cilantro marinated pork medallions and the spicy flavor from our Latin influences. Served with fluffy coconut rice, this dish is exquisite. The Penne Pollo Alfredo and Seafood Platter are also succulent dinner choices but Le Bisto’s menu is so grand that naming and tasting all is an appetizing challenge. A must have has to be a dish that was so popular on its occasional special nights that guests wanted the meal available every day. They demanded to have the Spider Crablaced Snapper included on the Dinner Menu and one can see why the delectable combination of Blue Caribbean Spider Crab rolled with snapper fillet, and massed by a tomato cream glacé is a true hit at Le Bistro.

Dinner moves on with the third sinful dessert course. Come on, you saved space, didn’t you? Because if you did, you are in for a treat because Chef “Chocoholic” Patt has been in the kitchen whipping up his chocolate favorite as well as all his other sweet goodies. Imagine chocolate fudge cake lying on a bed of chocolate glace - yummm! And that is not all; this is laced with crème de cacao and served with vanilla ice cream. Now you have room for dessert, don’t you! Try their Bananas Foster, a rich blend of banana, caramel sauce, ice cream, and chocolate syrup - yes, this New Orleans Classic has been whipped up and shaped Portofino style. Other goodies include the Rum Cream Caramel Apple - apples sautéed in butter, cinnamon, sugar and dark rum cream sauce, served over vanilla custard; and the Frozen Tropical Tundra - their mile high, frozen key lime pie. When the weather is hot, Le Bistro’s pie is not! A refreshing happy ending.

Whether you visit Portofino for their lavish rooms and accommodations, to take a drink and enjoy their beaches and views, to taste their scrumptious lunches or to pamper yourself with Chef Patt’s dinner selection, Portofino won’t let you down. If you are a tourist visiting our beautiful country, experience Le Bistro for another memory added to your list. Your friendly front desk staff can arrange a pick up at your hotel. If you are a local and have a special night coming up or you would simply like to try something different, then try Portofino for lunch or dinner or a lazy afternoon drive. Manager Marlon Castro and his great staff welcome you with open arms. Tourists and locals are all invited to visit this “exceptional” beach resort.

For further information, kindly call 220-5096 or visit their website at www.PortofinoBelize.com

Article in San Pedro Sun's Visitor Guide (including some amazing pictures): http://www.sanpedrosun.net/08-01.pdf