Those who were following my short tweetfest from Downtown Disney last night probably caught my mention of the new look, and lovely scent, of Portobello. The restaurant, which sits between Pleasure Island and the Downtown Disney Marketplace, has recently completed a transformation from the old stuffy ‘Yacht Club’ theme into an eatery reminiscent of the Italian countryside.
Chef Steven Richard
According to Executive Chef Steven Richard, the change is a natural one. “America has had a love affair with Italian food for decades,” Richards said. “What we’re seeing now is more and more people knowing the regional nuances of the cuisine – having more vivid notions of what Italy feels and tastes and smells like. More families have been there themselves, and the ones who haven’t, want a life-like recreation of that trip they haven’t taken.”
The space, inspired by Italy’s trattorias and hidden corners, features warm tones of red, orange and yellow, with terracotta tile and rustic irons designed to make guests feel transported to the Italian countryside. Guests can also enjoy dining outdoors with the new alfresco patio. The revamped trattoria will offer authentic regional fare and warm rustic décor with a reinvigorated wine list.
Portobello’s new menu was developed by the culinary trio comprised of James Beard award-winning Chef Tony Mantuano, of Chicago’s noted Spiaggia restaurant, John Radcliff, Regional Chef of Levy Restaurants, and Steven Richard, Executive Chef of Portobello.
As it turns out Orlando Food Critic Scott Joseph recently visited Portobello and found the experience a pleasurable one (which is saying something considering what he writes about the other restaurants run by Levy in Downtown Disney). Now, I am really looking forward to my first opportunity to dine there.
Portobello is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and accepts all major credit cards. Visit www.portobellorestaurant.com to learn more.
Finally, Portobello has also been kind enough to share its recipe for Ravioli Gigante which you can find below the cut in case you want to try it at home:
For the pasta dough
1 Kilogram (2.2 pounds) 00 semolina flour
36 ounces Egg yolk
-Place the flour in the work bowl of a stand mixer.
-Begin to add the egg yolk to the mixer.
-Using the dough hook on low to medium speed, work the mixture while adding the yolk and continue to work the dough until smooth (3-4 minutes). The result will be a soft mass which pliable and yields to the touch.
-Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for about 1 hour.
For the filling
1 pound Ricotta cheese
½ cup Spinach (cooked, drained and chopped)
1 ea Egg
½ cup Parmigiano (grated)
Taste White pepper
-Combine ricotta, spinach, egg and parmigiano in mixing bowl. Make sure that the spinach is well drained and chopped very fine.
-Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the Ravioli
-Cut the dough into pieces about the size of a tennis ball.
-Roll the dough using a pasta machine into 4 inch wide sheets, Gradually make the sheets thinner and thinner starting on the thickest setting for the machine, The dough should be about 1/16 inch thick.
-Place one sheet on a flat clean work surface which has been dusted with flour.
-Using a 1 ounce scoop, place the filling in the center of the sheet at 4 inch intervals.
-Moisten the pasta around the filling with egg wash and place a second sheet of pasta over the top.
-Press the filling to flatten and distribute. Seal each piece by pressing with your fingers making sure to eliminate air from inside the ravioli.
-Cut the ravioli with a pastry wheel, trimming the edges. The result will be 4 inch square ravioli
Prepare the dish (for each serving)
1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Garlic (thinly sliced)
6 ounces Crushed plum tomato
3 ea Ravioli
5 ea Whole basil leaves
-Bring a pot of water to a boil and add salt (1 tablespoon per gallon).
-Heat a large sauté pan and add oil.
-When oil is hot, add garlic and cook until golden brown over medium heat.
-Add crushed plum tomatoes and cook to reduce slightly (2 to 3 minutes).
-Season to taste with salt and pepper.
-Add the whole basil leaves right at the end.
-While the sauce is cooking, poach the ravioli in the salted water until tender (3 to 4 minutes).
-Remove the ravioli from the water, drain and add to the sauce. Cook for another minute or two.
-Serve three ravioli per serving or a larger amount on a platter for family style.