Porto in Bowness-on-Windermere serves beautiful and delicious British dishes. Chef Slav Miskiewicz creatively use a range of ingredients to deliver broad spectrum of flavours for a fulfilling dining experience. Service is friendly but lacks finesse. If you are here on a sunny day, book a table on the roof terrace or the one-and-only balcony seat for a unique experience.
What is the food like?
Inspiring modern British dishes, masterfully cooked and beautifully presented. It serves up pan fried chicken livers, sautéed scallops, confit pork belly, burger, steak, smoked black pudding, grilled fillet of sea-bass, with interesting additions like Stilton waffles, pomegranate, mango, white truffle oil, saffron aioli and sprouting broccoli.
How is the drinks selection?
The drinks menu was limited, but sufficient. There were 9 choices of red wine and another 9 choices of white wine ranging from £20 to £46 per bottle. The top of the range red was a bottle of Amarone Della Valpolicella from Italy while the white was a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. But they do have a bottle of Bollinger for £65 and dessert wine from Sauternes (Chateau des Arroucats, Sainte-Croix-du-Mont) and Porto Pocas Pink (Rose) Port to top and tail a celebratory evening.
What is the place like?
Porto Restaurant is a mid-tier restaurant set over two floors, with a small roof terrace to make the most of sunny summer days. It has tasteful features by seems to lack cohesion. The best seat in the house is certainly at the table for two on the small balcony above Ash Street.
Who are the patrons?
Holidaymakers across Lake District. A mixed crowd of young couples on date nights as well as older couples or families on school summer break.
How was the service?
Friendly and personal but lacking in finesse. The staff were polite and helpful, but do not seem to have gone through the training nor has established processes. There were no staff stationed to greet in-coming diners and some empty plates collected from the diners were left in visible sight.
Is it child friendly?
Yes, there is a good quality and good value kids menu. It has firm favourites like sausage and mash, fish fingers and sticky toffee pudding with ice cream.
Is it dog friendly?
Yes, dogs are welcomed on the ground floor, as well as at the al fresco tables outside.
Yes, it is. One of the few restaurants that do not charge you a 12.5% service charge.
See below for what my dining companions and I indulged in for this review:
2019 Las Pampas Malbec
A rich, medium bodied Malbec red from Mendoza, Argentina. Easy drinking, slightly on the sweet side. Great value for what it offers. £27
Pan Fried Chicken Livers
Beautifully cooked chicken liver served with an interesting combination of flavours from sweet acidic blackberries, sharp balsamic and rich pancetta and brandy balanced with a corner of Stilton waffle. £7.50
Sauté King Scallops
Finely sauté juicy scallops brought to life with melt-in-your-mouth rich pork belly and black pudding. The fresh and slightly acidic pomegranate and lemon butter sauce blended in all the flavours beautifully. £11.50
Soup of the day (Kids Menu)
A simple hearty Tomato & Basil soup. Fresh and flavourful. £3
28 Day Salt Aged 10oz Rib Eye Steak
A no-nonsense well-cooked piece of steak with generous meat marbling. It was accompanied with a couple of tasty confit mushrooms, grilled tomato-halves and a healthy portion of chips. £24
Two cuts, a tender roasted fillet and a melt-in-your-mouth confit belly. The cuts were served with smoked black pudding, hearty buttered potatoes and sprouting broccoli with a delicious rich jus. £18.50
Spicy Sweet Potato Burger
A panini burger with sweet potato patty topped with spiced tomato relish and vegan garlic mayo. The sweet potato patty was a touch claggy and the tomato relish could do with a bit more kick. £12.50
Sausage, Mash & Peas (Kids Menu)
A chunky sausage with creamy rich mash, pop-in-your-mouth green peas and jus. £5