Il Porto Restaurant in Gaithersburg, MD is my family's favorite restaurant. This is was once a well-kept secret, as it is obscurely located in a small shopping center, wedged between a nail salon and a gym on Muddy Branch Road.
Il Porto Restaurant is owned and managed by Alberto Cruz who seems to know ALL the customers by name - certainly because we are such a loyal bunch! Besides the extremely varied and moderately priced menu, my husband and I particularly enjoy the friendly service and homey atmosphere. The walls are beautifully painted and the little candles on the tables add some intimacy. It's a great "date night" restaurant as well as a "bring the family" destination as you can almost eat cheaper there than at home!
Some of our favorite dishes are:
•· White Pizza (fabulous appetizer!)
•· Eggplant Parmigiana (THE BEST)
•· Shrimp in Garlic & Butter
•· Pizza - delicious
•· Tiramisu - YOU WILL BE HOOKED!
The red sauce that they use is now the standard by which we judge any other Italian restaurant. Theirs is clearly the best - plenty of tomatoes, veggies, garlic - rich and delicious. Did I mention the friendly service? Well, I'll mention it again. It's phenomenal! Very attentive and personal without smothering.
We like to go early - around 5:30 pm on a Friday night. It's pretty quiet and sometimes we're the first ones there. By the time we leave (around 7:00 pm), people are lined up at the door waiting to be seated.
Il Porto Restaurant in Gaithersburg, MD is located at 245 Muddy Branch Road in a hole-in-the-wall shopping center called Muddy Branch Festival.