Three-time James Beard Award Winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author, Alfred Portale, will unveil his new restaurant, Portale, in New York City on Friday, November 15. Located at 126 W. 18th Street, the contemporary Italian is a welcoming, spirited and beautiful neighborhood bar and restaurant, tapping into Alfred’s Italian heritage in a more meaningful way than ever before. Chefs Jacinto Guadarrama and Adam Longworth, longtime deputies of Portale, have joined as Portale’s Co-Chefs de Cuisine. David Schneider, most recently at the Altamarea Group, joins as Director of Operations.
After over 30 years as Executive Chef and Partner at New York's iconic Gotham Bar & Grill, this significant new addition to the Chelsea neighborhood marks Portale’s first long-anticipated solo venture. Portale has been recognized for his classically trained French technique, fine dining approach and iconic presentation, which earned him a variety of accolades including three James Beard Awards, five three-star New York Times reviews and a long standing Michelin star.
Shifting away from white tablecloth fine dining, Portale opts instead for relaxed excellence in a refined but casual setting. The menu will feature seasonally-driven Italian dishes in five main categories; Cicchetti, Antipasti, Primi, Secondi and Contorni, featuring an abundance of roasted vegetables, crudo, market salads, assorted grilled meats and fish. The open kitchen features a robust in-house milling program utilizing locally farmed grains to make a bounty of scrumptious house-made breads, pastas and polenta.
Steven Washuta, Portale’s Wine Director, is bringing a refreshingly down-to-earth style of wine service to the restaurant. While Washuta has built an extensive Italian-based wine list, drawing influences from both Northern Italy and Sicily, he has incorporated classics and up-and-comers from all over the world, ensuring Portale guests have an assortment of choices ranging in price.
Designed by INC Architecture & Design, Portale appeals to a multi-generational audience with an atmosphere that is warm, inviting, and approachable. Delicately combined raw materials such as limed white-washed reclaimed timber and bleached white oak are paired with refined finishes like brass, black lacquer, calacatta marble and burled walnut to give the space a sleek metropolitan feel with a homespun comfort. Curated by Alfred himself, the art collection presents both edgy and romantic imagery of Italy and New York. The two-story, 7,000 square foot restaurant will seat 100 guests in the dining room and 14 at the bar. The second floor houses a private dining room that is flooded with natural light and can host 40 guests seated or 60 guests reception style
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