Tucked on the corner of Market and South street in downtown Frederick sits the cozy, quaint, and authentic Italian restaurant Il Porto. A chalkboard sidewalk sign reads off Crab Bisque and other specialties that made my stomach growl and pine for a cup. A few street strollers walked up and gazed at the menu in the window, nodding in approval. I stepped passed them to enter the restaurant in search of the Owner, Obed Nolasco, to give me a little more insight into the small nook that brings favored classic Italian cuisine to Frederick.
When I walked into the restaurant, I was immediately greeted with a delicious smell of Italian herbs and an exquisite marinara sauce that drifted out from the kitchen. A few tables were occupied by satisfied diners and their empty plates. “We have a lot of regulars that come in,” Nolasco said. “On the weekends, we also see many new faces.” The time was near four in the afternoon when I stepped in, and the lunch crowd was dissolving into dinner. “Reservations are made here all of the time. Sometimes two weeks in advance,” the owner continued. “Some nights we are filled up! Especially holidays like Mothers Day, Christmas Eve, and Valentines Day. We have a great place for people to come in for those special days.”
Il Porto’s popular dishes include their Eggplant Parmesan, which can be described as original and extremely fresh! Their Roast Veal is also a staple dish, slow cooked for several hours with a touch of tasteful herbs including garlic and rosemary. “We bring you good food, consistency, great service, and a sense of being part of the family,” Obed promised. And being in the business for nearly 20 years, it’s hard to argue with the man! “Once you find a parking spot, we promise you it’ll be worth it!” Other Italian dishes that began as classics but receive the special flavors of Il Porto are their Ossobucco and Shrimp Fra Diavolo.
Il Porto is also available to those in the Gaithersburg, both locations run by the Nolasco family. Monday nights (at either location) come in for ½ price bottles of wine, or take advantage of Frederick’s Tini Tuesday where all martinis are $5.99. And check out FiND iT FREDERiCK’s Facebook page to learn more about how you can win a gift card to use at Il Porto on your next night out!