REMOVED: Cafe Portofino

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 2 reviews )



3481 Ho'olaule'a Way (at Marriott Hotel, Kauai), Lihue, Hawaii, USA, 96766

Serves meat, vegan options available. Restaurant located inside the Marriott Hotel Lihue. Northern Italian food with a waitstaff from 'the old county.' Despite having non-vegetarian fare, the restaurant offers lacto-vegetarian dishes and are willing to accommodate special requests. Veggie lasagna, eggplant parmesan, and others. NOT FOR VEGANS.

Categories: Lacto, Italian, Non-veg

2 Reviews

First Review by Chef Kati

Don't Go! - Edit

What do I say here besides, just, NO.

We were looking for a nice place, with vegetarian options, for our New Year's Eve dinner. We looked at reviews on both Yelp and Happy Cow, and decided on Cafe Portofino. A nice, romantic Italian dinner for New Year's, right? Wrong.

First off, we used Open Table to confirm our reservations, but when we arrived the Maitre D said they never received the reservation, and was quite snarky with us. I understand that there can be issues between businesses and services like Open Table, but NEVER take that out on your paying clientele, and also, we live off of Open Table when traveling, and this is the only establishment I've ever seen have an issue.

Anyway, there was both an indoor and outdoor seating option, and I think we would've had a completely different experience if we'd been seated outside, however, we were seated in a very brightly lit dining room that looked like it hadn't been updated in a few decades. The menu was very standard Italian, an OK wine list, and with a few tweaks we were able to order food that would work for us (vegetarian, no dairy). The wine we got was good, but that was really the highlight of the meal. Nothing was bad, but nothing was great (especially for the price!), and the ambience of the place, well, there was little to none. The restaurant is in a great location, but it's also in a time warp, and could use to be updated from 1961, which I believe is the last time anyone actually thought about that aspect of the restaurant. There was also a musical show going on (not the harp show), which was also very dated, and just added to the uncomfortable, odd air of the place and night. We also watched as the same Maitre D kicked out one of the customers who was actually enjoying his evening, in order to clear a table for the next round of reservations. Again, I understand, it's a busy night and you need to move tables, but do it in a polite manner. Give them a free drink and ask them to transfer their tab to the bar, don't just tell them their time is up, get out.

All in all, we left feeling disappointed having spent our money and our New Year's Eve here.

Pros: Location

Cons: Outdated and lack of ambience, Pricey for what you get, Maitre D

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What a fabulous meal!! - Edit

We are strict ovo-lacto vegetarians and wanted to have a lovely meal during our week in Kauai. We read that Portofino was good and were so pleased with the entire experience. The waitstaff was superb and the atmosphere divine to be sure...but the food was amazing. We had lovely salads and the best Eggplant Parmesan I think we've ever had! It melted in your mouth. The veggie lasagna was terrific and the desserts were too. I can't wait to go back there--to Hawaii and to Portofino!!

Pros: Wonderful Food, Attentive Staff, Lovely indoor and outdoor seating

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