Skip to Main Content

Portofino Restaurant

Partner Spotlight

Portofino started three generations ago with Adelmo Micheli, who had worked at the namesake restaurant in Washington, D.C. When it closed, Micheli decided to buy a house in Crystal City and open his own business under the same name. In the early 70s, Crystal City was just beginning and not much had been developed. It was mostly mounds of green, buildings being erected just across the street and patches of pink impatiens. Fast forward three generations and Adelmo Micheli’s Portofino Restaurant still runs strong under the helm of his grandson, Chef Richard Micheli. And the house – well it has undergone several additions, but still maintains its original footprint and location.

Chef Richard Micheli

Nearing 50 years in the business, Chef Richard is happy to keep the family tradition going. He’s also happy to see repeat customers on a regular basis. It likely has to do with Sergio, Richard’s father, being the quintessential host visiting with guests and making them feel at home during their meal. But just as many out-of-town guests frequent the restaurant too given the numerous hotels across the neighborhood-dividing Jefferson Davis Highway. Many business travelers come to Crystal City due to the Pentagon and many other offices located in the area. That wasn’t always the case. In 2000 the Naval Air Systems Command moved to DC. In 2002, the Patent and Trademark Office moved out and three years later, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) resulted in military base closures and moves.  Despite this triple threat within the span of five years, Crystal City is on the comeback and is a thriving attraction for young professionals both for business and residence. Portofino survived the mass exodus and today boasts weekends where reservations are required for dinner.

Photo: Chef Richard Micheli

With two Metro lines less than four blocks away, ART bus, Metrobus and Capital Bikeshare – Portofino is easily accessible without a vehicle. And many of the staff know this including Chef Richard, who bikes regularly to work from DC. Of the 17-member staff, seven own a car. The rest walk, carpool or take the bus to get to work. Estela, who has been at Portofino for 12 years, takes the Metrobus 10A every day to work. The staff is a diverse mix from Bangladesh, Colombia, Morocco, Ethiopia and other countries. Chef Richard is fluent in three languages: English, Spanish and Italian. He can be heard speaking with staff in Spanish, clients in English and to his father in Italian.

Clearly you don’t need a car to enjoy a northern Italian meal in a home setting, but make sure you call ahead for reservations.  Learn how to go car free to Portofino Restaurant. Buon appetito!

Portofino Restaurant
526 23rd St. South
Arlington VA 22202
Map & Transportation Options

Related Content

Upcoming Events

 

Arlington’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Counters

Bikes counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
1342
14th Street Bridge
0
Arlington Mill Trail
0
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
0
CC Connector
340
Clarendon EB bike lane
203
Custis Bon Air Park
378
Custis Rosslyn
0
Fairfax EB bike lane
74
Joyce St NB
0
Joyce St SB
15
Key Bridge East
558
Key Bridge West
163
Military NB bike lane
11
Military SB bike lane
0
MVT Airport South
0
Quincy NB bike lane
25
Quincy SB bike lane
68
Roosevelt Bridge
305
Rosslyn Bikeometer
1
TR Island Bridge
0
WOD Bon Air Park
184
WOD Bon Air West
446
WOD Columbia Pike
2271
WOD East Falls Church
871
Wilson WB bike lane
213

Peds counted

View Counter Data
110 Trail
627
14th Street Bridge
0
Arlington Mill Trail
773
Ballston Connector
0
Bluemont Connector
0
CC Connector
0
Custis Bon Air Park
0
Custis Rosslyn
2113
Joyce St NB
0
Joyce St SB
104
Key Bridge East
2290
Key Bridge West
916
MVT Airport South
0
Roosevelt Bridge
0
TR Island Bridge
2111
WOD Bon Air Park
565
WOD Bon Air West
592
WOD Columbia Pike
160524
WOD East Falls Church
702

All counters, YTD

View Counter Data
Year to Date
4758439