Special to the Herald
KENSINGTON- Serving classic Italian cuisine in a homey setting for over 25 years is the signature of Portofino’s.
Portofino’s Italian restaurant not only pays attention to the quality of its food, but they also prioritize taking great “personal” care of its customers, according to owner Mike Cecunjanin.
“We try to make the customers feel comfortable like they’re coming to their home or to eat at their brother’s or cousin’s (house). When they come, [we want them to] feel welcome,” Cecunjanin said.
Cecunjanin took over at Portofino’s in 2003 from the family that had previously run it.
He left behind the restaurant he had in Portland because of a failed lease.
Since then, he has dedicated money and time to revamping Portofino’s so that its food and atmosphere best cater to the people who come to eat there.
“We changed the place slowly and never shut down,” Cecunjanin explained. “We worked on renovations overnight and opened again in the morning for business.”
The labor has paid off. The menu has acquired some delicious additions - Cecunjanin especially loves the Osso Buco, or veal shank, and recommends it - to satisfy all taste buds.
The small bar that formerly featured only one TV when Cecunjanin bought the restaurant now has seven TVs.
The dining room has undergone major upgrades; from fresh tables, chairs and decor, to the entranceway which has been completely redone.
Cecunjanin does renovations every year, and spends $10,000-$15,000 to make sure Portofino’s keeps up with the times.
Despite all of this, however, he is still not done.
Cecunjanin envisions Portofino’s as becoming something even bigger and better, and will continue to pour himself into achieving his dream restaurant.
“When I’m able to [financially], I want to do an extension so I can fit up to one hundred people in a private room,” he stated. “I’m doing a lot of parties and can’t fit everyone in the same room. So, in the future, I want to extend.”
No matter what changes he makes to Portofino’s, though, Cecunjanin wants to ensure that, in the end, his customers are happy.
Portofino’s is located at 246 New Britain Rd, Kensington, CT. For reservations, call 860-826-6374.