My Favorite Restaurant Ever

There’s a restaurant in Oakland, N.J. called Portobello. I’d call it small, because that usually implies a cute and cozy restaurant, but I’d be lying. They put a few million dollars into it a few years ago to expand it and it’s now two buildings. The old building is now strictly for events.

In fact, I had my Sweet Sixteen party there, back in the day. My friends and I danced and laughed and ate on the second floor. So when my parents said they were going there for a business dinner (and that I was invited) the night before I was set to come home, I couldn’t turn it down.

I ate a healthy lunch at work, since I knew I would be indulging at my favorite restaurant.

A few different salads from the salad bar.

And a turkey burger.

At Portobello, I shared my favorite appetizer, mozzarella en carrozza, with my dad. It’s basically a fried mozzarella sandwich, covered in sauce and breading, and it’s delicious. I don’t usually get it, for obvious reasons, but it had been way too long since I had it. (And yes, my dad had told his business associates about my blog. They actually asked before the food came if I would be taking pictures. Since the cat was out of the bag…)

In fact, one of my dad’s business associates that we were eating with is here visiting from China, and he took pictures of his food, too, to show his wife what “typical American food” looks like. He was a very thin man, and I found it interesting that what he got was healthier than what any of us got—a salad and some sea bass. He talked a lot about his plant-based diet in China and noted that when he had ordered Chinese food here, it was a lot of meat with a little bit of vegetables; in China, it’s the other way around. 

For my main course, I had farfalle ciavalli—farfalle pasta with lobster and sundried tomato with a garlic olive oil and wine sauce. Amazing! And I have leftovers!

We came home, and I had a piece of pumpkin pie (because my dad insisted to his business associate that it was traditional this time of year. Who was I to disagree?)

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