On our recent visit to Portico (12506 River Road), I realized how lucky we are to have great couple friends. A couple finding another couple to go on dates with where everyone actually wants to be there is a rarity. We hit the jackpot with our Richmond friends.
Almost all of the reviews online about Portico say that it is loud in the dining room. They were not joking. The sound buzzes in their indoor dining space where tables are positioned pretty damn close to on top of one another. If you aren’t there with the right people, you could really have a bad night. Fortunately, our dinner companions are problem solvers, so once we realized how loud it was, they suggested that we just talk louder. And that is exactly we did.
We had a great dinner and a great time. We shared a bottle of wine and then the boys switched to cocktails. We all picked entrees from the menu and everyone was happy with what they picked. I ordered the halibut with zucchini and squash because I was eating healthy. I practically licked my plate clean probably because it was layered with a delicate sauce of butter. (Yes, I am delusional.)
Here are some other interesting observations from my visit to Portico:
1) It is located in Goochland, which might as well be a foreign country. I had heard of it, but couldn’t have pointed it out on a map before this dinner. Lucky for me they have a map of Goochland in the bathroom. Eating and learning. Bonus.
2) They have valet parking in the parking lot. Weird, right? That is what I thought until I asked the valet attendee what the deal was. He explained that since it is a gravel lot, they can get a lot more cars in if they manage how they are parked. He also explained that it is really dark at night in the lot and people would be knocking in to each other. (Read, these dumb ass patrons don't know how to park their own car correctly without lines on the pavement, so we do it for them.) Safety for our car. Bonus.
3) The kitchen is located in a separate building from the dining room. That means that all food goes outside before being delivered to your table. It is not problem on a nice day, but if the rain is blowing sideways, the servers’ lives are miserable. If you are a server, this is not a bonus.
In my opinion, any restaurant can be a good time if you are there with the right people. Fortunately, for us we were with good friends who are fun and the food was good. Bonus!