Manhattan Grille -- 63rd and 1st Ave.
Visited this old-fashioned American (with a few Italian touches) steakhouse/grill last night.
I wish I could be enthusiastic, but mediocrity reigned supreme. While ordering, I asked the waiter if the tomatoes were decent. "Yes," he swore. So I ordered the tomato and onion salad. The tomatoes weren't decent. But my friends weren't overwhelmed by the Caesar sald for 2, either.
We all ordered steaks. I ordered the steak au poivre, which was heavier on the cognac and cream than the pepper. It was served with a bizarre spinach au gratin potatoes. It tasted like 99% fat content.
The cottage fries/onion rings were pretty good (especially the onion rings) probably the best part of the meal, although severely undersalted.
Dessert might have even been a lower point than the salad. The key lime tart tasted of little but crust. No lime flavor and certainly no tartness.
The Manhattan Grille is across the street from Portofino, and is owned by the same folks. A look at the search mechanism indicates there have been zero posts about either establishment. Neither is tiny.
It might be unfair, but from my experience at Manhattan Grille, I think I can extrapolate that Portofino is unlikely to be a transporting experience.