La Porto A Casa
La Porto A Casa
La Porto A Casa
La Porto A Casa
Foods from La Porto A Casa

2011 Dec 10
Wow, fantastic little Italian spot. Amongst the best in Ottawa. The food is the #1 reason why one eats here. Deep, rich flavors, fresh taste - nothing disappoints so far. PS The Linguine Carbonara is top shelf.

Yes, some people see the decor & the style of the place - which is minimalist and criticize however, in my opinion, they miss the point and just don't get it. For me, it's exactly that informal neighborhood style that makes this place such a gem and such a pleasant surprise. Bravo

2011 Jul 16
My wifes stuffed seafood shells. She loves sauce and was in foodie heaven. We ate all the bread waiting for our meals though the portion size was so large that more bread would have put us over the top.

2011 Jul 16
Is there such a thing as too much sauce? My wife would say no. Not sure I would agree. Out for a celebration with family and we made a reservation here for 6pm. The restaurant was a quarter full when we arrived. The zucchini was hand made and came straight from the fryer the burnt roof of my mouth can attest to that. Upon recommendation from our server I tried the lasagna and my wife went with the stuffed seafood shells. After waiting 40 minutes for our mains to arrive I had become impatient and pretty hungry. My noodles were a tad overcooked. The sauce on my lasagna was rich and meaty a very comforting food more suited for a cold winter day. Not sure if it was the wait but I didn't enjoy my meal as much as the other people in our party did. Will definitely be back to try more on their menu. Next visit I will stay away from the heavy sauces.

2011 Jan 29
This little gem in Barrhaven was a great end to a rather dismal week of work. The beer list needs a bit of work but the food was fantastic. Started with the fried zucchini and garlic dipping sauce very good. The sausage and peppers were so tasty with an abundance of gravy from the pan. I upped my pasta to Alfredo for the extra charge. There is no leaving this place hungry that's a fact. All portions are doggy bag friendly to say the least. My wife had the shells with shrimp,clams and crab in a tomato sauce with alfredo and mozzarella cheese. I was so surprised at the portion size I forgot to take a look at what our friends had ordered. For dessert I was told the tiramisu was the best ever. My only gripe was with the limoncello ice cream it just wasn't that creamy. A better quality ice cream may be in order. With the extensive menu we will be visiting this place for a while.

2010 Apr 7
Made a reservation about two hours in advance, and lucky that I did too, because the restaurant was packed on a tuesday evening.

Delicious fluffy buns, overly large portions (my minestrone soup was an entree in its own right), hubby ordered the fried zucchini and said it was delicious and so was his seafood pasta shells. My penne caruso wasn't beaten (although I had to take half of it home, again, quite a large portion)

Dessert... they didn't have a dessert list on paper, but the word "chocolate mousse cake" made me perk my ears up. Easily one of the best I have ever eaten.

When the bill came, I was pleasantly surprised! We will be back, definately!

2009 Apr 5
Picked up a pizza recently... the Renovation / Expansion is now complete. It looks like they have improved their real-estate by at least 50% (if not more). Although the decor is pretty much the same (the red & white check plastic tablecloths are still here). Overall the room is far more spacious, and there is a better amount of room between tables.

I look forward to going for dinner... and will report back.

2008 Oct 11
Quite disappointed with the food. The restaurant was busy around 5:30 on a Friday. Service was prompt. We had the fried calamari and mussels in white wine for appetizers. The calamari was tender but many pieces were stuck together in large clumps. The 2 dipping sauces would seem to be commercially prepared. The mussels were plentiful, but I had 2 on my plate which hadn't opened their shells, which I mentioned to the server. The chef should have checked and removed them from the plate before they left the kitchen. The mussels were inconsistent in size, many small and quite tough. The bread, warm and quite good didn't arrive until just before our mains. For mains we had the linquine pescatore in an alfredo and the veal parmagiana. The linquini was ringed with the same tough mussels, the menu billed it as mussels, clams, shrimp and crab. The clams, if present, must have been finely diced, the shrimp were tough, tiny little things that screamed that they had come out of a frozen bag, and the worst was the "crab". It wasn't crab but rather 1/2 inch cubes of imitation crab set on top of the linguini. The chef couldn't even bother to pretend it was crab by flaking it, and it sat perched unappetizingly like lego blocks on top of the noodles. We asked the server about the "crab" and she returned some minutes later to inform us that the chef was in the process of changing the menu and that yes, it was indeed imitation crab. Must be a long process as I can see from another users post in May 2007 the same blocks of imitation crab atop the linguini. Another dish was offered but my wife didn't want to have to watch me eat while waiting for another dish.
My veal parmagiana arrived covered (and I mean covered) in a nice, fresh tasting tomato sauce topped with what tasted like supermarket mozzarella. It came with spaghettini also in the same tomato sauce. The spaghettini for some perverse reason had a huge amount of butter mixed in with it, completely overpowering the taste of the sauce and noodles, giving it a very greasy, unpleasant taste. The veal was quite tough, with a large piece of gristle in it, and the bread crumbs quite soggy and mushy. Not at all pleasant.
With a bill of $69 with one glass of wine and a tea, it was not anywhere near worth it. Italian food is all about fresh, quality ingredients prepared with care, and we did not find that here. We won't be returning as the story we were told about the "crab" is ridiculous--don't tell me you're using crab when it's imitation crab. I don't mind paying for good food, but I do mind paying for sub standard food. I hope the owners will rework the menu and bring the quality up before the novelty of their restaurant wears off with the local customer base as they do have great promise. And don't lie to your customers.

2008 Sep 10
Started out the long weekend early with a lunch on Friday afternoon at La Porto a Casa. It was nice to have lunch here, because they weren’t too busy, versus the evenings now when you must make a reservation days (or a week) ahead. We received a friendly greeting from Caroline, one of the owners, and were quickly seated. The exact same menu applies lunch and dinner, however they also have a lunch hour daily pizza, panini or pasta dish. We decided to opt for two pasta dishes from the regular menu, “The Man” chose Nonna’s Spaghetti & Meatballs, while I settled on the Penne Giovanni. We also ordered a half-litre of the House Red Wine (Donini). Our server brought us our wine, and a bread basket with warm rolls. While we sipped our wine, we noticed that there was a small feature board on our table that said the newest addition to the wine list is two offerings from Mondolin, a Cabernet Sauvignon for the red, and the white is a Chardonnay, all are available by the Glass, Half-Litre or Bottle. As we are both lovers of the Mandolin Cab. we were somewhat disappointed that we hadn’t noticed this earlier, but now we figure we just have an excuse to go back.

Our food arrived quickly, Nonna’s Spaghetti & Meatballs looked fantastic, bright red sauce (a sign of fresh tomatoes) and the meatballs were larger than golf-balls (“The Man” wasn’t willing to spare a bite… a sign that they were yummy indeed). My Penne Giovanni was a bowl filled with pasta and topped with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Parmigiana Rose Sauce. It was absolutely delicious. In the end there was just too much for both of us to eat… our server was happy to pack up the leftovers.

All in all a nice afternoon get-away. Can’t wait to go back for lunch again.

2008 Jul 17
Had reservations here on a recent Saturday Night… and you need to make reservations about a week in advance. Even Anne DeBrisay said in her recent "positive" review in The Ottawa Citizen that she couldn’t believe how popular this spot is. This is part of the deceptive character of La Porto A Casa, a very unpretentious spot hidden away in a stripmall on Fallowfield Road in Barrhaven. The décor is very basic (think Early Pizza Parlour) and only sits about 40 people at tables covered with plastic red & white checkered tablecloths. But for what this spot lacks in fancy-schmancy, it more than makes up in attitude both in and out of the kitchen. The greeting is friendly, the smiles are real, and the family run business is happy you stopped by, just think it as your Italian relative who wants to feed you their best home cooking.

After greeting us by name (there is something really friendly about this, and good PR, it makes one feel so welcome to a restaurant) we were seated at our RESERVED table and immediately brought glasses of chilled ice water on this hot summer’s evening. “The Man” ordered a cocktail, and I sat back to peruse the extensive menu. Since La Porto A Casa’s opening two years ago, they’ve gradually been adding new items onto a solid foundation of favourites. Since our last visit, they've again managed to step up their game (a game that was already way ahead of the competition). They’ve recently added more appetizers, veal, chicken and pasta plates as well as some great gourmet pizzas. Additionally their wine list has expanded… bringing the current wine selection to 11 Reds and 10 Whites. The House Red is Donini Merlot, and the House White is Soave Folonari, both are available by the glass, or in half-litre or one litre pitchers. Other bottles (750 ml) range in price from a low of $ 19.95 to a high of $ 48.95 The Canadian featured winery is Strewn from Niagara, with either their Cabernet Franc at $ 23.95 or the Gewurztraminer-Riesling at $ 22.95

“The Man” and I decided to share an appy, and chose the Crostini al Salmone, toasted garlic bread topped with smoked salmon, Quebec goat’s cheese, red onions, capers and olive oil. This was amazing! Next up was the bread basket… to be honest this isn’t bread per se, but rather some of the largest crusty rolls that I’ve ever seen. They are served hot, and when topped with butter are worth fighting over (no worries, you can always get another). For mains I chose the Pollo Orsini, a boneless chicken breast with spinach and artichokes in a creamy black peppercorn sauce. I have several favourites at La Porto A Casa, and this one tops my list… this is so yummy, that I crave this when I don’t get a fix often enough! “The Man” chose the Pollo Boscaiola, a boneless chicken breast with shallots, prosciutto, mushrooms, in a black peppercorn, sage with brandy cream sauce. Both our mains came with a side of pasta in tomato sauce (alfredo, rosé, or meat sauce is also available).

We finished up the evening with coffee and cappuccino, didn’t have room for dessert or an after dinner drink, although they have a good selection of both. We have grown to love this spot for so many reasons, beyond the delicious food (probably the best Italian in Ottawa) we also like the service... We will be back again, we just have to remember to plan for it and make a reservation ahead of time.

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One of the small things I like about La Porto A Casa is that they have a supply of RESERVED signs. So even though a walk up patron may come in hoping to get a meal, it is quite evident that the pre-set tables are merely awaiting their charges. A simple step that is so visual, and thereby makes it easier to take than the sight of otherwise empty spots when you walk in off the street, only to be told by the Hostess that the Restaurant is fully booked.

2008 Jun 28
After hearing so many great things about this restaurant, my expectations were high for lunch yesterday. Amazingly, this place exceeded all expectations! It was delicious.
I had one of their pizzas; with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, a pesto base and fresh tomatoes. Excellent. My wife had a tortellini dish with shrimp and a rose sauce that I cannot remember the name of but we both agreed it was some of the best pasta we had ever had.
We brought our baby (8 months) with no issues, they seem very willing to accommodate a family and all stopped by the table to say hi to her.
I hope to make this a regular stop, it was so good that I could go back today. If you can't get a table, they also offer take-out.



2009 May 16
The best pizza I have ever had!
...unique combinations and fantastic crust - they even give you spicy oil to add on top.

2008 Jul 17
La Porto A Casa is a hidden gem in Barrhaven that offers a variety of Italian Dishes and Pizza. Stopped in here for take-out on a day when dinner was to be a hit and run affair. La Porto A Casa offers pizza in two sizes, Small and Medium, and the current menu offers 10 choices. However one can mix and match toppings if that is your desire. I chose a Medium (12 inch, 6 Slice) Combination. So although I chose the Combination (Canada's favourite pizza) on this occasion, I have previously enjoyed their more “gourmet” style pizzas than those otherwise found in Barrhaven (those that list toppings like fresh herbs, portabello mushrooms, eggplant, salmon, goats cheese, artichokes or bocconcini cheese).

The Combination was a thin crust perfectly done and topped with pizza sauce, pepperoni, mushrooms and red & green peppers and melted cheese. Due to the fact that the La Porto A Casa prides themselves on quality ingredients, the pizza continues to exceed expectations. Makes you wonder why the other Pizza Joints in Barrhaven are still in business.



2008 Sep 10
The rolls that are served here are amazing... they are not your usual dinner rolls. They are more of a crusty roll / bread; soft in the middle, which when served warm and spread with butter melts into a delicious combo, enhanced by the outside which is crusty and with just enough chew. I have inquired and have been told that they come from a Portugese Bakery... they are absolutely delicious!