Marina O’Loughlin reviews Il Portico, Kensington | Times2
How do you keep a restaurant full in an atmosphere of feverish search for new products – let alone year after year, but decade after decade? Il Portico has existed in one form or another for four generations of the same family. And I never noticed. I walked past the facade of Kensington High Street but since there was no signage with pornography, no Big Green Egg smoke, no tiles, no studied modernism or Georgian opium den paintwork, it just wasn’t registered. Topiary hedges, for God’s sake: which self-respecting professional neophile, which kimchi and fermenting fetishist permeates such a thing?
The owner of Il Portico, James Chiavarini, son of the original Padrone, used the dangerously subversive method to draw my attention to thwarting my plans. Chiavarini