It’s hard to beat dining out at an Italian restaurant: From the flavourful pastas to the cheesy pizzas and finishing with the oh-so sweet desserts, we can’t get enough of Italian cuisine. So when we saw that Toronto-based brand Terroni had created a restaurant-quality Italian food delivery service, we knew we had to try it. If you’re like us, you’ve seen ads for PORTA everywhere. Read on to learn more about PORTA and our honest review of the service and menu.
What is PORTA?
Created by the Terroni Group — which has brought Toronto and West Hollywood the Terrroni and Sud Forno restaurants — PORTA is an online Italian meal subscription service. In Italian, porta translates to either door or to carry. They offer a variety of pizzas, pastas, risottos, desserts and pastries which are made by their chefs and then flash frozen before being packaged and delivered.
How does PORTA work?
Similar to other food delivery subscription services, you can customize your menu before each delivery. Through the PORTA website you select your menu items and delivery day.
You can choose a small box with six items, a medium box with nine items or a large box with 15 items. You can also choose the frequency of your PORTA delivery, but you are also able to skip a box, or pause or cancel your subscription at any time. In addition to their typical menu, PORTA also features a seasonal menu which has products that are available for a limited time. We got a small box with two pizzas, two pastas, a dessert and a pastry. The delivery process was smooth and easy. The box was delivered right to our door, was still frozen and packed neatly. All the products were also not too large which made for easy freezer storage.
When you are ready to enjoy your PORTA products, you simply take them out of your freezer and cook them according to the directions on the product’s packaging. If you are a visual learner, PORTA also has videos on their website to help you cook along.
How much does PORTA cost?
The cost is dependent on what size box and menu items that you choose. Most menu items range from $11 to $18.
Where is PORTA available?
Currently, PORTA is only available in select areas of Ontario including the GTA, the greater Ottawa region, the Muskoka area and parts of Western Ontario. However, PORTA is planning to expand across Canada and eventually the United States as well.
PORTA’s pastas all feature freshly-made pasta paired with classic sauces. One of the pastas we tried — the Belfiore — was a winter seasonal item and no longer available but it was cheesy, easy to make and absolutely delicious!
We also tried the Amatrice which is a chef’s favourite according to the website. It is rigatoni topped with tomato sauce with guanciale (an Italian cured pork), onion and pecorino cheese. The cooking process was super easy. We simply placed two frozen pucks of sauce and toppings into a saucepan and let that melt down and cook as we boiled the water and cooked the pasta. Within 25 minutes we had a bowl of incredibly delicious restaurant quality pasta. Candidly, we were shocked with how delicious this was. The guanciale added a meaty flavour while the tomato sauce added a sweet and acidic hit. Typically, frozen pastas don’t turn out great but this one was indeed restaurant quality. Plus, it has the added pride factor when you’ve made something yourself (even if it was previously prepared by professional chefs).
The PORTA pizzas are Roman-style 10-inch stirata pizzas available in eight flavours. We tried the Checco and Peppino pizzas. The Checco has bechamel, mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach, caramelized onions and lemon zest. The flavours of this pizza were incredible, however we did find the dough a tad dry. Perhaps we cooked it slightly too long, or maybe the toppings dried it out, but we overall didn’t love it.
However the Peppino pizza — which has San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and smoky pepperoni — was our idea of the perfect pizza. It’s no wonder that this is a PORTA bestseller. This is not your typical frozen pizza, which can have a watery flavour and a soggy bottom. The crust is perfectly crunchy while the cheese, sauce and mini pepperonis help to make up the perfect bite. This is a frozen pizza that we would order again and again.
After leaving your PORTA pastries in your unheated oven overnight, they will be ready within a few minutes of baking. We tried the cornettos which are similar to a croissant. Fresh out of the oven, you would have thought you grabbed these pastries from a bakery. We were surprised with how moist they were. considering they had been frozen the night before. These cornettos were so flaky, buttery and perfect with our morning coffee. We can’t wait to try some of the other PORTA pastries like the chocolate or ham and cheese saccottinos.
You can’t go to an Italian restaurant and not get dessert, so it only felt right to finish off our PORTA experience with a pack of the Dolci Assortiti. This pack of four comes with a tiramisu, chocolate mousse, panna cotta and limone mouse. We have to admit, there is almost nothing in this world we love more than tiramisu, and the PORTA one definitely lives up to our expectations. However the standout in this four pack was the panna cotta (which also happens to be a chef’s favourite). Topped with raspberry compote, this creamy Italian pudding was the perfect dessert. It was sweet, fruity and the perfect size.
If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, we definitely recommend giving PORTA a try. The meals are delicious, easy to make and not outrageous in price. We don’t personally think we’d use the service every week like you would for some other food delivery subscription services. However it’s definitely worth it if you want to bring the flavours of an Italian restaurant such as Terroni into your home. We know we will be ordering a new box again soon.