// Location118 Washington Ave. (inside Portland Pottery Cafe)
Portland, ME 04101
// Hours 5-9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday; 4-8 p.m. Sunday.
// Price Range$$$
// Cuisine Type Italian,
// AT A GLANCE
Lena’s Italian Kitchen, a new Portland restaurant, is named for co-owner Chris Bruni’s Italian grandmother, who was also the original tenant of the building that now houses his and co-owner Lisa Bonarrigo’s pottery studio and café. As you might expect, the dining room is decorated with handcrafted platters and bowls, elements that make it feel welcoming and homey. Chef Brian Grossman’s menu adds to that sense with his selection of Italian-American red-sauce classics, like a tender, beautifully cooked meatball Parmesan, and al dente spaghetti with pomodoro sauce, served in quantities large enough to feed a rebel insurrection. Better still are his specials, like crispy pork belly served with handmade, pesto-ricotta-filled ravioli. But get to Lena’s soon – when Grossman leaves to resume work on his food truck, Farm to Coast Mobile Kitchen, the specials will change. Never fear though: The traditional red-sauce lasagnas and parmesans, all served on artisanal pottery, will be around for the long haul.