Portland’s brunch scene welcomes newcomer Bellino Trattoria Siciliana as they debut their Saturday and Sunday brunch menu in the Pearl District at 1230 NW Hoyt. Executive Chef/Owner Francesco Inguaggiato has been serving up Sicilian-inspired lunch and dinner since spring in the made-over former Fratelli’s space.
The restaurant will transition to winter hours for brunch/lunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm. Dinner is served every night, with a special Monday night Festa Italiana Supper Club that focuses on select dishes from different regions of Italy in addition to Sicily.
The decor includes reclaimed church and school benches, while the walls are decorated with framed prints from Sicily. A chalk mural of a Sicilian town lines the upper wall, drawn by local artist Zach Taylor. The bench seating might be a little hard, but there are cane-bottom chairs as well. We enjoyed a corner table, which allowed for intimate conversation even as a couple of groups enjoyed brunch nearby. The noise level was low to moderate, excellent for a relaxing brunch rather than the seemingly-ubiquitous noisy Portland standard.
The wine menu features 14 by-the-glass options and the full bar has many cocktail options. We opted for the mimosa. The coffee is excellent, a rich Caffe Umbria. Service is friendly as Francesco welcomes diners, it adds to the relaxed and warm atmosphere. It’s a great place to settle in and enjoy – they even have USB and power outlets in the bar area at the back.
The brunch menu is well-designed for choosing either a breakfast-oriented frittata or a Sicilian lunch. In another departure from Portland standard, bread and olive oil were promptly placed on the table to keep us satisfied until we were ready to order. I chose the Frittata di Petralia with potatoes, eggplant and goat cheese. It arrived with a side of sauteed spinach with almonds and toasted bread. We also started with their verdura soup and the Insalata Umberto featuring fennel, mesclun, olives, oranges and celery in a light citronette dressing. The Linguine con Gamberoni was the favorite dish, with prawns in a spicy white wine/tomato/parsley reduction sauce.
Lingering for dessert is rewarding. The Cannolo di ricotta e cioccolato offsets chocolate with candied orange and pistachio. Several dessert wines are also available. This escape to a family-run Sicilian bistro was perfect for a romantic brunch date, birthday or anniversary, a lovely combination of cozy yet skillfully crafted and beautifully served dishes.
The Monday night Supper Club will have a weekly changing menu as it serves antipasti, primi, secondi and dolci from each region of Italy. Reservations are suggested but drop-ins are welcome.
Bellino Trattoria Siciliana
1230 NW Hoyt Street, Portland, OR 97209
Disclosure: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a meal for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.