The history of Trattoria G.A. Porteri is, first of all, an extraordinary gastronomic fairy tale that begins in the small neighborhood of Borgo Trento in Brescia, where Antonio Porteri opens his shop in 1875, today the oldest delicatessen store in Lombardy.
These were the years in which the “cities” as we know them today were born and Antonio saw in the commercial ferment that was experiencing via Trento an opportunity to transfer his beloved deli business there which, years later, was continued and expanded by his son Giuseppe and then his nephew Gino Aleardo with his wife Maria.
Today, having reached the fifth generation, it is his son Raoul together with his wife Graziella and the grandchildren Francesca, who takes care of the hospitality, and Marco, the chef, who runs the family business that they have dedicated, in particular, to grandpa Gino. A presence still strong and tangible everywhere in the restaurant: in the name, G. A. Porteri, a tribute to his initials, in the old mottos in the local dialect hanging on the walls, like Chèl che passa el convent (something like “we serve what we have cooked for the day”), still today the philosophy of the place, up to to the many objects that belonged to him that adorn the various rooms.
Customers are guests and guests are our friends; we do not observe any shift, whether you arrive alone or with friends to chat the evening away, hospitality comes first.
It is Gino’s son Raoul who, in 1995 next to the delicatessen store, opens the restaurant, in what was a former warehouse, expanding it year after year, given the success, while always remaining faithful to a family philosophy. The Trattoria is, in fact, first of all, the home of the Porteri family and, just like a house, it is furnished with vintage furniture, details that reflect the passions of the owners, such as copper pots and antiques, and many souvenir photos hanging on the walls, witnesses of over 150 years of Italian history, happy moments as well as the hardest ones, like when dad Gino left for the war and his wife Maria found herself alone with their young children to run the business.
Each object tells a story: from the old machine to work the dry cod with which bertagnì, a typical Brescia aperitif food, was prepared, to the decorated ceramics that the grandmother loved to paint, up to the old Berkel machine with which grandfather Gino used to slice the cold cuts in the shop, or the marble counter of the bar, originally an old wash house from the 1930s, which he had seen at a second-hand dealer as a boy and who, finally being able to afford it, he buys 30 years later, seeing it again by chance in the same shop.
The cuisine, coordinated by Marco Porteri, is that of the Brescia tradition that starts with family dishes to meet a lighter and more contemporary taste. The menu offers every month the great classics, such as Casoncelli stuffed with culatello di Zibello, Malfatti with Bagòss cheese, or Beef in oil with celery-flavored potato pie, polenta with stone-ground “Isola” corn flour from Val Camonica, as well as new recipes proposed by the chef such as Braised veal cheek with Curtefranca wine or Braised semolina and cabbage gnocchi.
The raw material follows the same philosophy of the annexed gastronomy, and is very simple: only the best of Brescia and Italian products such as raw ham from Langhirano, coppa of Zibello, speck from Val di Non, the cheese from Crocedomini.
The wine list includes over 200 labels, focusing on the best of Brescian wines such as Rosso Groppello, Bianco Lugana from the Franzosi winery, Curtefranca Rosso, Monte della Rosa reserve from the Castelveder farm, the great labels from Garda Lake and Franciacorta or from the less known areas of Botticino, Montenetto and the mountains of Val Camonica.
After a visit to the Trattoria G. A. Porteri you will take home not only the flavors of a unique tradition, but also many tasty products since most of the dishes on the menu can also be found in the gastronomy ready to be enjoyed at home!
The Motoguzzi motorbike you see at the entrance was the one that grandfather Gino had reluctantly had to sell during the war to support his family and which was, a gift of fate, found years later by chance by his son Raoul, a lover of antiques and markets, and immediately bought back.