We finally got back to Del Porto in their new location.
Nice bright place with well stocked bar. Service was casual but still satisfactory.
The food was good and people can be mislead by it being known as an Italian restaurant as when you hear that you think of red sauce. I don't think there was a single dish on the menu that had red sauce. The menu was more along the lines of a cookbook I like "Mediterranean Light".
Since you can't measure it against other Italian restaurants it is a bit like measuring Rio Mar. Good ingredents, well prepared and nicely presented.
The highlight was a special app of a small fried softshell crab under a vegetable relish which my wife allowed me to sample. Maybe the weakest was my carmelized mushroom salad. The salad part was nicely done with great baby spinach and a very nice, light mushroom-sherry dressing. But the salad only had 4 small fingernail size pieces of mushroom. Our party also had several 1/2 chickens, a swordfish steak, white bean-artichoke puree, mussels with white wine and Calabrian sausage (pepperoni like), warm mozzarella/tomato confit/pine nut "dip", and my cavatelli/rabbit which was also very good.
Our guests were not drinking so we stayed with wine by the glass. An Aloise Lageder chardonnay for my wife and a Villa Antinori Tuscan red for me. I am not a wine expert and most of the wine list was Italian whicjh is even further from my experience, so we let the bartender choose. They were both enjoyable wines. Some one who wants to experiment with Italian wines could certainly do it here as many wines are available by the glass. I thought the wine prices were reasonable.
In the 2.5 hours we were there it was very quiet with a total of about 15-18 people being served. Staff was 1 greeter, 1 server, 1 busser and 1 bartender. I understand that on typical weekend nights they can be slammed.
Overall impression...worth a return visit.
Rio Mar Restaurant
800 South Peters, New Orleans, LA 70130
Del Porto Restaurant
501 E Boston St, Covington, LA 70433