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All in the family business

Home Style Pizza tries out new format in Latham at Portofino’s

Officials cut the ribbon to open Portofino's Italian Restaurant at 831 New Loud Rd. in Latham on Thursday, Sept. 13.

Officials cut the ribbon to open Portofino's Italian Restaurant at 831 New Loud Rd. in Latham on Thursday, Sept. 13. Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— The owners of a longtime Schenectady restaurant are spreading their wings — and pastas, sauces, pizzas and entrees — into the Latham area.

Portofino’s Italian Restaurant opened on Thursday, Sept. 13, at 831 New Loud Road, next to LaQuinta Inn & Suites. The owners got their start in the business 39 years ago as Home Style Pizza on upper Union Street in Schenectady.

“Latham is growing,” said Louis Bennice, one of the owners. “We’ve seen positive signs of growth in this area.”

Portofino’s provides a fine-dining experience with American-Italian cuisine. Bennice said sauces are the specialties as they are made from scratch from family recipes. Keeping things in the family is key with Portofino’s; all of the owners – Louis Bennice, Michael Bennice and Anthony Adonnino – are family.

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Portofino's Italian Restaurant officially opened on Thursday, Sept. 13.

“When you come in as a customer you know that at any given point one or two of us is always here,” Michael Bennice said. “It’s good to have that kind of contact.”

Before finding Portofino’s, Bennice said they quartet was looking for a place they could have banquets in, since Home Style Pizza is more of a causal, take-out pizzeria. He said throughout the years they have expanded to catering and wanted to have their own banquet hall. The new location in Latham has a banquet facility as well as a bar.

The restaurant also features Chef Justin Engineri, who is a part owner and a graduate of Johnson & Wales, as well as a 2012 Rising Star Chef finalist.

“We love our location, being part of the resurgence of the Latham business district, and really love the people who have eaten at our restaurant so far,” Engineri said in a statement. “We are committed to giving an extraordinary dining experience, as well as the best possible menu this area has to offer.”

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