Greeks Heroes on the Wall of Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant

On the far back wall of Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant in East Ridge, TN is a mural displaying the seven great heroes of the Greek epics known as the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic sonnet in dactylic hexameter, generally ascribed to Homer. Typically considered to have been recorded around the eighth century BC, the Iliad is among the most established surviving works of Western writing, alongside the Odyssey, another epic sonnet ascribed to Homer which recounts Odysseus’ encounters after the occasions of the Iliad. In the cutting edge vulgate (the standard acknowledged rendition), the Iliad contains 15,693 lines, partitioned into 24 books; it is written in Homeric Greek, an artistic blend of Ionic Greek and different lingos. It is typically gathered in the Epic Cycle.

Set during the Trojan War, during the ten-year attack of the city of Troy (Ilium) by an alliance of Mycenaean Greek states (Achaeans), it recounts the fights and altercations during the long stretches of a squabble between King Agamemnon and the fighter Achilles.

Following is a description of the heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey, in the order, they appear on the wall of Portofino’s.

Menelaus

Ruler of Sparta; the more youthful sibling of Agamemnon. While it is the snatching of his significant other, Helen, by the Trojan ruler Paris that starts the Trojan War, Menelaus demonstrates calmer, less forcing, and less egotistical than Agamemnon. In spite of the fact that he has a heavy heart, Menelaus isn’t among the mightiest Achaean fighters.

Paris (otherwise called “Alexander”)

A child of Priam and Hecuba and sibling of Hector. Paris’ kidnapping of the wonderful Helen, spouse of Menelaus, started the Trojan War. Paris is narcissistic and regularly unmanly. He battles adequately with a bow and bolt (never with the more masculine sword or lance.) However, he frequently comes up short on the soul for the fight to come and likes to sit in his room having intercourse with Helen while others battle for him, in this way acquiring both Hector’s and Helen’s hatred.

Diomedes (otherwise called “Tydides”)

The most youthful of the Achaean administrators, Diomedes is striking and some of the time demonstrates carelessness. After Achilles pulls out from the battle, Athena rouses Diomedes with such mental fortitude that he really wounds two divine beings, Aphrodite and Ares

Odysseus

A fine hero and the cleverest of the Achaean officers. Alongside Nestor, Odysseus is one of the Achaeans’ two best open speakers. He intercedes among Agamemnon and Achilles during their squabble and regularly keeps them from settling on ill-advised choices.

Nestor

Lord of Pylos and the most seasoned Achaean commandant. In spite of the fact that age has taken a lot of Nestor’s actual strength, it has left him with extraordinary shrewdness. He regularly goes about as a consultant to the military leaders, particularly Agamemnon. Nestor and Odysseus are the Achaeans’ generally deft and enticing speakers, despite the fact that Nestor’s addresses are at times indulgent.

Achilles

The child of the military man Peleus and the ocean sprite Thetis. The most remarkable champion in The Iliad, Achilles orders the Myrmidons, troopers from his country of Phthia in Greece. Glad and resolute, he complains effectively and responds with rankling irateness when he sees that his honor has been insulted. Achilles’ fierceness at Agamemnon for claiming his conflict reward, the lady Briseis, structures the fundamental subject of The Iliad.

Agamemnon (likewise called “Atrides”)

Ruler of Mycenae and head of the Achaean armed force; sibling of King Menelaus of Sparta. Egotistical and regularly narrow minded, Agamemnon gives the Achaeans solid yet once in a while wild and self-serving initiative. Like Achilles, he needs thought and planning. Most remarkably, his awkward appointment of Achilles’ conflict prize, the lady Briseis, makes an emergency for the Achaeans, when Achilles, offended, pulls out from the conflict.

If you are interested in seeing the mural discussed in this article, please stop by Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant at 6407 Ringgold Rd, East Ridge, TN 37412.

Art, Food, and Symbolism within Portofino’s

Excellent food takes time. Deep within the walls of Portofino’s Italian and Greek restaurant exists a beautiful painting by Sandra Babb that embodies this very saying. Juxtapositioning age with quality, the very nature of European Cuisine is embodied within this painting.

This painting consists of an older man with a glass of wine on the table. The glass of wine symbolizes how quality takes time. Similarly, fruit turns into wine after the passage of time. In this same vein, really good Italian and Greek food takes time-the gyros simmering in the kitchen, the fragrant Alfredo sauce being stirred. Thousands of years of civilization go into every dish. There is no substitute for such a high level of quality.

The painting also depicts the older gentleman holding a bazouki, or Greek musical instrument. This representation expresses how an older person can better express the changes of music over time. In essence, the old and new are being compared as well as contrasted within the painting. Like artwork, food can also be considered an artform, and the chef expressing his experience through food needs time to learn, express, and develop his skills.

The painting also includes crosses on the floor. These crosses arguably represent the crucifiction of Christ and his ultimate resurrection. The crosses represent the rebirth of the arts following their decay by economic downturns as well as COVID-19. The painting also represents the celebration of food and culture in Chattanooga, following these challenging times. Like a phoenix, good food flourishes even from the ashes. Following this same line of thinking, a yellow patch on the table represents the light and hope of a better, more promising future.

As a final touch, the painting also encompasses money at the end of the bazouki. Basically, the money represents tips from clients. Symbolically, the money represents survival of and through the arts, even in times of adversity. Despite the hardships and challenges currently facing society, music will still play and enjoyment can still be found. One just has to look for it.

In essence, this painting represents a post-economic downturn, post Covid-19 artistic manifestation. It signifies how beauty, art and good food can emerge as a confluence, even after drastic economic downturns and a world-wide pandemic. To see this painting for yourself and to perhaps formulate your own artististic interpretation, please go to 6407 Ringgold Rd, in East Ridge, TN. When there, allow your taste buds to experience the food while your mind understands the painting. The two together will create quite the experience.

A Taste of Italy

If looking to have a nice dinner out with friends, family, or anyone else for that matter, look no further than Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant – a staple in East Ridge! This lovely restaurant has a homey feel and a welcoming flare. Named after a colorful fishing village in the heart of the Mediterranean, Portofino’s serves up dishes true to its roots. While it would be impossible to truly capture the essences of this town, Portofino’s in East Ridge does a fantastic job of recreating the ambiance and taste!

In true Italian fashion, the meal began with breadsticks and oil, along with a side of dolmades. The dolmades are grape leaves generously stuffed with beef and rice paired with a lemon butter that melted in your mouth. The breadsticks arrived hot, crisp and fresh from the oven, served with an herbed oil blend- the perfect starter as we talked and waited for the rest of our party.

Our last friend arrived just as we finished the appetizer. A friendly waitress, or cameriera in Italian, quickly greeted her. Our friend knew exactly what she wanted and ordered her wine for the evening-a glass of Spiropoulos Red Stag, a Greek, medium-bodied, ruby-red wine that imparted flavors of blackberry on the tongue. After one sip of hers, I had to order a glass for myself.

After chatting and enjoying our drinks, the waitress requested our order. In the spirit of adventure, I decided to try the “Tour of Greece Numero Due” consisting of a pastitsio, a Greek lasagne with a creamy béchamel sauce instead of marinara, moussaka, a baked eggplant dish, and more of those tasty dolmades! With an enticing aroma, the flavor did not disappoint.

Everything on the table looked and smelled delicious. Across the table laid a Grouper Florentine comprised of a roasted filet topped with creamy spinach and red pepper sauce; a “Tour of Greece Numero Uno;” a sampling of gyro meat as well as pork souvlaki; pita bread with a side of tzatziki sauce, and a filling vegetarian lasagne with mozzarella/romano cheese. It all tasted even better than it smelled!

Unfortunately, the downside of devouring a delicious appetizer, a few drinks, and a generous entree, is that none of us had any room left for dessert – oi′ vā′! We soon regretted this obvious mistake as we passed by the desert bar with mouthwatering cannoli and baklava teasing us as we made our way outdoors.

If seeking recommendations for a nice night out on the town without all of the downtown traffic, please visit Portofino’s Greek and Italian Restaurant in East Ridge. It is an experience like traveling to the Mediterranean without ever leaving Tennessee!