Porta is a tapas bar run by Ben and Joe wright.

The original Porta was opened on Northgate Street, Chester in 2012 next door to the brothers’ eponymous restaurant, Joseph Benjamin. A lovely new site has just opened in Altrincham.

The aim at Porta is to keep things really simple. A relaxed, totally informal environment inspired by the tiniest independent cafés, bars and tapas bars of Spain.

Cured meats and cheeses form the backbone of a menu that is a collection of plates to be enjoyed singularly with a glass of wine or combined to create something more substantial. Call it tapas, call it bar snacks, call it dinner – no rules, just tasty food to accompany good beer, wine and conversation.

The menu is enthusiastically Iberian, representing many tapas bar classics. Joe works with his team of chefs tirelessly perfecting recipes for every sauce and menu item. From the croquetas and the bravas sauce to the chorizo & lentil stew, every item is handmade in-house.

Seating is informal – lots of bar stools and casual tables. No need to book, just come along and grab a space. Simply put, Porta is the kind of place to relax in – unpretentious and comfortable with good music, beer, wine and food.

The bar offering is simple too; a super-succinct wine list that changes regularly, a lovely selection of sherries, cava, a ‘proper’ Spanish gin & tonic and, of course, a selection of ice cold beers.

The original Porta is located under Chester’s Northgate Bridge on the famous city walls – the site of the original Roman fortress and its North gate ‘Porta Decumana’, which kindly inspired a name; Porta, meaning gate or entrance.