This New Restaurant in the GTA May Just be the Next Italian Hot Spot
Opening a restaurant has always been a dream for long-time friends Frank Mazzonetto and Anthony Maniccia. And in 2017, that dream became a reality after the two opened Ombretta Cucina + Vino in Port Credit, Mississauga.
Although, before Ombretta came to be what it is today the two chef-owners decided to first test the waters in 2013 with a food truck, the Frankie Fettucine Food Truck.
"We always wanted to open a restaurant but we didn't really have the funds so we first opened up the food truck to get our name and our food out there," Maniccia says.
"We had the truck for about five years, and then we found the location here in Port Credit and we jumped on it and opened Ombretta a year ago."
Mazzonetto and Maniccia both have more than 15 years of experience in the industry.
Ombretta was almost completely designed by the chef-owners alone, they did about 95 per cent of it themselves. The two, in order to open up the space more, relocated the bar while still ensuring as much seating as possible while keeping the restaurant comfortable.
"We wanted to make it Italian but [with a] kind of wine bar feel to it, make it a little rustic but still a little upscale," Maniccia says.
"We went with earthy tones, and a lot of wooden wine crates just to give it that warm feeling."
According to Maniccia, in addition to the incredible food and layout of Ombretta, the response to the restaurant's opening has been incredibly positive due to having previous followers from the food truck.
The pair didn't have a particular location in mind when opening, however, they knew they wanted to be located in Port Credit. The exact location of Ombretta, however, 121 Lakeshore Rd. W., as Mazzonetto describes it, was meant to be.
"It was actually kind of a one-off opportunity, we came in for lunch when it was the previous establishment and we got talking with the owners and we left a business card," Mazzonetto says.
"Three weeks after, we got a message saying their business was for sale and they would like to offer it to us."
Once the deal was finalized, Mazzonetto and Maniccia started working on transferring their food truck into a full-scale restaurant with a sizable menu.
The menu changes twice a year and there are always fresh and seasonal ingredients.
One of the most popular menu items is a food truck adaptation - the Osso Buco, which consists of crispy fried gnocchi, Chianti-braised veal, fresh mozzarella, veal reduction, and gremolata. Other menu items include Ontario lamb, Bolognese spring rolls, a forest mushroom salad, and risotto con gamberi, just to name a few. Ombretta also offers an extensive dessert menu, as well as a wine and cocktail list.
To view the menu in full, visit the Ombretta website here.
In addition to the typical menu, Ombretta also has a wild game menu which currently consists of a wild boar rib ravioli dish.
"Next year we plan to do more of a full maybe two-week menu but this year for our first trial we just decided to do a couple different menu items," Mazzonetto says.
Ombretta customers, according to Mazzonetto, will also be able to enjoy a new three-course meal for a set price come the New Year. This menu will be called Ombrettalicious.
"It's going to be a three-course app, main, and dessert for a set menu," Mazzonetto says.
This impressive Italian restaurant is also able to design custom menus for private bookings.
"If someone has something that they really like to eat we can make it for them," Mazzonetto says.
"That's the beauty when you have chef-owners, if someone wants to come in and design their own menu, we give them freedom and we'll do our interpretation of it."
Ombretta also offers off-site catering and, also in the New Year, Mazzonetto and Maniccia will be offering cooking classes.
With all this said, Ombretta's impressive menu, layout, and special offers that customers may not be able to find anywhere else may not even be the key selling point of the restaurant.
Ombretta is truly unique and one of a kind due to Mazzonetto and Maniccia's passion and love for cooking and providing nothing but the best for their customers.
"Me and Frank are here every night cooking, recipe testing, and doing the menus," Maniccia says.
"We really take pride in every dish that goes out into the dining room, that's the key to our success and why people love our food and coming back here."
Besides taking pride in their cooking, Mazzonetto added that they also take pride in building relationships with their customers by trying to speak with every table every night.
Have you eaten at Ombretta yet?