On June 1st, 2017, Anthony Maniccia and Frank Mazzonetto fulfilled one of their dreams by opening Ombretta Cucina + Vino in picturesque Port Credit.
Friends since grade three, these two longtime friends, who have a strong, shared vision made it a reality.
They designed the restaurant themselves (impressive in its own right) and did almost all of the labour themselves to fit their vision so when you take your first step inside, you’re immersed in Anthony and Frank’s labour of love that oozes warmth, class and style.
Why this specific location?
The beautiful waterfront location was a strong factor, the many upcoming developments by the lake factored in as well, it’s close to their other business, Frankie Fettuccine Food Truck Company and they saw an opportunity to offer traditional, made from scratch Italian fare in a classy, modern environment that was needed in the area.
They young duo launched an incredibly successful food truck business in 2012 with a 5 year plan to open a physical location and achieved that 6 months ahead of schedule.
Both entrepreneurs fondly recall the first meal they served to table #4, which was their Ossobuco Gnocchi Frutti to a lovely lady named Gabriella.
Their cozy and quaint 2,000 square foot restaurant is (as they semi jokingly say) is "subterranean with 13 foot ceilings" and once you’re in there, it appears much bigger than what the architects specs are.
As Port Credit is a walking community, it’s very easy to find them on Lakeshore, just a touch east of Mississauga road.
For commuters, they have plenty of parking as well between the attached lot, street parking, church parking and library parking.
I asked where the name came from and here's the very smart answer I was given:
Frank says “my father is from the northern part of Italy and the short glass is called an ombreta, which is what they traditionally drink wine out of in the northern regions. The root word of ombretta is ombra, which is shadow, which is why our logo is the shadow of a wine glass stain.”
Anthony adds “we wanted to go with a wine theme and it matches our décor. We accented it with wine crates behind the bar and created a rustic yet modern style to our restaurant.”
They pride themselves on being a fine dining restaurant but they’ve also ensured a warm, welcoming, personal and comfortable atmosphere for any demographic and style of guest.
You can get a terrific and fabulously delicious meal without having to wear a suit and tie.
It’s not stuffy or pretentious; the menu is easily approachable along with the wine list and their goal is to give you a consistently memorable experience that blends wonderful wine with mouthwatering food.
Whether you want a lower priced glass of wine or one from the upper echelon, Ombretta has you covered.
They’re humbled and flattered with the feedback over the past few months and take it as a strong sign that what they’re doing is working within the community.
It took them a few days to create the initial menu and another few weeks to perfect it. They had the initial concept for the menu from their food truck and the finished product is absolutely wonderful.
Smartly, it’s only a one page menu so it’s easy for guests to digest and it’s smart from a business sense so they’re not carrying extra inventory. Having a streamlined menu benefits everyone and also strengthens the consistency; the quality and flavours you receive on your first visit will be the same on your fiftieth.
Everything is made from scratch and in-house from the pasta to the sauce to desserts and everything in between. Yes, it’s a ton of prep work but the benefit is knowing that their guests are receiving superb quality food.
Fun fact: they offer handmade gluten free pasta as well. In fact, nearly everything on the menu can be offered gluten free!
They’ve worked with a local butcher for years (Off The Bone Meat Products) who custom cuts their orders to Frank and Anthony’s preferences.
Frank says “As chef-owners, Anthony and I have strong relationships with all of our suppliers and that’s so important to us. We personally pick up from them. We hand deliver cheques to them. We take great pride in both our suppliers and the products we serve and having that close relationship with suppliers definitely makes that possible.”
“We're in the business of making people happy” says Anthony.
“If you want something that’s not on the menu and if we’re able to, we’ll happily create it for you. Or if you want two offerings combined into one, we’ll absolutely do our best to make you happy and make it happen.”
There are about 40 different wine offerings, which hits the sweet spot between selection, price and quality without going overboard on carrying excess product.
The majority is Italian but they do have bottles from France, California and other regions.
Their Autumn menu launched in late October and sees some carryover from their Summer menu as those are popular amongst patrons. Check their website for menu offerings.
They do offer catering, both hot and cold trays. You can even have one of these striking young gentlemen cook for your group off site.
Capacity-wise, they can seat 56 and Ombretta can also be booked for private events.
What makes Ombretta stand out in a city that's got a plethora of restaurants?
Having both owners cooking in the kitchen (an open concept kitchen where anyone can take a peek and say hi to them, to be exact.)
“We love it when customers, whether we know them or not, say hello to us as we’re working…no matter how busy we are, we’ll always make time for you” says Frank.
“We love talking to our customers and whether it’s praise or criticism, we want to hear it…we need to hear it as it helps us improve” adds Anthony.
The small wait staff (two gentlemen) have been meticulously trained and have worked all over the world. They’re extremely knowledgeable and are in this line of work for the long haul. And most importantly, they truly love what they do.
"When there are owners here all the time, consistency is crucial for success. That’s why we set this up so that we’re able to be here. It’s our names, our faces, our reputation.
It’s definitely a marathon opposed to a sprint. And with all the new developments happening in Mississauga, the timing was right for us to begin a longstanding relationship in our community" says Anthony.
Their Chef Rail dining experience offers a 5 course tasting menu with a birds eye view of the kitchen and it’s a very interactive experience. They’ll create customized food for these two lucky guests and something that comes highly recommended.
If you’re looking for a memorable and consistent dining experience, complete with fresh, handmade food in a warm, welcoming environment, visit Ombretta Cucino + Vino to see and experience what Anthony and Frank have created for our community.
121 Lakeshore Rd West, Mississauga, Ontario L5H 1E9
Tuesday to Sunday - 5:00 to 10:00