Restaurant review: La Fontana, Elora

Though the town might be quaint, Elora's restaurants are anything but. We dine at La Fontana and find food that rivals even the best Toronto establishments.

La Fontana: What is it?

I was skeptical that a quaint town like Elora could be home to a restaurant that holds up to the calibre we’re used to in Toronto, but boy does La Fontana deliver.

Each dish tastes fresher than fresh – not surprising since they grow tomatoes, basil and other ingredients in a garden box right on the terrace. A heavy focus on all things local means you’ll find a menu of items unique to the area, like beer from Elora Brewing Company, and cheese from a local sheep farmer.

Perched right on the bank of the Grand River, La Fontana pairs its seasonal fare with the soothing sights and sounds of gently flowing water.

La Fontana: What’s on the menu

Incredibly fresh and juicy, the tomato and burrata starter tastes like you’re biting into summer itself – you’ll want to mop up every drop of balsamic on the plate.

Made from scratch, the Neapolitan-style pizzas are baked in a high-temperature wood-burning oven. The crust comes out delightfully crispy on the outside while still being soft, fluffy and, dare I say, moist on the inside. Toppings are so fresh that even the margherita, the humblest of pizzas, was a total knock-out. More elaborate pies are topped with duck confit and Brussels sprouts or prosciutto and Grana Padano.

The pièce de resistance is the wild boar belly, cooked sous-vide for 24 hours, pan-seared, oven-roasted and served with gooseberry chutney for a sweet and salty flavour bomb.

La Fontana: Why it’s worth the trip

In Toronto, we’re used to having an abundance of great new restaurants to choose from, but you won’t find anything like this in the city. Lounging on the terrace, fringed by lush greenery, sloping tree branches and a stretch of green grass, you’ll be as relaxed and as comfortable as if you were dining in your very well-off friend’s backyard – but with the added bonus of having attentive staff wait on you.

I’d drive the hour-and-a-half just to eat at La Fontana again, but it’s easy to make a day of it, with the spectacular Elora Gorge nearby for swimming and hiking, and the charming town ready to explore.

15 E Mill St., Elora;