Norfolk County’s newest eatery has been creating plenty of buzz in it’s home town of Port Dover. Lago Trattoria first opened its doors this summer on Canada Day long weekend and was greeted by a long line of eager tan fans looking to devour a taste of Italy a short hop, skip and a jump from the beach.
Owners Jennifer von Schleintz and Ryan Rivard recently took over the space (a former restaurant) and invested heavily in Lago’s design. In doing so they’ve successfully introduced Port Dover to an establishment that is urban yet still fits right into the charms of a beachside town.
The space has a clear nautical theme featuring white tiled walls, blue bar stools, weathered mirrors and a wee sailboat which greets each guest as they enter the space. These embellishments were inspired by Italy’s Amalfi Coast offering a relaxed beachy vibe for fans of pizza and pasta.
Chef Ryan’s culinary skills have been lauded across Canada via stints at Calgary’s Teatro Ristorante, Banff’s Bison Restaurant and Lounge, On the Twenty Restaurant located in Cave Spring’s Winery in Jordan Ontario and The Combine in Norfolk County.
His culinary philosophy is simple: utilize fresh, seasonal and sustainable ingredients while using honest and authentic cooking practices to produce a high quality dinning experience. Locals rave for the successful restaurant duo who first made a buzz in the region when they launched The Combine, one of Norfolk’s first farm-to-table restaurant concepts.
Highlights from Lago Trattoria’s Italian-inspired menu include Lago Caprese featuring house made mozzarella, mustard and ricotta topped Butternut Squash Ravioli, Carbonara Pizza slathered in celeriac cream and locally caught Lake Erie Perch resting on preserved lemon and fennel flecked risotto.
Sparkling Mojito | rum, muddled lime & garden mint, simple syrup, bitters, prosecco
Lago Caprese | housemade mozzarella, tomatoes, basil infused evoo, maldon sea salt
Butternut Squash Ravioli | house mustard and thyme cream, smoked ricotta, fried sage
Carbonara Pizza | celeriac cream, pancetta, charred green onion, reggiano, sunny side up quail egg
Lake Erie Pickerel | preserved lemon and fennel risotto, lack olive tapenade