Five of us were out for a celebration dinner, my Fiancé and I had just got engaged. His parents were in town from Vancouver and when they lived here frequented La Fontanella Italian Restaurant and really wanted to go back and see if it was as good as they remembered. This was my first experience there and I will be definitely going back for seconds and thirds! When we arrived we were greeted by Isabella and Berto who own the place. They hugged my future in-laws and caught up with them since they have not seen them since they moved. On a side note Berto also owns Bertos Gelato which is right next door.
We were seated, water poured and menus arrived. The first order was for a bottle of wine which I believe was a bottle of Jordans Merlot. We also ordered appetizers of stuffed artichokes and a plate of sopresetta, cheese and olives to munch on while we meandered over what to have for dinner. Bread and herbed olive oil arrived, much to my delight the bread was warm from the oven, dense, chewy and seeded with sesame. The bread and olive oil were so good the next day I returned and bought a bottle of the oil and a loaf of bread. The appetizers arrived and we chatted and snacked and drank. The stuffed artichokes were brilliant, cheesy and garlicky with just the right amount of time under the broiler. The meat and cheese plate was simple and delicious. The nice thing about this whole dinner experience is that even though this was a Sunday night we were in no way rushed. We finished up the apps and the bottle of merlot and made our dinner selections. They are as follows:
Mom: Seafood Manicotti
Mom in law: Dover Sole with a lemon butter caper reduction (special of the day)
Dad in-law: Pork Tenderloin
Future Hubby: Lasagna
Me: Pan Seared Rabbit with sausage and fennel.
We were all asked for soup or salad and if salad was chosen an option of walnuts and crumbled blue cheese were offered I thought this was a great touch and added the extra oomph that a normal dinner salad usually needs. The salad came dressed however it was so mild that it didnt over power the delicate greens used or the walnuts and cheese. Future Father in law decided to go big time with the wine and ordered a Brunello Antinori Brunello di Montalcino Pian delle Vigne 1999 with dinner, we loved this wine so much that once we tasted he ordered a second. The dinners were fantastic. Future Hubby said this was the best Lasagna that he had ever eaten. Muffled sounds came out of the In-Laws so I assume their meals were satisfactory. My Mothers seafood manicotti was creamy and chocked full of squid, shrimp and scallops. My Rabbit made me swoon; seared just perfectly and drizzled with a cream sauce, the sausage and fennel were excellent touches. This was bar none the best Italian meal I have had in Phoenix.
We all finished up with a glass of tawny port and dessert, dont ask me how at this point but we suffered through (sarcasm intended). The desserts ranged from a flourless chocolate cake, pistachio gelato and a hazelnut gelato which were all superb. From start to finish this meal was flawless, from the server to the busboy who you never saw refill your water or wine glass to the food. Being taken out for dinner that evening I did not see the check. I can only estimate that with our wine selections it was in the 400-500 range. However La Fontanella need not be that expensive. My Rabbit entrée was around 18.00 dollars and I believe the Lasagna came in around 12.00 to 14.00 dollars. I highly recommend this place for some of the best Italian outside of Italy.
4231 E Indian School Road