By Jerelyn Craden
Published Feb. 14 2017
Haliburton Italian food lovers are in for a treat.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day La Luna Del Nordo Ristorante (The North Moon) is now open on Highway 118 just a few kilometres west of Haliburton Village with 30 year veteran chef Silvio Mannarino and wife Anna serving up traditional Italian fare with flare.
Cooking from the age of 13 Mannarino became a sought after chef at Da Vinci Ristorante and Four Seasons Hotel Montreal and the Four Seasons and Royal York hotels in Toronto as well as supplier and co-creator of custom blended recipes for top restaurants leading supermarkets food manufacturers and distributors.
“We always wanted our own restaurant and we wanted to get out of the GTA” said Silvio. “When the opportunity came to purchase Maple Moon … that was it. We love Haliburton’s beauty quiet and cottage country charm. Now with the winery and our own maple syrup products our customers can enjoy wine pairings with their meals and our own unique signature dishes.”
From grab-and-go breakfasts including egg frittata sweet potato hash browns and Italian sausage to lunch and dinner pastas parmigiana steak and cheese sausage meatball and veggie sandwiches (served in fresh baked panini bread) lasagna and wood-fired thin crust pizza plus daily features homemade Italian desserts including cannoli custard-filled confectionary peaches and crepes espresso coffees and wine pairings – the Mannarinos are ready to welcome the community in style.
“We’re fully integrating Moon Shadows Estate Winery Maple Moon Sugar Shack and La Luna Del Nordo Ristorante” Anna said.
With 1800 maple taps on the property’s 31 acres the couple will continue to produce and sell maple wine and syrup products as well as use them in various recipes such as sweet fruit crepes “smothered with hazel nut chocolate or raspberry sauce.”
Looking around the colourful 30-seat dining area it is easy to see that the Mannarinos do not skimp on quality.
“We imported the wood-fired pizza oven from Naples Italy” Silvio said “for two reasons. Our pizza cooks on stone so no soot or ashes get on the pizza. It’s healthier. The other reason: The pizza is far more flavourful cooked in a wood-fired oven.”
“Food is such a big part of Italian life” said Anna the ristorante’s charismatic host. “Sharing good food good music good wine and good conversation with family and friends. It’s that warm engaging feeling that we want our customers to experience and enjoy.”
Silvio added: “We love good music … Pavarotti the Three Tenors Tony Bennett Frank Sinatra. And customers can enjoy hearing them sing during their meal. We’ll even show Pavarotti and Tony Bennett in concert on the flat screen.”
In demand before La Luna Del Nordo even opened the Mannarinos catered Walker’s Home Hardware’s Christmas party to rave reviews.
“We also have several weddings booked for next summer” Anna said. “We customize menus per customers’ requests.”
“We may even cater a gluten-free wedding” Silvio said with a smile. “I love a good challenge.”
For more information: 705-455-9999. 12953 Hwy 118 Haliburton.