Restaurant Review: Fortina

Fortina is a tradtional Italian restaurant that uses a brick fire oven to bring extra flavor into their dishes. Source: Alex Weiss

Fortina is a straightforward Italian restaurant that, according to its website, “[Promises] an intimate and relaxed dining experience that offers something different to local and foreign patrons and ensures you enjoy a memorable food experience every time.” Having opened its second location in January of 2015, at Rye Ridge Shopping Center, Fortina is easily accessible, surrounded by many other stores and restaurants. Their space was formerly occupied by Racanelli’s Pizza; however, in these past two years, Fortina has truly made the space their own.

My two guests and I walked into the restaurant a little after 12:00 p.m., their opening time. I was a bit nervous when I looked around because aside from the wait staff, the restaurant was empty. We were quickly helped to our table. I noticed the odd decorations throughout the room. There were many paintings and other pieces of art throughout the room, including a chalk mural that spanned an entire wall of the restaurant. Behind the bar, there were two flat-screen televisions, each playing movies. Although each item alone seemed quirky and strange, the sum of all the different decor has a very cool feel. There was also some quiet jazz playing in the background, although as the day wore on and the restaurant filled up, the jazz became less audible.

Our waitress that afternoon was very friendly and helpful, answering any questions we might have. She told us some funny anecdotes, both about her experience working at Fortina and stories that owner had shared with her. Even as the restaurant filled up and she was busier, she made sure that our needs were always being tended to.

For our meals, one of my guests ordered baked ziti, the other guest ordered chicken parmesan, and I ordered a margherita pizza. The baked ziti was well presented and tasted delicious. The margherita pizza was also tasty, and the way it was presented on top of an already-used can of tomatoes gave me a home-like feeling. However, the best dish was, without a doubt, the chicken parmesan. It tasted like comfort food, but also managed to be elegant at the same time. The bill was not too pricey, especially given the high quality of the food. Overall, we had a great time, the food was delicious, and I’m looking forward to going back.