2725 Taylor Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
If you are in the Fort Wayne area and you have a taste for REAL Italian served in an intimate shrine that pays tribute to Our Blessed Mother and The Family, you owe it to yourself to stop by for dinner. Get there early so you can walk around and see all of the icons of the Blessed Mother and the many family photos that adorn the walls. It's a very special place. Besides that, the food is FANTASTIC and affordable! Call 260-432-9702 for RESERVATIONS!!
WARNING!!The place gets packed on weekends, but Wednesday and Thursday are easier to get in.
The following article is being reprinted with permission and the original article appeared in the March 2010 edition of Swiss City Monthly Magazine of Berne, Indiana.The Italian Connection Restaurant: Intimate Dining in Fort Wayne
According to its Facebook® fan page, The Italian Connection Restaurant in Fort Wayne offers "authentic, homemade Italian cuisine with unforgettable ambiance." And, indeed, upon setting foot inside the tiny eatery, one is immediately struck by its very intimate atmosphere.
From the exterior, the small building located on Taylor Street looks more like a small ranch home than a gourmet restaurant. However, this business has been quite successful in its operation for more than 30 years, and, as one diner puts it, "Don’t be deceived by outward appearances!"
As if to prove that bigger isn’t necessarily better, The Italian Connection—which seats only 55—boasts more than 500 fans on its Facebook® page. And, unlike most restaurants, it has enjoyed a profitable first quarter—even with the recent winter snowfalls.
Alex Fiato, head chef and owner of The Italian Connection, doesn’t have to trace much of history to find his Italian roots. In fact, both his mother and father were just children when their families emigrated to the United States.
It’s obvious from the restaurant decor that Fiato has embraced his cultural heritage. Walls are covered with family photos, ranging in age and size, as well as religious images of important figures in the Roman Catholic church.
Fitting with both the nature of the establishment and its cultural displays, candles and soft lighting promote an otherworldly mood.
With the assistance of Sous Chef Jeremy Rice, Fiato creates homemade dishes that one customer calls "the best pasta I’ve ever had." Weekly specials might include a dish like their Seafood Ravioli, a "homemade spinach ravioli stuffed with cheese, salmon, crab...topped with shrimp and scallops."
Even the Connection’s gelato (an Italian variation on ice cream) is homemade, with flavors like maple and double chocolate. The gelato recipe has been used by Fiato’s family for generations. The restuarant staff points out, "[His ancestors] didn’t use ice cream makers, and neither does he!"
Menu entrees range from traditional spaghetti with marinara sauce, priced at $8 a plate, to the more exotic Veal Marsala—featuring medallions of veal sauteed in a Marsala wine sauce with mushrooms—still reasonably priced at $16. All entrees include a house salad and bread with garlic butter.
Fiato’s menu is time-proven, possibly because his cooking skills are a family heirloom.
Chef Fiato does not feel confined to his kitchen, and dinner guests often find conversation with the cook entertaining. And, on special occasions, Fiato even sings for his customers.
Although reservations are strongly recommended on Friday and Saturday evenings, walk-in diners are welcome. The Connection also offers carry-out, and a full menu is available on the restaurant’s Facebook® page (see the Notes tab).
The Italian Connection is happy to host groups and small parties. Fiato also provides catering services for off-site events.
Dinner reservations may be phoned in during business hours at (260)432-9702, or diners also have the option to email reservations to firstname.lastname@example.org. However, email reservations must be received no later than 4 p.m. on the evening of the reservation.
Labels: Italian Connection, OLTIV, Our lady of America