Savory Italian Seafood

Ashley Matuszak

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Located in Pleasanton’s Main Street in the downtown district, Fontina Ristorante offers seasonal Italian food that is savory and satisfying.
Fontina has a large indoor seating area and a patio looking over Main Street. With brightly colored walls, soft Italian music playing in the background and friendly service, it is clear from the beginning that ambience is important to Fontina.
The prices at Fontina are a reflection of the quality of ingredients. With an ever-changing menu depending on the season, Fontina is dedicated to using seasonal, local ingredients that are purchased at the Pleasanton farmer’s market just outside their front doors every Sunday. The prices are a little high, some entrees close to 20 dollars, however they are well worth the price.
Fontina has a variety of Italian food from the new and innovative to Italian American classics. It is possible to please children here – spaghetti and meatballs is on the menu.
However, Fontina does seem to specialize in a variety of seafood dishes. The lobster ravioli entrée is $18.95, and comes with five large raviolis in a white wine cream sauce with lemon zest and parsley. Unfortunately, I found this to be too savory, and nowhere near as good as my favorite lobster ravioli from Allegro Romano in San Francisco. The hand made pasta was not rolled thin enough, making the raviolis too dense and rubbery. The filling was delicious, and the sauce had a nice texture. However, I felt that there was not enough acidity in the sauce to cut the richness of the lobster and cream.
One of Fontina’s offerings for summer is a twist on an Italian American classic, Eggplant Florentine. Breaded slices of eggplant is topped with Fontina cheese, baby spinach and tomato sauce, and is served over angel hair pasta. This is part of their vegetarian menu, which has about 20 different options for non-meat eaters.
One of the most interesting dishes at Fontina is their pumpkin ravioli, which is served with Masala mushroom sauce and roasted walnuts. Pumpkin is not normally something we are used to eating unless it’s in a pie, but Italians eat pumpkin and other squash like zucchini in savory dishes in the late summer.
With a lot of restaurants on Main Street being higher end, Fontina is a convenient way to enjoy the atmosphere of Main Street without breaking the bank.