From the moment one walks through the door to when the first entry arrives, it’s simple to see that Forti Grill & Bar is bringing Michelin Star quality to Menlyn Maine. Dedicated to Italian fine dining, this eatery boasts a beautiful menu made up of modern takes on classic dishes. Built on the backbone of sustainable produce, Forti Grill & Bar runs a tight ship. From plating to decor and design, there is a sense of pride, understanding and talent that sweeps through the galleria and continues into the kitchen.
A fifth generation restaurateur and celebrated chef, Fortunato Mazzone’s food philosophy eschews precision. Fortunato (fondly known as Forti) is a man of many contrasts: a high-tech enthusiast who runs an old-school kitchen equipped with a pot of master stock; a qualified economist who has studied opera and law and a chef with no fear of expressing his ideals through his food. Presentation is key when it comes to fine dining. Each dish needs look like a work of art, replicated perfectly with every order. Forti Grill & Bar does not fall in this department. The kitchen is manned with a staff of 20, among them three Culinary Springboks and a talented pastry chef, plus a handful of culinary veterans. Many of the long-time staff worked for Forti and his father, Giovanni, at their much-loved, multiple award-winning restaurant Ritrovo in Waterkloof, which the father-and-son team opened in 1996.
The menu comprises items such as cheese platters, raclette and interesting and enticing salads. Vegans are treated to a well rounded bundle of options such as pastas, carpaccio, stews and stir-fries to name a few.
Forti Grill & Bar, being defined as Italian, it should be mentioned that all fresh egg pastas are made in house. This in itself is a pleasant treat as one digs into a Neapolitan style lasagna or cannelloni stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Forti Grill & Bar also specialises in steak which is cut, aged and prepared from their very own butchery. On the daily, patrons will find cuts of the day cooked to a 55°C center and rested, ensuring a well-rounded meal. There is also a five-course tasting menu available, boasting items such as buffalo mozzarella served with spinach, roasted prawns and wagyu beef.
When it comes to desserts, the pastry team is on the ball. From the usual brownies and ice cream to Bavarian orange cake and cheese boards, there is something for everyone. Forti also produces a wine range called Nick & Forti, in collaboration with Saronsberg owner Nick van Huyssteen and talented winemaker Dewaldt Heyns. The range consists of a white blend, Shiraz and Bordeaux-style blend. Forti Grill & Bar has an extensive Winelist, which has something for every budget, sourced from eight different countries.
By Shawn Greyling