A couple of pubs and takeaways aside, until last year the culinary offer in Corby town centre was almost non-existent.
So it was a brave decision by the owners of La Fonte to open their Italian restaurant in the centre of town in early 2011.
In recent months I had heard wonderful things about the quality of the food there.
Internet reviews from customers were all excellent, which is rare these days.
We called the restaurant to book one day in advance and I was told they were busy but could squeeze us in at 5.30pm, perfect for us as we had the toddler in tow.
When we arrived, business was already brisk but the staff were very patient with my over-excited 19-month-old, who had decided he was eating out because a tiger had come to tea and eaten all the food.
We skipped starters as it was too early for three courses, but what we saw being taken to other tables looked delicious. I particularly liked the look of the mushrooms in gorgonzola. There is no child’s menu at La Fonte, but my son is happy to eat pizza (which child doesn’t?), so we ordered him an adult-sized margharita (£6.90). I had the risotto al funghi e pollo (risotto with mushrooms and chicken at £6.50) while my husband chose spaghetti carbonara; three Italian classics that absolutely lived up to their heritage. The risotto was light and well-flavoured, with large pieces of chicken.
My husband’s spaghetti (£6.90) was beautifully cooked and tasty. Junior ate most of his pizza himself and we polished off the remainder. It was absolutely delicious. Afterwards I had tiramisu (£2.90) which was like heaven on a spoon, and my husband had a tartuffo classico, a chocolate ice-cream bomb dusted with powdery chocolate (£2.90). My little boy helped finish both desserts and then wanted more.
He was getting a little fractious after sitting in a high chair for an hour, so the restaurant owner entertained him for a while as we finished our food.
We had a coke each and the waitress was happy to get my toddler some diluted orange, even though it wasn’t on the menu. She was also careful to put the little one’s drink out of his reach when she brought it to the table.
The food was generously proportioned, tasted lovely, and was an absolute bargain. The only criticism I have is that I felt soft drinks were fairly pricey, at £2.95 for a coke.
With a leisure quarter planned for that end of town, I’ve no doubt La Fonte will continue to be a success, although I’m sure it will need larger premises soon. It’s a welcome addition to Corby.
Kate’s rating (out of 10): 9
Food: Rustic Italian, flavoursome
Service: With a smile
Disabled access: Easy
Parking: In the Cube car park. Free in the evenings.
Cost of our meal: £33 for three people