Looks like dining during the Stratford Festival is about to become more exciting. Cheesemaker Ruth Klahsen has confirmed that Monforte Dairy—the farmers’ market stalwarts who are also responsible for supplying Toronto chefs with a slew of award-winning cheeses—is opening a restaurant in downtown Stratford.
The move is an opportunity for the dairy to try their hand at preserving, pickling, and charcuterie, while providing them with an outlet for their products. “This kind of brings things full circle for us,” says Klahsen. “For example, when we make cheese we have leftover whey, which we feed to pigs, which can become charcuterie. And the same farmer who raises the pigs grows wheat, which we can make into crackers.”
The 35-seat restaurant, called Monforte on Wellington, is set to open in early April, and will serve a selection of cured meats, homemade preserves, pickles, cheese, Ontario beers and wines, and one or two daily changing pasta dishes made by chef Phil Philips, who worked in the kitchen at Stratford’s Bijou and has trained under Jamie Kennedy. There will also be a small area attached to the eatery, which will sell meats, cheeses, and jarred goods to go. In the warmer weather, Klahsen hopes a 35-seat patio out back will help attract some of the thousands of tourists who flock to Bieber’s hometown annually. —Jacob Rutka
Photo: Tony Bock/Toronto Star