The Edge Restaurant. located above the Headwaters Fitness and Racquet Club, is a refreshing departure from the ordinary restaurant fare in Orangeville’s growing West End. The vibe is Intimate and friendly, with a fresh, modern flare, and the atmosphere is relaxed and inviting. But, perhaps the most striking point of differentiation is the enthusiasm of the owners/staff who are working hard to successfully establish the EDGE as a destination for casual fine dining, and a gathering place where people can enjoy world class food and beverages in their own backyard.
When Chef/Owner Giovanni Cundari and his father Angelo Cundari purchased the restaurant from the previous owners just over a year ago, their goal was to build on the reputation that the Edge had already established, by providing an eclectic menu made from locally sourced ingredients in a casual fine dining atmosphere. They started with a cosmetic facelift, replacing the floors and curtains, and bringing in new tables and chairs that were more in line with the intended atmosphere of the restaurant. They then separated the restaurant into two distinct areas, with the bar area being more casual and the back portion being more formal, with crisp white linens and dining by candlelight. Their spacious and inviting patio is a destination for good conversation on those warm summer nights, with an array of intimate seating areas and euro style stand up tabletops complimented by warm lighting, patio heaters and greenery.
The proprietors describe the atmosphere as quirky, casual, relaxed fine dining. Having said that, the moment you taste the food, from appetizer, to main course, to dessert – you realize that this place is something special. It is reflective of the passion and commitment that is so evident when you speak to Angelo and his Front End Manager and long-time girlfriend Stephanie Mitchell. With more than 20 years of combined experience in the hospitality industry, this amazing trio of committed restauranteurs is looking to make your dining experience one that will be memorable enough for you to return again and again.
Giovanni knew from an early age that he wanted to cook, working part time at Boston Pizza and quickly establishing himself as a valuable employee. After attending culinary school, he began his journey apprenticing at Hockley Valley Resort, being mentored by local chefs who recognized his talent and nurtured it, teaching him many lessons – in cooking and in life. He then made the move to the big city, securing a position at Mangia e Beviin Toronto, working in the fast-paced kitchen environment of one of the city’s top restaurants. It was here that he quickly learned his own style of cooking, and he began to turn his passion into a future career. After some time, he realized that the downtown scene was not his cup of tea, Cundari moved back to his hometown of Orangeville, bringing with him his experience, and a vision of what he wanted to create for himself and his customers. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Menu at the Edge encompasses a full spectrum of styles and tastes, from hand pressed burgers, to Indian curry dishes, to hand butchered AAA steaks, to Giovanni’s signature dish, Penne a la Vodka. As a self-professed foodie and pasta lover, I can honestly say that this is truly the best Penne a la vodka I have tried anywhere, including its originating hometown of Rome, Italy. The Caesar Salad was also incredible – flavourfully infused with garlicy goodness, and just the right amount of tanginess without being overpowering. Topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese and homemade croutons, I challenge you to find a better starter than this anywhere in Dufferin County (or anywhere else for that matter).
Every single dish is one hundred percent homemade, with ingredients from locally sourced farms and providers, and is prepared on site and to order. The menu rotates quarterly, and it is reflective of the availability of seasonal fruits and vegetables from their local vendors. Cundari describes his personal cooking style as “rustic”, and he typically prepares his dishes by memory, feel, and taste as opposed to a set recipe. His dishes are beautifully presented, well portioned and the food is fresh – leaving you wanting to come back and try other items on their diverse menu.
Of course, we cannot omit the beverage side of this equation. The Edge offers its clientele a well-rounded wine and beer selection. While they have a wonderful assortment of wines from all over the world, a good portion of their offering is sourced from local wineries and craft breweries. Their knowledgeable staff is happy to offer pairings to suit any taste or budget, and they are always willing to lend their recommendations for pre-dinner cocktails and specialty coffees.
If the fabulous food and beverage offering is not enough to lure you into a visit, let’s talk about entertainment. In the spirit of offering a full dining and entertainment experience, the Edge also features live music, by local musicians, on a monthly basis, and an open mic night for local talent on the third Thursday of each month. They have often hosted the always popular Campfire Poets, and they strive to offer a place for up and coming artists to showcase their talents in an intimate environment.
Needless to say, The Edge Restaurant and Bar is quickly establishing itself as a go-to destination and for locals to eat, drink and be entertained. The service is top-notch, and their passion and commitment to providing quality food and service in a relaxed environment is truly evident from the moment you walk through the door. It is a dining experience you will not soon forget, and one you are certain to revisit.
In addition to their regular menu, they offer space for private functions, corporate events, and Holiday gatherings for up to 95 people. They operate 6 days a week and are open for dinner at 4pm. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or visit their website at www.theedge.ca. Reservations are recommended but not mandatory.
The Edge Restaurant and Bar is located at 205467 County Rd 109, Orangeville, ON. 519-940-1111
Written By: Tanya Bottomley | Photography: Cory Bruyea