Fonte D’Amore in Livonia, Michigan

As I just finished writing my praise for Luciano DelSignore for his newest accolade at his Bacco Ristorante, I just have to write about the restaurant where we first met.  My Bride and I had just bought our house and were in a discovery mode about new restaurants in the area.  I remember our first visit to Fonte D’Amore.

MI FonteD'Amore 1 MB


The restaurant was just packed with diners, and as usual I met a couple of people that I knew, my Bride had already gotten used to this fact, that the odds are that I will meet someone where ever we go.  We had a great waiter; in fact, he was so great, that we would always request to be seated in his area, when ever we returned to the restaurant, as he added so much to the ambience to the evening.  In fact, it was our waiter that made it a point to bring Luciano to our table, so that we could meet him and introduce ourselves.

MI Fonte D'Amore MB


Fonte D’Amore was a great neighborhood Italian restaurant, but as we continued to go there, at least once a month, if not more, we gradually saw how the menu was changing ever so slightly under the tutelage of Luciano, as he made slight tweaks to his Father’s restaurant.  The food kept getting better and better, and no matter who joined us for dinner, they were always amazed at the quality of the food and service.  Some people would even remark that they were not in a Detroit restaurant, but it was more of a downtown Chicago or midtown Manhattan type of establishment, and yet they were popular priced and really gave you a meal for your money.

Riparosso Illuminati MdA 1995


That first encounter with Luciano, I asked him what wine he thought we should try, which can be a dangerous question, as you could end up ordering a very expensive bottle of wine.  He emphatically suggested a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, which was a new wine for me.  He also suggested that I try the Riparosso from the several wines of that area, which he carried.  The wine is made from the Montepulciano varietal, but tends to be blended with the Sangiovese grape as well.  In fact the area around Abruzzo is so associated with this varietal; the DOC for the area is now Montepulciano d’Abruzzo.  It was such a hit, that after that first evening, we went to a wine shop and bought a case of the wine, it was that good, and we have been buying it ever since.  It is also a wine that I will suggest to people who ask me for a recommendation for a new idea for an Italian wine.  I joke as I write the name down that even though it is a mouthful to say, they will enjoy it, and that it is not an expensive wine even with a restaurant mark-up.  So one could say, that Luciano has been an integral part of my learning curve for some time, and I thank him each time that I see him.


About thewineraconteur

A non-technical wine writer, who enjoys the moment with the wine, as much as the wine. Instagram/thewineraconteur Facebook/ The Wine Raconteur
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12 Responses to Fonte D’Amore in Livonia, Michigan

  1. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo…my favourite! Now you have to come and try it in Abruzzo 🙂

  2. Thank you for visiting our website! You’ll be waiting for you in Abruzzo then! 🙂 Alessia

  3. Stefano says:

    Nice choice of wine and producer once again! Dino Illuminati makes some excellent Montepulciano. The Riparossa is a solid choice, but if you happen to come across the Ilico I think you should give that one a try too, and even better their top of the line (but still moderately priced) Zanna Riserva, which by the way is in the appellation Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane that has fairly recently been raised to DOCG status. I am pretty sure you would appreciate those too! 🙂

    • Stefano,
      You must be psychic, to know other wines that I have enjoyed, but have not had the chance to write about. I have had a bottle of Zanna by the Illuminati family, but the bottle I had only had a DOCG status of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. I am sure that the story will appear in the near future.
      Thank you once again, my friend and may you keep enjoying your wines.
      – John

      • Stefano says:

        Thank you, John: it is just that by now I know that you are an Italian wine connoisseur and so I can share my thoughts with you! 🙂
        I was sure you would quite like the Zanna if you had tried it out! Glad to hear you did! I look forward to reading your story about it when you publish it.
        All the best to you!

  4. I know very little about Italian producers, but I will take Stefano’s word for it and give you a “Well Done!”

  5. Olivia says:

    This was our favorite restaurant when we lived outside of Detroit. I have tried MANY times to recreate Fonte’s roasted eggplant soup, to no avail. I enjoyed reading your post because it brought back similar memories for me. This was our go-to spot for date night, and we miss it very much.

    • Olivia,
      Thank you for reading my blog and taking time to comment. I agree that this is a wonderful soup, and I do not know if you saw my articles about Pizzeria Biga, which is owned by the same family. They do offer this soup at their Royal Oak location, and that is where we usually go, just because of the soup.
      – John

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