Quietly hidden away…

…in a small strip-mall in uptown Naples-on-the-Lake is one of Niagara’s newest restaurants, Ruffino’s Pasta Bar & Grill, which offers a menu committed to the slow food movement of Italy.

Once one finds ruffino’s, the aroma of peach wood burning in the brick oven and glow of the wood-fired grill lets guests know they’re not out just for dinner, but are embarking on a culinary journey of somewhereness rooted in Italian cuisine. Our Wines and beverages are locally focused set against a backdrop of fine Italian & International wines and Spirits.

We are a neighbourhood restaurant.  We welcome Families and friends every day into our home.  And feed them like Nona does!

The staff tends to our garden and delivers vegetables daily, still warm from the sun. We cook them fresh every day and preserve those which we can’t, for those long winter months. We source ethically raised meat, do all of our butchery in-house, and cook over an open fire. Our sourdough breads are hand crafted and baked fresh in our wood-fired oven every day.  Pastas are made daily and of course are pizzas are wood-fired as well on a sourdough crust.

Each day our team works together in writing the menu that tells the story of  our community through food and drink.

Please sit back, relax, and let us tell you the tale of ruffino’s…


Team Ruffino

Creating and inspiring a team that thrives on excellence is a collective effort.

Standing behind the team rather than in front creates space for their autonomy, creativity and growth. Our team at ruffino’s exceeds our expectations and inspires us to be better at what we do. It is a joy working with all the people who have passed through our doors. We are incredibly humbled and grateful for the people who help us on our journey.

Ryan Crawford

Executive Chef | Owner

Some people are born to do what they do, that is true of Chef Ryan Crawford.

Ryan has been involved in the kitchen his entire life. He studied at the noted Stratford Chef School and then became an instructor there for four years. He has travelled extensively, staging at The French Laundry and Terra Grill in Napa Valley; l’Orangerie, Lucques and Patina in Los Angeles, and Jardinière in San Francisco. Closer to home, he has worked with Michael Stadtländer and Jamie Kennedy.

Ryan solidified his place in the Canadian culinary scene as Executive Chef of the Stone Road Grille in Niagara on the Lake. It was during this time that he and his good friend Paul Harber of Ravine Vineyard Winery began farming together. Ryan and Paul brought The Happy Pig Farm to Niagara.  Eventually he opened Backhouse and focused on Integrated Cool Climate Cuisine.  Backhouse was a labour of love and helped solidify Chef Crawford’s love of farming.

COVID put out the fires of Backhouse.  But sparked the flame in Chef Crawfords soul to return to his original love…Italian Cooking.

He and his partner Martha Brett are now found welcoming friends and family nightly at Ruffino’s Pasta Bar & Grill!