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A bit about us

Our restaurant was founded in 1970 by Gerry Forte, who wanted to introduce the flavours and ambience of Italian food to Swanage.

In the early days eating out meant special occasions, three course dinners and formality, but in the intervening 50 years, eating out trends have evolved and we can cater also for more casual and family dining. We have expanded our seating area, creating a different ambience in the adjoining bright continental cafe-style area, with fully opening south facing windows. This airy setting is very attractive to families looking for homemade pizza, pasta and fresh seafood or a glass of delicious Italian wine. 


Our aim remains to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, serving simple, tasty dishes with fresh ingredients, which we source locally as far as possible.


All are prepared and cooked on the premises.


More about Gerry...

Gerry Forte was born in a tiny village half way up a mountain in Italy -North of Naples and South of Rome!


Throughout his childhood he was indulged with the most delicious meals known to man, for his Mother, Adelina, and Aunts, Elena and Irene were exquisite cooks in the old tradition, where attention to the best ingredients and enjoyment in family gatherings were always paramount.


It was Gerry who in the 60s introduced me to ricotta, mascarpone,  espresso coffee, fennel, lasagne, pancetta etc. etc.  the list is endless

of all the fresh, delicious produce that most British people had never encountered, but which are now household names.


Gerry’s ambition had always been to introduce these lovely foods in his own small restaurant with a warm, relaxed atmosphere and thus we opened the doors of the Tratt in May 1970.


Unfortunately Gerry is no more, but we are keen to maintain the maxims he employed - fresh fish, homemade sauces, love of vegetables, and all preparations and cooking  being done ‘in house’ by our lovely kitchen staff who have been trained in his image.


Take a look at our menus as we look forward to warmly

welcoming you!

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