Readers, I am a selfish girl. Since I started this blog, I have hesitated writing up a review on Fiorella's because - quite frankly - I don't want people to know about it. To have a North End-quality restaurant within walking distance of my house is such an incredible luxury...but this place is tiny . The more people that know about it, the longer I'm going to have to wait for a table - and quite frankly, that's a huge sacrifice for me. After another fantabulous meal there this weekend, though...well, it's really just not fair of me not to share. You're welcome.
North End-quality might not actually be a fair description, as Fiorella's food is actually better than some meals I've had there. The location isn't quite as nice - smack in the middle of an industrial area, shoehorned in between a garage and a strip mall of sorts. (Speaking of shoehorns, when I was a kid this same building housed a shoestore that was most notable for the collection of old shoes on the roof...when you got a new pair, you got to throw your old ones up on the roof. Pretty damn cool ! ). Close your eyes and walk in the door, though, and you are instantly transported. Chefs bustle in an open kitchen, from which the most delightful smells imaginable waft towards you. The restaurant only takes reservations for parties of six or more, so you'll need to put your name on the list. If you're lucky, there will be some room at the standing bar, where the nice bartenders will distract you with drinks (great wine list, plus some delicious mixed drinks) and some really amazing breadsticks from their brick oven along with their fantastic marinara for dipping.
|beware of filling up on these...
For appetizers this trip, we went with two of our favorites : Arancini (rice balls stuffed with mozzarella, coated with breadcrumbs and fried) and Melanzane Al Forno (breaded slices of eggplant, fried and topped with a tomato-basil sauce, baked in the wood burning oven and served with fresh mozzarella cheese and basil ). It was difficult to limit ourselves to two appetizers - the bruschetta in particular is amazing - but we did want to at least try to order dinner, so two was it :
|two shots of the Arancini
|Melanzane Al Forno
Since we were doing a fish main course, we were leaning towards a white wine...problem being, we're really more of red wine drinkers - plus we were having that amazing marinara with our appetizers. Our fantastic waiter (who has similar thoughts on white wine) recommended a Gavi di Gavi, which was awesome - stood up to the red sauce and went beautifully with the pasta.
For dessert, back to the specials : Limoncello Raspberry Cake, accompanied by cappuccino. Light, with the perfect balance of sweet and tang...really, just the perfect end to this meal.
In summary - do yourself a favor, and get yourself to Fiorella's. Amazing food, wonderful service, and a heck of a lot easier parking than the North End.