This winter has been filled with amazing new restaurant openings around the city. There’s no better way to hide out from the cold then by warming up to all these marvelous menus and feasting from morning to night! From the men that brought us the cities longest standing premier supper club, Buona Notte, their brand new concept is a mixture of an Italian cafe, snack bar, pizzeria, and classic osteria called Fiorellino.
The eatery is located on the corner of rue de la Gauchetière O. and St-Alexandre, right next to the Unity building where I lived before becoming a mommy of two. Aside from all the great memories that flood through my mind whenever I’m in this neighborhood, the restaurant itself is gorgeous! The big open space houses a modern yet retro feel that creates an awesome vibe for dining. I feel in love with the Goyard-esque printed wall and floor design in one section of the hot spot – so chic!
It’s always great to see the old crew from Buona; Lino, Angelo, Massimo, and Robbie, who happen to be the masterminds behind Fiorellino. With almost 25 years of experience in fine dining under their belts, it’s no surprise that restaurant is already a huge hit! At the helm of the kitchen is the extremely talented 25-year-old chef, Erik Mandracchia. He’s worked with all the top chefs in Montreal, from Martin Picard to Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles. Stop by for dinner any day of the week and you’ll catch Erik working the room and the kitchen to perfection!
The food is out of this world, and I’m not just saying that because I’m 20 weeks pregnant and loving tasting for two! The menu is super authentic and original, unlike your typical Italian restaurant around town. My favorite antipasti are the Insalata di Funghi Crudi (shaved mushrooms, parmigiano, gremolata) and the Tonno in Conserva (homemade canned tuna, squash). Next up, we ordered the Bianco Melanzane Fritte pizza topped with ricotta, parmigiano, marinated tomatoes, and eggplant. The mixture of all the textures and flavors was to die for and every bite was perfection!
My absolute favorite dish on the menu is the Gnocchi di Ricotta pomodoro. Though gnocchi are traditionally made with potatoes, these are made with ricotta cheese and covered in a simple but scrumptious tomato sauce. I couldn’t get enough of these melt-in-your-mouth culinary marvels! For a decadent dolci/dessert, I recommend trying the Ricotta Budino, pudding with marinated seasonal fruit, pistachio crumble, and a hint of extra virgin olive oil – divine!
The restaurant is divided into two sections, the snack bar and dining hall. In the former, you can sip on the finest Italian coffees and enjoy flaky croissants as of 7am. Their homemade viennoiserie we’re delicious, and that means a lot given the fact that I was born and raised in a French bakery! You can also head over for happy hour to indulge in antipasti and a glass of wine or two at the bar. Over on the restaurant side of things, you can try their lunch specials, which change every two weeks, or discover their elaborate dinner selection.
Fiorellino has quickly become one of my fave spots in the city and I’ve already gone back more times that I’m willing to admit. Head over to tantalize your taste buds with this incredible Italian menu!
Photography by Patricia Brochu