Fiorellino: An industrial ambience and authentic Italian dishes
“Do you have a reservation?” the hostess asks from under the de la Gauchitière St. W and Alexandre St. street signs in the restaurant. They’re identical to the ones outside. At Fiorellino, without your name on the list, you’re offered a seat at the warmly lit bar or at the marble counter where pizzas are shaped, dressed and baked in the wood-fired oven.
The atmosphere exudes rustic Italy with a modern Montreal twist. The open industrial ceiling painted crisp white somehow comes together with geometric tile that you might expect to find in a bathroom in Sorrento. You can hear an Italian conversations echoing from the kitchen.
If you mention that it’s your first time at Fiorellino, the staff members will happily translate the main courses offered. The menu is Italian, and pizza is their signature dish.
My server recommended the prosciutto crudo and the formaggio di capra for a first Fiorellino pizza experience. The prosciutto crudo pizza had a tomato sauce base topped with fior di latte mozzarella style cheese and freshly sliced prosciutto. The formaggio di capra was topped with sausage, roasted red peppers and goat cheese.
For a vegetarian option, I recommend the melanzana fritte. The char on the crust mixed with the ricotta cheese and fried eggplant is an amazing combination of flavours.
If you’re seated at the marble counter, the sight of pizza being made right in front of you is enough to skip the table a reservation. At an arm’s distance away, a full ladle scoop of bright red pureed tomato sauce is swirled onto dough and the cook might even let you sample the toppings. Behind the cook there is a pile of pizza boxes stacked from the floor to the ceiling adorned with the restaurant’s signature red flower logo that can also be spotted at the opening of the oven. If you don’t finish your pizza, you can take it home in a box.
Make no mistake, this isn’t just a lunchtime pizzeria. Fiorellino is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lunch table d’hôte ranges in price from $17 to $26. The dinner menu offers more choices in antipasto, secondi and pasta while all of the same pizzas from lunch are offered as well. Be sure not to leave without a traditional Italian dessert from their pastry counter at the door.
Fiorellino is located at 470 de la Gauchetière St. W.