What could be better than having a day off from work in the middle of the week? How about running into a PR friend and being invited to lunch at the newest addition from the Buonanotte team, Fiorellino. How could Diva #2 possibly refuse an invitation like that?
Located on de la Gauchetière, Fiorellino offers some great Italian food, in its simplest form; the ingredients speak for themselves. There’s a bar counter as you enter, perfect for sipping a cappuccino and snacking on a bombolone, or other pastry of your choosing. The dining area has an industrial look with subway tiles, exposed pipes and a massive wood fired pizza oven.
Chef Erik Mandracchia came to the table and explained us Fiorellino’s concept. He offered to bring out what he considered the best representation of the menu. We started with the focaccia which was topped with generous slices of prosciutto, cut to order. The bread was still warm and it slightly melted the fat on the prosciutto, which was nice and salty.
We also had the porchetta, reminiscent of the delicious porchetta from Buonanotte’s Porchetta Montreal. Served cold and thinly sliced, it was garnished with tuna-flavoured mayo and pistachios which added a welcomed crunch. And while the tuna flavour really came through, it didn’t overtake the other ingredients.
The squash carpaccio dish, beautifully presented, was a delicious surprise. Thinly sliced squash was dressed simply with pickled chilies, homemade crème fraiche and candied nuts. The squash still had some crunch and was very fresh, the crème fraiche countered the squash and nuts with its creaminess. An absolutely delicious dish that should not be overlooked.
The raw mushroom salad, one of Fiorellino’s most popular dishes, is another example of simplicity at its best. Shaved king oyster mushrooms were served with shards of salty Parmesan cheese and a fresh gremolata. The fresh ground black pepper added a nice kick of subtle heat and the pungent Italian olive oil really stood out.
In Bologna, a bolognese sauce is not made with tomatoes. And at Fiorellino, they keep that tradition by making their pappardelle bolognese with pork and cabbage and without a trace of tomato sauce. And trust us, you won’t miss it! The fresh pasta is perfect and delicate and the sauce will wow you. Simple and fresh, you can taste the pork as it clings to the homemade pasta. And you might think that cabbage will offset the taste but you barely notice it, it simply adds to the heartiness of the sauce.
The ricotta gnocchi at Fiorellino are made a little differently than most restaurants. The ratio of ricotta to flour weighs heavily on the ricotta side, giving you a dish of gnocchi so light that they literally melt in your mouth. Served in a simple tomato and basil sauce, the center of the gnocchi are still slightly creamy, really showcasing the ricotta.
There are a number of red sauce and white pizzas, made quickly in their wood pizza oven, but we were recommended the prosciutto cotto pizza with roasted mushrooms, pesto and blue cheese. All strong flavours, each one compliments the other, as you get hits of piquant blue cheese, salty ham, meaty mushrooms and fresh pesto. The crust is perfectly thin and a nice smoky flavour comes from the charred edges of the crust of the pizza.
Chef Erik brought out a ricotta pudding that made us want to lick the plate clean! Rich and creamy, the pudding was paired with a Diva favourite, wedges of persimmon, or khakis, and a pistachio crumble with a drizzle of olive oil. It was light, fresh, and the pudding had a bright orange flavour. The persimmon wedges had a nice crunch to them and they added a little bit of sweetness to the dish.
Fiorellino is a great addition to the burgeoning stable of the Buonanotte team and a great addition to the downtown/financial area of Montreal. Whether you stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Fiorellino will leave you coming back for more.
Of course it’s owned and run by Italians, so you can get a serious coffee at Fiorellino. The food is done with simple ingredients to create beautiful and delicious dishes that we know you’ll love.
Our Rating: Always on Thursday
Tagged: 470 de la Gauchetière Ouest, Buonanotte Montreal, Fiorellino, Fiorellino Montreal, Focaccia, H2Z 1E3, Italian, Italian Food, Italian Restaurant, Montreal Restaurant, Mushroom Salad, Pappardelle Bolognese, Pizza, Porchetta, Ricotta Gnocchi, Ricotta Pudding, Sqaush Carpaccio