There’s a big new player in Mile End (right on the edge of Outremont), as huge Italian restaurant Fiorellino has touched down on Laurier.
As previously reported, it takes over the space that was formerly home to Gordon Ramsay’s Laurier BBQ, and later, Laurea (both from different owners) — but unlike with those previous restaurants, Fiorellino is a more tried-and-tested concept, though it has a big space to fill, with room for almost 200. The new Fiorellino comes from some key members of the former Buonanotte restaurant group (now defunct) and their newly-formed restaurant group Novantuno, most notably Massimo Lecas.
The Fiorellino snack bar concept was first tested downtown, opening at the end of 2015. That restaurant, on de la Gauchetière, has been a success, with smooth dishes centred around pizza, pasta, and antipasti.
While the Laurier edition (the first Fiorellino expansion) is still billed as a snack bar, co-owner Massimo Lecas tells Eater that it’ll be a little more formal than the original, to fit with the perhaps more moneyed tastes of the Outremont crowd — that means more secondi-type menu options such as steaks and grilled fish.
“We like to adapt ourselves to the neighbourhood,” explains Lecas.
But plenty of classics are still on the menu, which chef Erik Mandracchia oversees (as with the first Fiorellino). Antipasti features all the staples, from a salumi plate to meatballs, porchetta, and burrata. The five pasta options are tidy staples — pork ragu with pappardalle, or squash agnolotti. Then there’s ample selection of red and white Neapolitan pizzas, all of which are simple and far from overloaded: fior di latte with prosciutto or soppressata, or a white option with arugula, prosciutto, and pecorino. Pizza, pasta, and antipasti are mostly around the $20 mark.
Some ex-Buonanotte principals at Fiorellino may be known for their signature clubstaurant, Fiorellino Laurier has a much different vibe — the design from Jean-Guy Chabauty has plenty of wood, and is classy yet casual, with some attractive material touches, such as a hybrid booth-banquette stretching along much of the room. The main level seats 98, with room for 80 on an upper level (available for private events, too).
STATUS — Fiorellino is open at 381 Laurier West from 11 a.m. to midnight, seven days.