Fiery downtown Italian restaurant Fiorellino is set to open in Mile End later this spring.
Fiorellino opened in 2015 on de la Gauchetiere downtown, from the team behind longtime supper club/institution on the Main, Buonanotte (see also: Old Montreal’s Jellyfish, and dual sandwich spots Porchetta). Leaning much more towards a restaurant in style or even a snack bar (given its official name), rather than the supper club approach, it quickly garnered warm write ups for taking on part-classic, part-creative Italian, courtesy of former Impasto chef Erik Mandracchia.
Buonanotte principal Massimo Lecas tells Eater that the approach will remain similar to the original Fiorellino, although he’s ready to make adjustments to fit with the neighbourhood — a wise idea when opening up on the odd border of moneyed Outremont and more modest Mile End, without the same access to the downtown office or tourist crowds. For the uninitiated, Fiorellino does a rounded menu of wood-fired Neapolitan pizza (both rosso and bianco), no-nonsense pastas, and a robust selection of antipasti from bready panzanella to creamy burrata, and beyond.
And true to style, the Buonanotte folks are not playing it small here — it will go into the former Laurier BBQ space on the Mile End section of Laurier, which seats somewhere around 200 diners.
While the Laurier BBQ may have met an ignominious fate after an attempt to get Gordon Ramsay on board ended in court (and the restaurants that followed, such as Laurea, didn’t fare too much better), Lecas tells Eater that he hopes to bring something reputable back to the space, and to give it some shine. If the design is anything like Fiorellino 1.0’s brightly-tiled space, that shouldn’t be too hard.
Expect it to open in late May — or maybe early June: Lecas says he’s planning a long game with both Fiorellinos, so what does a few weeks difference make for opening?