If you keep reading this post, you can win a $20 gift card to one of my favorite local establishments. How’s THAT for making your Tuesday better?!
A few weeks ago I was afforded the opportunity to meet the folks behind one of my favorite Brighton restaurants, Fiorella’s Express.
Located right in Oak Square at the corner of Tremont and Washington Street, Fiorella’s Express features thin Neapolitan style pizza, hot and cold sandwiches, wraps, salads, and tasty homemade traditional and contemporary Italian favorites including chicken, veal, seafood, and pasta. The restaurant uses local and fresh ingredients for their menu options, and I can honestly say that this restaurant has been a personal go to choice for when I’m craving take out. It’s also a fun place to drop in, get some good food, and catch up with a friend.
A Little History
The owner of Fiorella’s Express, Remon Karian, credits his inspiration to his father who began the family legacy with his own Italian restaurant, Cafe Fiorella, in Belmont. This was the first of the Fiorella chains to open, and it was in his father’s kitchen that Remon discovered his ability and love for cooking. At the age of 23, he combined the practical experiences and knowledge he gained working in Belmont with the business he learned through his education at Bentley, and Fiorella’s in Newton was born in 2000. After the Newton restaurant opened, the Belmont location became an Express, and the Brighton Express opened in 2010 to target young professionals as well as the college crowd.
When I went into the restaurant a few weeks ago, I was not expecting such generous hospitality! The Fiorella’s family, dedicated and committed to making diners feel right at home, brought plate after plate of food out for me. It was kind of funny because I was there by myself surrounded by so much food! They really wanted me to try some dishes they consider their healthier options as well as some others, while probably not the healthiest choice, that are definitely crowd favorites. A couple of points they made sure to emphasize about the food:
- All their entrees are served with garlic bread
- They buy locally from places like Russo’s Market
- They use ingredients only in food to serve for the next day, they don’t extend beyond that to guarantee your food is always fresh
- They recently just started bottling their marinara sauce and selling them.
Fun fact — I actually saw the sauce jarred and on the shelves at Martignetti’s (where I buy my booze) the same weekend so I snapped a pic. Note: Right next to the John Wm Macy’s CheeseCrisps — a past F&F giveaway!
Anyways, check out all the delicious food I got to sample at Fiorella’s Express and then bring home to a VERY excited boyfriend!
1. Garlic Bread Sticks — Fiorella’s famous signature sticks made with garlic, oil, oregano, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, baked and cut into strips, and served with Fiorella’s signature marinara sauce. Perfect for a cheat day!
2. The Caprese Salad — thick slices of vine ripe tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and basil, drizzled with an Italian vinaigrette dressing and a balsamic vinegar glaze on a bed of mixed greens. This was DELICIOUS, and I’m not sure why I’ve never ordered it before? I will definitely be ordering this again. These flavors taste amazing all mixed together!
3. The Tuna Insalata — Solid white Albacore tuna mixed with lemon, capers, kalamata olives, pepperoncini and red onions, served on a bed of romaine and mixed greens with avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a side of our citrus lemonette dressing. Another healthier option, this was surprisingly good. I don’t often order tuna when I’m out to eat, but I would definitely order this again — just sans olives since I’m a fake Greek and don’t like them! I really liked how Fiorella’s doesn’t use any mayo to keep this salad low-fat, but it doesn’t compromise the taste. Made for a great lunch the next day!
4. Chicken Gnocchi Fra Diavlo — Chicken simmered in a spicy marinara sauce tossed with potato gnocchi and pecorino Romano cheese. I was a bit nervous trying this entrée since normally I can’t handle spicy food very well, but this wasn’t too spicy at all! It had just a nice kick to it but it wasn’t overwhelming. I normally don’t think to ever order gnocchi either, but I think for a night when I’m craving comfort Italian I would get this again.
5. Chicken Marsala — Chicken sautéed with mushrooms and onions in a Marsala wine reduction, tossed with penne pasta. This was decent, but not my favorite. I honestly think it was because I tried this entrée after having so many of the other really flavorful ones. Some people really just love chicken Marsala because it’s a traditional dish, but I find it’s sometimes too much pasta for me. If that’s your thing though — this is for you!
6. Shrimp Scampi — Succulent shrimp sautéed with fresh garlic in a unique lemon wine sauce, tossed with linguini and pecorino Romano cheese. I feel the same way about shrimp scampi as I do about chicken Marsala about how much pasta is involved, but let me tell you that these shrimp were GOOD. I think Fiorella’s should introduce a shrimp salad to their menu using this shrimp — that would be SO tasty!!
A huge thank you to the Fiorella’s family for making me so welcomed in their restaurant and letting me sample all their delicious entrees! I highly recommend this restaurant, both the main and Express locations, to anyone. In fact, if you haven’t tried this food yet, you should probably go get some. Now.
Fiorella’s Express has kindly offered to give away a $20 gift card to one lucky Fitness & Feta reader! THANK YOU!
To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which pictured food above you think you would like the best. You can receive a second entry into the giveaway by liking both the Fiorella’s Express Facebook page AND the Fitness & Feta Facebook page. You have to like both pages for this entry to count, and make sure to leave an extra comment telling me you did so.
The giveaway will close Thursday night (8/23) at 11:59pm, and I will announce the winner on Friday morning. Good luck!!