When a meal starts with a complementary basket of warm cheesy, fresh baked bread sticks, served with a side of delicious homemade marinara for dipping, it's a good sign that you're about to experience a great meal. And that's exactly what you'll get at Fiorella's.
The original Fiorella's opened in Newtonville back in the year 2000, and earned a reputation for serving outstanding red sauce Italian at pocket friendly prices. So when this second spot opened in Concord center a few months ago, customers quickly packed the place.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "Our tagline is inspiration from Italy hospitality from the heart. And that's not just a tag line, that's something that we do every single day. We try to source the freshest ingredients and put it out for a great value."
Remon Karian starting working in restaurants when he was just thirteen. And through the years, he's done just about everything; from chef, to bartender, to owner. And with all that experience, he knew the exact atmosphere he wanted to create here in Concord.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "So when you walk in I want it to feel warm and welcoming. It should be inviting, and what we do is we try to provide a beautiful atmosphere for people to feel comfortable."
The restaurant is housed inside an old firehouse, with brick walls, distressed wood and copper pots decorating the cozy hundred seat dining room. And many of the tables offer a view of the bustling open kitchen.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "You see all the action, you see how hard these guys are working, you smell all the aromas, it makes you part of the entire show."
And that show always starts with those beautiful bread sticks.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "When you sit down, you're going to get a basket of our famous breadsticks, along with our signature marinara sauce. The breadsticks we make out of our pizza dough. And the breadsticks have fresh garlic, we use a pecorino romano, and parmesan cheese blend on top of the dough, as well as a little bit of mozzarella cheese. We cut those into strips, so it's a light, crispy, airy dough that you dip into the sauce."
And that sauce is absolutely addictive.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "Fiorella's had the best marinara sauce that you're gonna find. We use fresh garlic, we use a bunch of seasoning, we use really fresh quality tomatoes. And it has a really crisp bright flavor because it's not over cooked."
So when customers get a taste of that fresh sauce, with those warm bread sticks, they tend to go a bit overboard.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "If we didn't have the bread sticks we'd have a riot. People know us for our bread sticks, so people come expecting the bread sticks. You know, some places aren't even giving you bread and butter, and we're actually giving you bread sticks with marinara sauce. So it's almost meal unto itself, and you know there's been times we might have to cut some people off because they have a little too much and we want to make sure they're saving some room for dessert as well."
As for the rest of the food at Fiorella's, it isn't free, but it's pretty close. Most entrees are priced in the teens, while the appetizers are less than ten bucks, like the softball sized Arancini smothered in sauce, the Stuffed Peppers Parmigiana filled with hot Italian sausage, pepperoni, and risotto, and an order of truly magnificent meatballs.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "When you bite in to a meatball, you're gonna get that nice fresh garlic taste, you're gonna get the marinara, you're gonna get the beef, you get all that just kind of bursts in your mouth."
Entrees coming out of the kitchen are a parade of Italian comfort food at its finest, like the Fusilli Bolognese.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "When you have that Bolognese, it's gonna warm your heart. Because that thing is so full of love and flavors that it's just gonna make you so happy."
The Chicken Parmigiana is a top seller.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "You know, what's better than taking chicken and breading and frying that and adding sauce and cheese to it? I mean there's nothing better than that, right?"
For something extra hearty, order the Short Ribs Milanese.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "That dish is decadent. I mean that is a really nice comforting dish."
There are traditional Neapolitan pizzas, as well as inventive flatbreads.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "Flatbreads are so fun. I think that there's nothing better than sharing flatbreads."
If you're looking for a little spice, check out the Chicken Gnocchi Fra Diavolo.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "A perfect bite has to have a little chicken, the gnocchi, with that marinara sauce, and it's perfect."
And for an unexpected combination of sweet and heat, try the Pan Seared Scallops flambéed with lemoncello liqueur and red pepper flake.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "You get that sweet and spiciness that makes that dish so unique. So you get really the best of both worlds with that.
When it comes to dessert at this authentic Italian restaurant, let's just say the authenticity takes a back seat to Americana. Because one of the tastiest ways to end the meal is with Fiorella’s Apple Crisp.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "Apple Crisp might not be the first thing you think of when you come to an Italian restaurant, but it's so good you don't care, it doesn't matter. Our Apple Crisp is amazing. So we use fresh Granny Smith apples, we do a nice crumbled topping on there, and it just tastes so delicious with some caramel, and we use gelato instead of ice cream, so it makes it a little more Italian, right?
For something even less Italian, but even more delicious nothing beats a big slice of Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "The best thing that's on this menu is the peanut butter pie. It's unbelievable. We use Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and we blend that with vanilla ice cream, and we put that on an Oreo cookie crumb crust. That peanut butter pie, when it comes out, it's so decadent and delicious. People go bonkers."
And as long as customers leave satisfied, Remon is satisfied too.
Remon Karian – Owner, Fiorella's: "Ultimately we're just here to make people happy. I want you to be happy when you come here. I want you to be happy and fulfilled and satisfied and feel that you just spent time and fell in love with food all over again. So when you leave here, you just can't wait to come back."