On one of the many mild winter days that we’ve had, I enjoyed a fabulous press dinner at Fiorini. Owner, Lello Arpaia, designed the restaurant.
It is a beautiful space with colorful seats, it boasts a full bar and the columns are covered in fabric to keep the noise level down. I felt quite at home in the space, as did many of the other patrons dining at the same time. The restaurant was moderately full on that particular Tuesday. Each dish at the restaurant is prepared at the moment and there are 5 - 10 specials available every night. After settling comfortably into my seat, I leaned back and waited for the food to arrive. The Antipasti selection began with the Polpo al Ferri.
Those plump Mediterranean octopus were perfectly grilled and served with tomato, caper berries, olives, arugula and red onions. The portion was extremely generous. The grilled octopus was succulent and well seasoned. I was definitely more impressed with the Burrata.
A plate of creamy imported mozzarella, roasted peppers and asparagus. I nearly slid off my seat when I started eating this dish. The roasted peppers were my favorite part. They were well seasoned, possibly soaked in balsamic vinegar. I LOVED IT! Once we moved on to the pasta, I was very excited. When the perfect plate of fettuccini landed in front of me, my eyes reacted and my stomach knew what was coming.
The pasta literally melted in my mouth. Admittedly, the sauce was not spectacular but the past was so tasty that it just didn’t matter. By far my favorite dish of the evening was the Risotto Al Frutti di Mare.
The risotto was perfectly cooked in seafood broth with crabmeat, diver scallops, shrimp and calamari. There were huge pieces of crabmeat and the scallops were to die for! I was especially impressed with this dish because of the level of skill required to pull it off well. Considering all the different types of seafood have varying cook times, it is easy to screw it up. This dish was perfectly executed and I highly recommend ordering it. The seafood was generally fantastic. The Pan Seared Scallops were another favorite.
The crust was crisp, but the inside was tender. The sauce was a simple white wine sauce with lemon, caper berries and fresh parsley. Another well-done dish that left my tummy satisfied. When I first reviewed the tasting menu, I was really looking forward to the Petto D’Anatra. When it arrived, I was quite pleased.
The pan seared duck breast was served with poached pears in a dry vermouth sauce. OH. EMM. GEE. The flavors really shined through on this dish. Duck is a fantastic meat and Fiorini definitely knew exactly what to do with it. As though the meal wasn’t fabulous enough, the dessert really was over the top. We started with the Zuccotto.
A slice of three chocolate and passion fruit mousse cake. It was remarkable. The chocolate was rich but the passion fruit helped to balance so that it was not overwhelming.
I loved it. Our grand finale was the Baba.
An authentic Neapolitan dessert, it consists of a sponge cake that is light and airy and filled with mascarpone cheese custard. The cake is also served with a bit of rum that the diner can add. Apparently some people complain about how much or how little is included in the dessert. My experience as Fiorini was incredibly enjoyable. Lello joined just for part of our meal and as he spoke about his restaurant experience and his family, it was clear how much he loves the business. He is planning on running a special Neapolitan menu in the near future. I will definitely return to try the dishes offered from that menu!