Many in East Falls have been delighted to hear that Franco Faggi has returned to the community, opening Fiorino in early July on Indian Queen lane.
This charming space has been a challenging location for restaurants and cafes alike in the years since it operated as Zake’s Cakes.
Franco has answered the challenge by opening up the space — removing the counter to increase floor space and installing cushioned booths along several sides.
The rich colors of the walls and table linens, complemented by paintings of iconic Italian settings, create an intimate and welcoming atmosphere.
Early online reviews with comments such as “completely fabulous” and “neighborhood gem” indicate Franco is right on target when he says that running a small restaurant is allowing him to do exactly what he wants with the food and to make the experience more personalized.
Franco offers a menu with specialty items that change with the seasons. He delights in showcasing dishes from the lesser-known Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, not far from Tuscany.
Franco grew up in Bologna, so look for a very traditional Bolognese sauce. Expect as well, appetizer favorites such as Carpaccio, Calamari, Seasonal Antipasto and Mussels. The menu includes traditional Italian salads and soups, as well as pasta dishes such as Tagliatelle Bolognese, Gnocchi Gorgonzola, and Risotto with Shrimp and Scallops. Meat entrees range from Chicken breast stuffed with Mozzarella and Spinach in a Mushroom sauce to Veal Scaloppini, along with non-meat dishes such as Ricotta Ravioli and Broccoli Rabe or Florentine bean sides.
Fiorino is a BYO, open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays with lunch hours from 12 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Bring a bottle of your favorite vino and welcome Franco back to East Falls.