FOR FOOD LOVERS AND FAMILIES ALIKE
Among the din and clamor of the bustling Rochester Public Market…
a row of tried and true restaurants — old and new — serve as the round-the-clock foundation that makes this local spot a destination all seven days of the week.
Here, you’ll find Fiorella, a charming contemporary Italian restaurant that brings fresh local produce, authentic Italian cuisine, and a splash of Greenwich Village flair to the Rochester Public Market strip. The restaurant’s focus is their pizza, made from naturally leavened pizza dough and made in minutes in their wood fired oven.
Naturally leavened pizza is a deceptively simple artform. Salt. Flour. Time. With careful choice of honest, fresh ingredients, like smoked mozzarella, local oyster mushrooms, arugula and a splash of truffle oil, this modest dough transforms into an authentically Italian pie and eating experience. Thick and flavorful chewy crust with a soft center, perfect for pizza eaters like myself who employ the folding method. It’s the kind of pie you can keep to yourself and finish in a matter of minutes.
While flavor can certainly be as complex as mixing colors on a palette, Italian vegetables, cooked just enough to maintain their color and lively snap. Finished with a light cream sauce and a generous sprinkle of herbs, this is a spring dish that not only stirs a sense of excitement for the season to come, but had me inspired enough to recreate in the comforts of my own kitchen only days later.
“We try to use whatever is fresh and in season,” Alison Ruggiero, co-owner of Fiorella says.
For this reason, it’s rare to find the same dish on their menu from season to season.
Fiorella only opened its doors in August of 2015. But Gino and Alison are no strangers to Rochester’s restaurant scene. Before becoming the culinary brain behind Fiorella, Gino attended culinary school and worked in restaurants for over two decades. Gino and Alison met while working at the same restaurant. Come 2015, they were given the opportunity to open their own restaurant and they couldn’t help but give the venture a go.
“We were at a crossroads,” says Alison. “You only have the opportunity to open a place like this once in a lifetime.”
“And it was a lifelong dream of mine,” Gino adds. “So we went for it.”
Garnering inspiration from their Italian culinary heritage, their travels to Italy, and the local agricultural scene, Fiorella opened its doors in August, bearing the namesake of their daughter. Fiorella takes care to source a majority of their ingredients locally, collaborating with local purveyors like Headwater Food Hub and Smugtown Mushrooms.
In addition to their rotating seasonal offerings, Fiorella is open for market and offers a range of decadent, authentic Italian desserts. From the olive oil chocolate cake, with its rich and distinct flavor to the playful Neapolitan ice cream, constructed from house-made gelato, there’s a sweet treat for every age and palate.
“We want this to be a place for everyone. For food lovers and families alike.”