Fiorella: Simple, Southern Italian and 8 Reasons to Go

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Fiorella may be new to Rochester, but the owners are not new to great food. Now you may have noticed we called it "simple" Southern Italian, but don't get us wrong, when we say simple, we don't mean basic or boring. We mean delicious food made from fresh, good, simple, local ingredients.

Here are 8 reasons you should dine at Fiorella:

1. It's like Dining with Family

Take a seat at Fiorella for dinner and you might notice the dishes and napkins on the table - they are not your typical restaurant ware. But that's what we love, you feel like you're dining with family, at a home where the special dishes are pulled out for company.

Fun note: all of the dishes and napkins here were collected when owners Gino and Alison were planning their wedding. These are the same dishes their friends and families dined on during their special day, and they want to share that love with the community.

2. It's Good Home Cookin' Italian

It's all homemade. The bread, the gelato, the pizza dough (we'll get into this more), the pasta and more - are all homemade.

3. The Ingredients are Local

Our server was quite passionate about the food and the owners. She shared that Chef Gino cooks with as many local ingredients as absolutely possible. The produce is local, the meat is local, most of the wines are local, there's local beer, cheese and other things we've probably forgotten to mention too. The sorbet pictured above? Homemade from concord grapes that grew in Naples.

4. The Art is Local

When you first enter it's pretty hard to miss the original St. Monci mural on the wall.

The other framed pieces you'll notice around the restaurant were curated by the market's own Chase The Art. We didn't take a picture, so you'll just have to go in, order lunch or dinner, and see it for yourself.

5. The Furniture is Local

Take a seat. Admire the tables, the chairs and the bar. Recognize the sleek and simple design? Yes, you guessed it - it was all made by our city's own Staach.

6. The Pizza Dough

So, Fiorella makes this thing called naturally leavened pizza dough. It is made from only three ingredients: organic flour, water, and sea salt.

That's it, it's simple and wonderful.

7. They Love What They Do

Owners Alison and Chef Gino Ruggiero, LOVE what they do. This is evident in the food, the decor, the ingredients, the service and every aspect of their farm-to-table Italian restaurant.

8. They Just Started Dinner Service

No picture needed for this one - they're open more! If you haven't been able to make it down to Fiorella over the last few weeks while they were only open for lunch, don't fret. They are now open Wednesday-Saturday for lunch AND dinner. Head to their website for hours.

Find Fiorella:

Pizza, pasta, bread, and changing seasonal menu items - we cannot wait to dine again at Fiorella. Follow along with the Rochesteriat on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Looking for a dog in the city?



Dave's Sidewalk Cafe As we say goodbye to the month of July, another July 4th Holiday quickly passes and we also say goodbye to National Hot Dog day (July 23rd) and National Hot Dog Month. But that doesn't mean you have to bid farewell to finding a good dog in the city, because as it turns out, there are plenty of good street meat carts out in full effect for a good portion of the year.

We already mentioned one of the city's most popular carts, Dave's Sidewalk Cafe (pictured above at the Dachshund Parade), in an earlier post we did in the spring (where the meat meets the street). Here are 6 other street meat carts around this dog-lovin' city that will keep you in the mood for some good ol' fashioned summertime eats.

1. Donna Daddy's  Donna Daddys

Owner Donna Wert has been at this for some 14 years, and you can say she knows a thing or two about making a good dog and burger. With her own homemade Greek hot sauce to smother any meal and prices that range from $3-$6, it's no wonder that local software development firm OS-Cubed has a 24/7 webcam watching to check for her availability. Those are some hungry developers that keep her in business! Where to find: Intersection of College Ave and Goodman Street across from Village Gate - map Specialties: Greek hot sauce + Gourmet burgers including the "Donna Bella Burger" Media: City Newspaper


2. The "Original Hots Man" StandHots Man

The "Original Hots Man" (above) and Haddad's Catering (pictured below) both license their shops to sit in front of the Monroe County Court Building, just down from the current Democrat & Chronicle offices and across the street from the Blue Cross Arena, a few feet apart from each other. Each one tries to capitalize on the bountiful amount of foot traffic during the lunchtime, and I am sure tries to prove that although you may have lost everything in court, America is still a great country because we have hot dogs. Where to find: near the intersection of Exchange Blvd & Court Street - map Specialties: not leaving people with a bad taste in their mouth after court You might want to know: If you have an hour wait at Dinosaur BBQ, you can grab a quick bite down the street at not one, but two choices of street meet vendors to whet your appetite.

3. Haddad's Catering Cart Haddads catering


4. Sofia's Specialty Sofias

Sofia's Specialty Cart is located at the busy corner of Main Street and Exchange Blvd (State Street) where he hopes to capture a good portion of the downtown office lunch crowd. Along with the basic hot dog and bun, the menu at this cart includes Italian sandwiches of prosciutto and sofaletta's which are variations of meats, cheeses, and olive paste on a roll. Where to find: intersection of Main Street & Exchange Blvd - map Specialties: Prosciutto and sofaletta's You might want to go: before 11:30a or after 1:30pm as the line can be long for lunch


5. Monster Hots Monster Hots

You may have seen Steve Plum and his Monster Hots cart on the corner of East & Chestnut in front of the New York State Supreme Court Building, kitty corner to RG&E. But did you know he has a huge following, always has a smile on his face, takes pride in the cleanliness of his cart, serves everything from grilled cheese to cajun chicken sandwiches, accepts credit and debit cards, and even makes his own spices?! Keep tabs on Steve's daily specials from his Facebook page, and know that you'll know that you've been served by one of our city's best! Where to find: corner of East Ave and Chestnut Street - map Specialties: Friendly service, Monster Meal deals, Spicy Steve's Volcanic Ash exotic pepper Kudos: Yelp Review


6. James' Hots James Hots

Where can you buy anything for $1 these days? Not many places at all unless you're at a 7Eleven or a Dollar Tree store. That's what James' hook on the street is - Dollar Dogs. With a menu that is simple, inexpensive, and straightforward, not much stands in your way from having those Rochester favorite Zweigles hots and some French's mustard…doesn't get any more ROC-local than that! Where to find: near the intersection of Church Street and State Street - map - across from the recently opened Dunkin' Donuts Specialties: Dollar Dogs, simple menu You might want to go: after you paid that tax bill at city hall just down the street, it's about the only thing you can still afford


Fina's Cafe: homemade in High Falls



Outside of the High Falls work week crowd, you may not know about Fina's Cafe, but you definitely should. This gem has been a staple in High Falls for the last three years and has no plans to be anywhere else. Owner Fina and her husband, Maurizio, are city dwellers with a heart to see the city grow.

Fina's Cafe

Just a few steps away from the Pont de Rennes Bridge, Fina's is a perfect spot to grab a coffee and food and enjoy all the beautiful sights of the neighborhood.

Fina's Cafe Menu

Formally home to Spinn Café, Fina's is a welcomed retreat to many during the week, offering coffees, smoothies, breakfast options, lunch items, baked goods and more. Many menu items stem from family recipes and often change with the season. They purchase a lot of ingredients from the Public Market, so it's always fresh!

Fina's Cafe

And this nice selection of desserts and pastries? Also made in house!


There's plenty of cozy seating downstairs...

Seating Downstairs

... and even upstairs! It's a great place to sit with friends, coworkers, or even just by yourself to get some work done.

Finas Upstairs

But don't take our word for it... before going in to get to know Fina ourselves we actually had an intern from Partner's & Napier reach out to us. She had nothing but great things to say about this cafe, "Fina and her husband, Maurizio, have become known as much for their compassion for the Rochester community as they are for their delicious food –from supporting local growers to serving food at local events like the Hochstein at High Falls Concert Series. Fina’s embodies the spirit of Rochester pride..." Thanks Caroline, we couldn't have said it better ourselves. 

We've also heard that Fina's is going to start opening Friday & Saturday nights for coffee & dessert! So come down and enjoy all Fina's (and High Falls) has to offer.

Fina's Café Details: Website: Facebook Page Phone: (585) 355-4552

Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm

Related PostFlourGarden: building a great future Related PostSmokestack Cowork: a creative hub Related Post6 outdoor spots you may want to try out for lunch break

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6 outdoor spots you may want to try out for lunch break

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

You might be among the 50,000+ working commuters coming in and out of our city on a daily basis or one of the 5,000+ downtown residents looking to enjoy the urban landscape while the weather allows for it. Instead of being cooped up in your downtown high-rise, home, loft, apartment, or condo, here are 6 outdoor spots that you may want to try out on your next lunch, walk, or break.

St. Mary's Park

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Almost hidden from sight on the corner of St. Mary's Place and Court Street due to the fence, trees and large bushes, this is a beautiful sanctuary for the parishioners of St. Mary's as well as the public at large. There are benches to sit on, lilacs in full bloom as we speak, a working fountain, and a gravel trail that leads you around this meticulously-manicured lawn. You may have seen bits and pieces of this place from the sidewalk if you have been to Dave's Sidewalk Cafe or attended the Dachshund Parade recently near the Washington Square Park. Map

Central Library - Dorris Carlson Reading Garden

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

If you know where Starry Nites is in the Central Library or the Kate Gleason Auditorium, then you would only be steps away from the Reading Garden. Open to the public during library hours, take your favorite drink or lunch out to this lush patio area with beautiful trees, flowers, and wooden patio furniture. Chairs and benches allow for the individual to get away for a moment or two under the large skyscrapers of the city, while tables and seating under the wooden canopy make a perfect place for those occasional outdoor meetings. Map

Cornerstone Park

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

This small, almost forgotten park downtown, is located at the corner of Stone Street and East Broad Street just across the street from the Central Library. Inside you'll find plenty of picnic tables and park benches to sit and enjoy lunch from a nearby food truck or coffee from Starry Nites, located inside the library. Map

Aqueduct Park

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

Many of you know and have been to this park area. Named for its views and proximity to the iconic and historic Aqueduct in our city, this is a great place to relax within the hustle and bustle of the city. If you're lucky, you might even catch a performance from a local musician as organized by the City. It helps that lunch favorites such as Subway, Hot Rosita's, and Galleria Pizza are steps away from the park.

Eastman Place

the Rochesteriat

the Rochesteriat

This romantic spot is known to the many patrons of Java's Cafe, Max at Eastman Place, and the Eastman School community around Gibbs Street. The small park area is popular at almost any time of day or night, and a great place to relax with your coffee, read a book, or even just people watch. Map

Pont de Rennes Bridge

If the sound of rushing water is more your thing, then you might want to check out the view of the Falls from the Pont de Rennes Bridge. Beware, this is not for the faint of heart, the bridge rises higher than the 96ft High Falls it overlooks - but it's a great spot to take in all that Rochester has to offer in terms of the urban historical architecture, the vast rock formations along the river, and of course, the city skyline. It helps that this bridge connects the popular and growing High Falls District with the historic Genesee Brew House where you can grab a lunch (or dinner) and sip some of Rochester's finest hops including Genny Light, Genesee Bock and Genesee Cream Ale. Some of us just might need a beer or two - just to make it across the bridge. Map

Founders Cafe: sneak peek inside



front-entrance-academy-buildingIt wasn't too long ago that we had written our first post about the progress coming along at George Traikos' beautiful and historic Academy Building in Center City. Now, the apartments have been built, residents have been filling up the loft spaces, and our city keeps getting more vibrant, day by day. But admittedly, we were mistaken about one major detail in our previous post - there will not be a Yogen Fruz store that occupies a good amount of first floor space in the building. Instead, welcome to Founders Cafe!

Founder's Cafe Entrance Come inside for a sneak peek into this newly opened cafe that pays tribute to the man who's namesake has given us an identity for the past 200 years or so -

Founder's wall - and to the ones who have made their mark throughout our city's history.

Founder's Nathaniel Rochester You can't miss the digital reproduction of Nathaniel Rochester overlooking the main seating area, and, if you compare closely to the original picture (Google it!), you'll notice that the owners have given Mr. Rochester a much needed face-lift so he looks a tad bit younger and not-so-grumpy in this space.

seating-founders Founders offers plenty of seating and table space to sit with a lunch, a good latte, or even with all of that work you've been meaning to tackle.

Founder's seating There is also bar-style seating to keep more private -

Founder's Lights - and a room full of decor that adds to the sense of pride and patriotism for Rochester - fireworks anyone?

lunch-at-founders But what it really comes down to is - is it any good? With light-fare offerings that includes sandwiches, paninis, soup, salads, and wraps -

espresso-machine-founders - don't forget the coffees, lattes, espressos, and even smoothies...

…this just might be the next place you try for your lunch hour or break so YOU can make that call.

BONUS: Take advantage of the warm weather by enjoying the city at the Founders' urban patio at the front entrance of the Academy Building. During lunchtime on a beautiful day, there are so many professional and corporate types hustling about that you forget you're in little ol' Rochester…and the people-watchin' comes at no charge. oudoor-patio-foundersseating-outdoor-founders

More Information: Facebook Founders-lunch-menu FREE wi-fi Catering & delivery also available

Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am - 7pm Sat: 9am - 4pm

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