The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Fiore: For Pasta and A Giant Plate of Fried

fried calamari and zucchini
Nom nom.

"Whoaa, did you see that?" asked Kathy as her eyes trailed a waiter carrying a plate of fried stuff past our table. "What is that?"

"You mean the plate full of fried stuff?"


Those weren't her exact words—this dinner at Fiore did happen about a month ago—but it's close enough. She looked about ready to lunge at the waiter, her face paralyzed with that wide-eyed, gaping mouth sort of amazement and longing that only a plate piled high with fried calamari and zucchini sticks could bring. Or a giant funnel cake. Or something else that's fried and awesome.

Unfortunately, we hadn't ordered the subject of Kathy's amazement, the fried calamari and zucchini, but I had eaten it during subsequent visits with Ed and again with my mom. If Kathy had ordered it during out dinner, I'm pretty sure she would've loved it. The calamari were tender, lightly battered, and perfectly fried, and the zucchini tasted mostly, batter, considering they were of near matchstick-thickness—not that I have anything against that. Fried batter is pretty tasty on its own—add some salt and rosemary and you've got Fiore's version. The portion is frighteningly generous for only $7 (or $6; I can't remember), something I suggest sharing between at least four people.

Fiore interior

Having been to Fiore three times, I can give you a decent overview of its food. Or I can just tell you the main reasons I like it: the deliciousness to dollar ratio is very high, the portions are generous, and the atmosphere is comfortable and spacious. It's a nice place I can bring my mom to (and I have) without blowing lots of money. Most importantly though, it's only about a 10 minute walk from my apartment.

OKAY, FOOD PORN TIME with minimal commentary.

mm, octopus

I always considered myself a non-fan of octopus and the like (unless it's fried, FRIED), probably because I've mostly eaten crappily cooked octopus in my life. The braised baby octopus, was of the tender, non-disarmingly chewy sort. That's how I like my cephalopods. I also like referring to my food by its taxonomic class.


Oooh, fries! Long and skinny and crispy and salty and rosemary-ed. You probably shouldn't get both the fried calamari and fries in one meal (because then that would be your whole meal), but get one of them depending on what fried substance mood you're in.

spinach ricotta ravioli
Spinach ricotta ravioli

I like ravioli, but not nearly as much as Chinese dumplings or pierogies. The filling-to-dough ratio seems off; there always needs more filling. So while there's nothing wrong with the spinach ricotta ravioli ina brown butter sage sauce (SAGE, OH I LOVE SAGE), I just wish there were more filling. Or less dough. This applies to nearly all ravioli I eat.

cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage
Cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage

My favorite pasta dish so far is the cavatelli with broccoli rabe and sausage. Broccoli rabe just goes really well with sausage, along with the thick cavatelli rods that provide more chew than other pastas. And for some reason I like having a vegetable in a pasta dish that doesn't fall under the category of "herb" or "something that gets mashed up."


I ordered the homemade spaghetti with tomato sauce when I was too lazy to make a more interesting decision, but there's nothing wrong with eating something simple. (My favorite pizza is margherita!) This was nothing like the spaghetti and tomato sauce I ate growing up, which tasted like...well, not much. Fiore's tomato sauce was basil-ified, if I recall correctly. I might not be. Um. WHATEVER, I LIKED THIS SPAGHETTI, what else do you want from me?


I didn't try much of Kathy's bucatini with guanciale, tomato and onions sauce, but just look at it; that can't suck. I think. Next.

those are fishballs!
Ziti and fishballs

Diana had ordered a special ziti with tomato sauce and fishballs dish. In my Asian mind, fishballs are usually white or some shade lighter than dark brown; meatball-looking fishballs throws me off a bit. The fishballs were good though, light and not super fishy.

Skirt steak

The skirt steak is freakin' huge. I don't think one person could eat it all. ...Or I hope one person can't eat it all. Split it between two people to enjoy tender, juicy slices of beefaliciousness.


The spare ribs, like the steak, is a lot of meat for one. SHARE THE WEALTH OF THE MEATS. The meat was pull-of-the-bone-able. Always a good thing.

chocolate cake

Out of all the desserts I tried, the chocolate and almond cake was my favorite, although I wouldn't be dying to order it again. It had a slightly dry texture (which is just the way the cake is, methinks), but the whipped cream plop helped with that. Quite nutty, light, not too sweet, not too chocolatey.

lemon tart tiramisu
Lemon tart and tiramisu

The lemon tart was good, just nothing special. And, as I've probably mentioned before, the glorious combination of coffee and alcohol that most people love about tiramisu is a double whammy of pain for my taste buds. I can't really comment on that.

This entry doesn't actually cover everything I've eaten at Fiore, but I put in the stuff I felt was worth mentioning. Is that enough for you? Yes.


284 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Kathy / July 14, 2008 12:56 AM

waglabagala I'm so sad I missed the calamari, it was a shame we didn't order the it first time around! boogers -_- must go back in the coming weeks for MOAR!

Julie / July 14, 2008 3:17 AM

Ah yum--carb-tastic! If/When you come back to Phoenix, you should visit the Knock-Kneed Lobster--crazy name, crazy good zucchini! Though it would be bettered with the addition of squid rings!

SuperChomp / July 14, 2008 6:32 AM

Hmm, I've always found things like octopus, squid and jellyfish fine when eaten Chinese style. They've never been too rubbery. Whilst different restaurants across English/Italian/Spanish are a bit of a lottery depending on quality and the style they are cooked.
And yes, those fishballs are unnerving for those of Eastern persuasion o_0 Are they springy like Asian ones?

mindy / July 14, 2008 2:43 PM

OMG, I love fried zucchini--reminds me of fried squash blossoms, which I love even more. Thanks for reminding me: I need to check the farmer's market for those. Also that Cavatelli dish does look really interesting; I've hesitated to try cooking with broccoli rabe for fear that it will be terribly bitter, but maybe I should give it a go. Love your blog!

Carl / July 14, 2008 3:12 PM

OMG OCTOPWNAGE. Seriously. Love me some octopus/calamari/etc. - they had a show on PBS last night about all these rare and deadly octopi and I kept thinking "man, those would be great in a scampi."

Those meatballs look good too. I guess.

Christina / July 14, 2008 4:35 PM

That's a whole lotta food! The brown butter sage combination is my favorite combination.

You don't think of 'french fries' and 'elegant' in the same thought (except in France, maybe...), but the way they piled the fries on the plate is beautiful!

katie / July 14, 2008 10:31 PM

For some reason, Kathy's bucatini looks half-eaten.

Yum, steak looks sooo good.

roboppy / July 15, 2008 12:34 AM

Kathy: We'll get another chance! YEAH!!!

Julie: Knock-Kneed Lobster? I can't pass up a place with a name like that.

SuperChomp: I've had bad luck with octosquidfish in Chinese restaurants.. :( WAAI! Oh well.

The fishballs weren't springy at all.

Yvo: Brooklyn is awesome!

Mindy: Yeah, broccoli rabe is pretty bitter. I'm surprised I like it, but I think that's just when it's combined with meat and pasta.

Carl: It's all about the OCTOPWNAGE!!! Hehe.

Christina: Fiore is quite good at piling fried things on plates. And making...fried things.

Katie: Maybe I didn't get a picture of it right away.. :O

anon / July 15, 2008 2:58 AM

Love the posts, and how it always seems like you guys order the entire menu! and even in the meals where there are only three of ya! =) only wish i lived in New York so i could immediately chuck on my sneakers, kidnap the nearest person and go nom nom

Leigh / July 16, 2008 2:36 AM

one of my favourite meals in the whole world...dusted and fried seafood. Calamari, Octo, Mussels are good , too!!!

Morten / July 16, 2008 5:45 AM

This place looks vastly better than most Italian places here. Granted, that doesn't really say much, but lots of what you've shown here seems very good. Is it portable? The restaurant, that is.

By the way, I love Tiramisu, but I'd go for the lemon tart. It's a tart! :p

Ooh, just thought of a thing, while on an Italian note, have you tried vanilla ice cream with salt and olive oil (a fragrant, fruity one)? I recently did, after reading about it, and while it's different it was good. It also consists of ingredients that most foodie people have in their homes (vanilla ice cream, good extra virgin olive oil and some flaky gourmet salt)so it's rather easily accessible :)

iamnotachef / July 16, 2008 4:24 PM

Please explain what "too chocolatey" means. I count on you for unbounded gluttony, not subtlety. Next you are going to say something like, "the pork was too fatty," or, "the gelato was too pistachioey."

Seriously, the photos are great, and your commentary is perfect. I have already made plans to go to Fiore.

roboppy / July 16, 2008 7:07 PM

Anon: Oh, this post is three meals combined..! :D Although the meal I ate with Ed (and two friends) was excessive...ooh boy.


Morten: I figure this place is way cheaper than what you have over there as well. ;_; Then again, you guys make more money...haha...sigh.

Vanilla ice cream with salt and olive oil? No, but I've had olive oil gelato with salt and..olive oil. HEHE. IT IS THE BEST. Intense, but awesome. But I can't do that at home. Maybe I'll try the vanilla ice cream with salt and olive oil combo!

Danny: ...Okay, NOW they look like worms! WAH!

iamnotachef: Hm...interesting question. I guess it was light on chocolate flavor, if that's another way to put it, but not in a bad way. It wasn't intense. I could eat the whole thing and not feel like I was in a chocolate coma. YAAY?! I'm kind of adverse to eating too much chocolate so my preference for chocolate desserts that are light on chocolate may not be shared by all. Sorry if that doesn't explain it well.

Nothing is ever too pistachio-y (the problem is that few pistachio-flavored things seem to have enough..flavor)! If something was, I'd probably like it, haha. As for pork that's too fatty, I think it's possible to use that as a description, although I haven't had a problem with pork in that way. It depends if its good or bad fat. Weird chewy fat is not good. Mm...yeah. But I do have friends who don't like stuff that's too fatty, like a piece of pork belly that might make me cry with happiness may be spat out by another. Waah.

On that note, I don't think you'll ever get a very good food review from me considering the state of my mind when I write em (usually really tired). You won't wanna read my next one...

Steph / July 16, 2008 7:20 PM

ADSJKFhjfjdvsjgferl!!! These pics do not only have me salivating, but they also leave me tongue-tied. But I must ask -- was your spaghetti oversauced? The pasta kind of looks like it's drowning.

Oh, and PS: You should try my chocolate cake. :)
- S

foodhoe / July 21, 2008 10:36 AM

The title sucked me in and those photos are killing me... I wish I could get a plate of fried foods and pasta for breakfast!

roboppy / July 25, 2008 1:43 AM

foodhoe: If this were my breakfast, I'd feel like a beached whale for the rest of the day! ;_;

Shan: Thanks for reading! MORE FOOD POWER, yes.

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