Fiorella, the Italian restaurant with locations on Clement and Polk, will start slinging its top-notch Neopolitan-style pizzas in the Inner Sunset on Monday, August 30. The restaurant’s third location is its most ambitious: it’s the first to feature a full bar and is housed in a bi-level space with a wood fireplace and a rooftop deck. The building was formerly occupied by Park Chow restaurant and holds a special place in the heart of Fiorella co-founder Boris Nemchenok — it’s the site of the first American restaurant his parents dined at when they emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1983.
The new restaurant will serve as a sort of nucleus for the Fiorella restaurant group. There’s a glass-encased dough room where all the fresh pasta will be made for Fiorella’s three locations, plus a gelato room that will similarly serve as headquarters for frozen dessert operations. Fiorella menu staples will be on hand, including the signature Burrata Pie topped with a baseball-sized knot of cheese, and the herbed chicken wings with Fiorella ranch. But as Fiorella keeps to a formula of offering 70 percent menu standards and 30 percent exclusive dishes at each location, there will be plenty of new items for diners to try.
Heading up the kitchen is chef de cuisine Scott Schneider who arrived in San Francisco last year after cooking for almost a decade at Michelin-starred Ai Fiori in New York City. Taking a cue from New England, the menu offers a clam pie covered in chopped clams, chiles, pecorino, and lemon, as well as housemade farfalle with octopus ragu and breadcrumbs. King salmon crudo gets dressed up with marinated cucumbers, radish, and dill, while the Roman classic cacio e pepe takes a California spin as a salad of little gem lettuces.
There’s a tight cocktail list courtesy of veteran bar director Candice Meierdirk (Evil Eye, Lolinda, Alchemist, Macondray). Eight options include the gin-based La Tomatina, featuring tomato, lime, and prosecco, and the summery Pompelmo Spritz, made with grapefruit vermouth, brandy, and, of course, bubbles. On the wine list, you’ll find Fiorella’s new proprietary house wine label — choose from chardonnay or merlot — alongside selections of amari, vermouth, beer, and cider. Check out the full menus, below.
In the dining room, fans may recognize Fiorella’s “Bay Area Toile” wallpaper featuring local celebs from Alice Waters to E-40. The warm space is edged by wooden rafters and accented with clean white tile and a cozy fireplace in the corner. But it’s likely diners will be drawn to the restaurant’s inset rooftop deck, where tables sit under strings of lights and hanging planters. A black-and-white striped retractable awning insulates guests from the neighborhood’s notorious fog, with the help of heaters.
Fiorella restaurant group founders and co-owners Brandon Gillis and Boris Nemchenok opened the original Outer Richmond restaurant in 2016, followed by cocktail bar Violet’s Tavern in 2018, and a second Fiorella restaurant in Russian Hill in 2019.
Fiorella Sunset opens Monday, August 30 for dinner, with plans to add weekend brunch and weekday lunch.
Update: August 27, 2021, 1:38 p.m.: This story has been updated to include the correct last name for Fiorella’s bar director.