SOUTH ST.—Fiore’s Bakery is sprouting a new look, and owner Charlie Fiore promises it will be worth the construction dust. The menu is getting spruced up, the dining area is being redecorated, and the kitchen, heart of this five-year-old landmark, is being totally overhauled.
“It had been about five years too long,” the Jamaica Plain resident said. “It was time.”
A big push behind the changes are new chefs, Philip Kruta and Corey Isgur, both 20, but with years of experience already behind them. Fiore, Isgur and Kruta spoke to the Gazette recently at Fiore’s at 55 South St. next to Harvest Co-op.
“They’re very young and very snobby when it comes to food—in a good way,” Fiore said.
“Really, it’s about having higher standards,” Isgur added. “[Kruta and I] both just want to see something we’re really proud of.”
The two chefs are pushing for a more “intellectual palette,” Isgur said, “something with more flavor and texture,” but still simple and honest.
The updated menu will feature new sandwiches and salads, fresh breads and more vegan and gluten-free options, along with the well-loved baked goods and new Belgian waffles and French-style omelets. Almost everything will be made in-house “from the mayonnaise up,” Isgur said.
“We want to take people’s awareness to a new level,” he added, “so you can taste the essence, the opulence” of the higher-end ingredients.
Fiore said that after five years and a lot of foot traffic, “We want to incorporate new ideas, like a cupcake bar, and we want to improve and expand the kitchen” to accommodate the new menu.
The cupcake bar will feature fillings, toppings, compotes, fruits and decorations for any cupcake available. “You could order a plate of toppings with a cupcake garnish,” Kruta said.
The dining room, meanwhile, will have new hardwood floors and cozier tables and chairs; counters will be moved; lighting will be dimmed—all to improve the eat-in experience.
“The pizza parlor chairs and tables are leaving. We’re thinking about auctioning them,” Kruta said.
Kruta and Isgur, along with Fiore, said they will also be focusing on higher standards for the staff—more streamlined, efficient and consistent order-taking and -fulfilling.
Isgur and Kruta put in many 14-hour days and a few much longer ones while developing the new menu.
“I left them alone for 24 hours once, and when I came back, they had re-organized the whole bar,” Fiore said.
There will eventually be a second-phase renovation that will give Fiore’s a new storefront. “We still have further experiments and more grand ideas for the future,” Fiore said.
The Fiore’s Relaunch Party will be March 13, noon to 5 p.m., with free samples for their “supportive and understanding” neighbors, Fiore said.