Fiori's Pizzaria pours profits into the food
On a dreary Monday afternoon, the lunch crowd packs Fiori's Pizzaria in Brookline. There are parents with small children, a couple of seniors, some laborers in need of nourishment. A trio of women clad in business attire sits at a table; seconds later, a pizza is delivered to their table
"Sometimes, we'll deliver the pizza to people in their car (waiting) outside," says owner Fiorentino Moscatiello, who opened the shop at the corner of West Liberty Avenue and Capital Avenue in Brookline in 1979.
Service is paramount, as indicated by the store's slogan "We Fix You Up." The counter staff during a recent visit was attentive, cheerful and polite.
But it's the pizza that keeps customers coming back again and again. Moscatiello, who emigrated to the United States from Naples, Italy, in 1972, says his secret is simple. He makes pizza the same way he did 32 years ago: Only the best ingredients are used.
"A lot of people, they don't want to spend the money," Moscatiello says. "They use the cheap stuff and put the money in their pocket. You gotta buy the best ingredients."
For the pizza sauce, that means using the same imported tomatoes from Italy that Moscatiello used in 1979, even if it costs him $28 per case. He also uses the same type of Provolone cheese, with "just a little bit of fresh mozzarella."
This insistence on the best ingredients yields one of the best pizzas in the region, with a large 12-cut pie costing $12.95. Standard toppings are $1.85 for large pizzas, and gourmet toppings (shrimp, meatballs, steak, hot-sausage links) are $4.05. Thick crust pies are an extra $2.
Small pizzas (8 cuts) are $9.80, with toppings $1.45 and $2.80. Slices are $2.10, with toppings 40 cents and $1.15.
Not in the mood for pizza• Fiori's offers an array of enticing alternatives. Notable are the calzones ($10.80 to $16.75), bursting with ricotta cheese, capicola, pepperoni, mushrooms, onion and Provolone cheese. There are a variety of pasta dishes, including rigatoni ($4.95 to $6.95) and ravioli ($6.55), with homemade meatballs added at $1.25 a piece.
In the mood for a sandwich• The usual offerings are featured, including Italian ($4.70 for a half, $7.50 whole), chicken parm ($5.75/$9) and meatball ($5.25/$8.50). Fiori's offers its sauce to go, in three varieties (pizza, steak and buffalo), ranging from .70 cents for 2.5 ounces, to $5.95 for a quart.
While some things about Fiori's stay the same, Moscatiello acknowledges he's had to make adjustments for modern technology.
"We have a Facebook page with almost 10,000 friends," he says proudly.Additional Information:
Location: Corner of West Liberty Avenue and Capital Avenue, Brookline
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays