MacGregor Village Shopping Center
Cary, NC 27511
Review Date: (prior to 1997)
Reviewers: Dilip Barman, John Meckley, Dave Crescenzo, Meg Gallagher, Marian Turk, Nancy McCall, and Linda Meck
Excellent antipasti and salads, exotic pizzas and spicy pastas, good bread, good bear, good wine and a boisterous atmosphere -- Fiore's is a genuine trattoria. Happily, the local wiseguys all looked like they had just played eighteen at the club and were on their way home. Given Fiore's affluent setting (the MacGregor Village Shopping Center in Cary), they probably had.
Fiore's presents an ample menu for vegetarians, but it does feature seafood, poultry, and "meats from the grill" as its entree specials. (We had an unprovocative experience but getting stuck between some big tables of folks feeding on carcasses is a definite danger.)
Three appetizers ("Small Plates and Starters") are offered to vegetarians: Garlic Crustine with bean, garlic and herb spreads ($4.95), Puff Pastry with wild mushrooms, spinach and leek, tamari, and rosemary (6.25), and Roasted Red Bells with vinegar, oil, herbs, greens, and feta cheese (5.50). Salads include House Salad (raddichio and romaine, tomato and herb, onion and gorgonzola cubes, 3.95), Country Salad (red onion, black olives, feta, roma tomatoes, and beans, 5.95), and Pickled Mushrooms with balsamic vinegar, red wine and olive oil, raddichio and scallions (5.95). We raved over the antipasti. "Pickled mushrooms with big chunks of cheese was great!" "Delicious, with generous use of fresh herbs." "Very tasty, unlike the usual bland boring salad I dread." "Terrific -- the best." I found the roasted peppers wonderfully seasoned and covered with crumbled feta particularly nice, and big. Bread was provided with olive oil and parmesan on the side - a true Italian touch. Only Dilip was disappointed. He thought the puff pastry "could easily be a lot better" and felt the peppers did not match his home-made version.
Dilip (LV) - puff pastry & house salad, $12.50 "Puff pastry: disappointing. I thought the pastry would be stuffed. This could easily be a lot better. Pickled mushrooms: I didn't particularly like, but they were pickled & I guess I should have expected something like this. Roasted red bells: OK, but mine are a lot better, so disappointing. Mushroom & sun-dried tomato pizza: OK. Calzone: I liked the crust but wasn't as excited by teh calzone as others. Salads: All looked good; my house salad was fine though too oily. Overall, clearly good quality food but I found it underwhelming compared to a quality Italian restaurant like Aurora. Nice service. I really liked the use of fresh herbs. They used lots of mushrooms. ..."
John Meckley (OLV) - "I've had their grilled portabello mushroom salad before --it's the best I've ever had, but alas, tonight they were out. 'Nothing on the menu is usual' said the waiter."
Dave Crescenzo (OLV) - Red pepper starter, pasta-vodka tomato cream - "More like Pops than Aurora. Very upscale. Wider menu. Food - very good. Red pepper appetizer: big with feta sprinkled on top. Bread with parmesan & olive oil on side plates (nice touch, but bread short on heavy crust). Entree: light sauce, light in color, nice flavor. Big portions."
Meg Gallagher (LV) - ravioli, pickled mushroom salad, $15. "Wonderful food - ravioli originally comes with sausage but was perfect without. I liked the herbed veggies on top bettr than the ravioli. Salad - pickled mushrooms w/ big chunks of cheese was GREAT - greens were new to me. Bread with oil & cheese - interesting but not large portions. Only complaint: too noisy to talk to people across the table. Lots of food - everyone took some home for lunch the next day. Accomodating. Food was superior as veggie versions of meat dishes."
Marian Turk (OLV) - Pasta w/ marinara, bell pepper, artichoke, feta, romano, $14 - "I was impressed with the service here - when we told the waitress we were vegetarians she was very responsive and told us they could make dishes to order for us. The food was very good but VERY RICH - even my fusilli marinara was heavy (there was a lot of feta and romano cheese in it). The portions were also very generous. This is not the place to go for a light summer meal. The salads were delicious and made generous use of fresh herbs (the entrees were well-seasoned, too). The dishes that contained wild mushrooms came with a variety of delicious mushrooms. Fiore's has a light, cheerful atmosphere but the main part of the dining room is very open and gets noisy when there are a lot of customers. In general, I thought this was a great place. I think it would be a good place to go for a special occasion."
Nancy McCall (OLV) - wild mushroom gorgonzola fettucine, $17 - "The gorgonzola cream sauce added an exceptional, distinct flavoring unusual for cream sauces. (Gamey!) Could have been more fresh vegetables with the pasta. Too rich and filling to finish an entire portion -- every bite was very satisfying!!"
Linda Meckley (OLV) - red bell peppers, wild mushroom pizza, $11.50 - "The food was very good, better than I expected since we have been here before. The mushroom pizza was excellent. It was covered with mushrooms, wild mushrooms, at least two kinds! Totally unlike the usual pizza DOTTED with mushrooms! The mushrooms were nicely complemented with lots of fresh basil and sun-dried tomato. However, the pizza is a little too much as an entree, but it makes an excellent appetizer, shared. As always, the salad was very tasty, unlike the usual bland boring salad that I dread. The olives are always a nice addition (though they gave too many). Anyway, this trip gave me a lot better impression than I came with.