We had the good fortune of connecting with Fiorella Blanco and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fiorella, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Thank you again for the opportunity! Most definitely what i have learned the most on these last 13 years of operation has been never to give up on what you believe in, to stay the course and to be consistent with your offer. Downtown Miami was much different when we decided to open back in 2006, streets were barely lit, the city would empty after 6pm and few locals would dare to wonder at night with fear of the many homeless walking the streets. We saw a much different downtown. We saw an opportunity to cater to the business crowd during the day and knew that within time the area would pick up during the evening; especially because Fratelli has the advantage of being located within walking distance of many hotels. Neverthless, we have been faced with many obstacles along the way including the market crash of 2008 and a couple of mayor hurricanes. Yet nothing was to prepare for the Covid-19 crisis. I must be honest, like so many of us the early weeks of this pandemic brought much uncertainty about the future of our industry, the information given was not the most accurate and because of the nature of this virus their was and still is much that we have to learn. On March 17th we sent our teams home, we sent them home with a lot of unanswered questions, we sent them home not knowing when we would be able to bring them back. Fortunately, we were granted the PPP program and were able to reopen our dining room after two months of business interruption. We know we have a long journey ahead towards recovery, and understand that our industry as many others will look completely different but we are thankful to have the opportunity to keep going.
What should our readers know about your business?
Fratelli Milano is a family owned full service Italian american restaurant serving the Downtown Miami area. We have endure many obstacles along the way, including the market crisis of 2008 and some mayor hurricanes. And now we are facing the most unprecedented challenge of all the current Covid-19. Fratelli has been the work of all three owners, twin brothers Chefs from Milan, who are most proud of their craft and myself who have an innate passion to bring people together. I believe self belief, consistency and love for what we do has gotten us were we are today. Thankfully our mutual efforts have taken us to where we are today, one of the most popular Italian restaurants in town.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Miami has it all when it comes to having a good time! Even if I must admit i don’t do much of the night life since I have an eight year old and a fifteen year old but as far as cool places, my first stop would be to take them to the Upper Buena Vista plaza located in the Buena Vista neighborhood, UBV its a trendy bohemian chic outdoor shopping center filled with the most unique micro boutiques. It also happens to be the home of our sister restaurant vista, a 160 seat Italian-New American restaurant that offers a great outdoor patio, two full bars and a quaint rooftop. Another restaurant stop would have to definitely be Cviche105 and one of their latest additions Intimo located on South Beach. For a night of fun I would definitely go to Faena, and for great cocktails and to listen to some great DJ sounds i would go to The Sylvester.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out has to be to my business partners Roberto Bearzi (Executive Chef) and Emanuele Bearzi (Executive Pastry Chef), without them Fratelli Milano (hence the name of our restaurant) would have never come to be. Their incredible craft has been delighted by many along this thirteen years. I might be the person that our customers relate most with but its their talent that its celebrated by all who visit us.