A highly anticipated Italian-American eatery is coming to the Fenway this Friday.
Tiffani Faison, celebrated chef, restaurateur, and TV personality, will be opening the doors to the new Tenderoni’s on Nov. 25, in the space formerly occupied by her Southeast Asian-inspired restaurant Tiger Mama. The Fenway location will be an expansion of the concept that she started at High Street Place, a full-service restaurant that will bring a healthy dose of fun to the area.
“I think the idea of Tenderoni’s, to me, was always a full-serve restaurant, it’s just that I did it backwards,” Faison said to Boston.com. “Usually, I have a full serve that extends out to smaller [spots]—this was just done backwards. I wanted something that felt really fun and irreverent that’s great for the neighborhood and good for the city, where we can all have great food in a really unpretentious, super-fun environment.”
In a press release, Faison said she considers Fenway to be the “mothership” location, which will offer a more extensive menu, featuring new pizza toppings, appetizers, entrees, desserts, and a cocktail program. The signature two-and-a-half-foot long pizzas will be prepared with chewy, crunchy crust, while guests can also discover the debut of new flavors such as the burrata and marsala pizza, as well as the giardiniera. Visitors can chow down on pasta dishes like the ricotta cavatelli or the Track Suit Shrimp Scampi, as well as plates such as the lemon fried chicken and the swordfish cacciatore. For dessert, look to the peppermint stick sundae, made with chocolate soft serve, or the Nona’s Pistachio Cake.
In addition to serving reimagined classic and seasonally-rotating cocktails, Tenderoni’s will also have a bottled and canned cocktail program, through which guests can order pre-made drinks.
Faison said that her team was inspired by what they most enjoy at their favorite pizza spots. “It’s kind of how we approach a lot of things. We take iconic ideas from a specific pizza restaurant, and then look at what are the things that we love, and how can they be better,” Faison said.
The restaurant will feature 140 seats, two bars, and a takeout window for pizza slices, soft serve, and some to-go items. The space is inspired by the vibe of a 70s or 80s disco roller rink, with bold colors and graphics. LED neon light fixtures and three mirror disco balls complete the look.
Starting in January, Tenderoni’s will be hosting a weekend Drag Brunch, which will be “raucous” and “celebratory,” with performers who are both newcomers and “super famous” drag queens, Faison said. She added that she is excited about the energy that the new restaurant will bring to the neighborhood.
“My goal is to always continue to contribute to building the city that I want to live in,” Faison said. “That’s always my goal, with what we do… I think that definitely continues that mission, in terms of creating these super-fun, unabashedly queer forward, delicious places for people to enjoy themselves with their friends and family.”
Tenderoni’s, 1363 Boylston St., Boston