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A look at Orfano, a “subversive Italian” concept in Boston

Next up for Tiffani Faison and Kelly Walsh: two outlets in a food hall

Boston restaurateurs Tiffani Faison and Kelly Walsh opened the new Orfano on Monday, a “subversive” but elevated red-sauce-Italian concept they hope in some ways will “be like a boy’s club for the girls.”

Faison said the goal was to create a concept that is welcoming to all. “We found ourselves less than welcome in some dining rooms,” she said, “with the idea that we’d spend less money and not get the big steak or the big wine, and we were a little irritated about it. You can feel when people have made assumptions about you.”

The 96-seat Orfano, however, was designed to “feel lovely,” she said.

“We want it in some cases to feel like a boy’s club for the girls. Not literally,” she added, but the idea was to eliminate the cues that could make people feel not welcome.

Orfano joins sister concepts Sweet Cheeks, Tiger Mama and Fool’s Errand under the umbrella management company Big Heart Hospitality, which they co-own. All of Faison and Walsh’s restaurants so far are in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood.

But the partners, who are also married, have two more concepts coming this year, this time in downtown Boston at a soon-to-open food hall called High Street Place. There, Faison and Walsh will develop a raw bar concept called Dive Bar, as well as a pizza-and-grinder spot called Tenderonis.

Here’s a look at the new Orfano:

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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