Tiffani Faison has been busier than usual recently (that’s saying something) having recently opened her latest restaurant, Orfano.
The Italian-American restaurant is her fourth in the Fenway, along with Tiger Mama, Fool’s Errand, and Sweet Cheeks, and further solidifies Faison’s reputation as one of the most dynamic and successful restaurateurs in Boston.
The “Top Chef” finalist, who runs Big Heart Hospitality with her wife, Kelly Walsh, put other successful women front and center at Orfano. Not only on the org chart, but on the very walls of the establishment. A black-and-white photo of Lady Gaga, pasta dangling from her lips, overlooks the dining room, as does one of Anna Pellegrino, of the legendary Rao’s.
Then there’s the little sign by one of the Orfano restrooms, which reads “Roxane Gay Only,” an amusing hat tip to the celebrated author-professor-podcaster and a favorite of Faison’s.
So imagine everyone’s surprise when Roxane Gay just happened to show up at Orfano over the weekend.
“I made a restaurant reservation at Orfano in Boston based on an @eater recommendation. Turns out, the chef @tiffanifaison is a fan AND THIS IS THE BATHROOM SIGN. GUYS,” Gay posted on Twitter along with several photos, including one of the “Hunger” author next to the tiny placard. “Also I was a fan of hers. On top chef!”
I made a restaurant reservation at Orfano in Boston based on an @eater recommendation. Turns out, the chef, @tiffanifaison is a fan AND THIS IS THE BATHROOM SIGN. GUYS. Also I was a fan of hers. On top chef! This was a random coincidence. Here we are with the kitchen staff also pic.twitter.com/9Bm6NW1Yjl— roxane gay (@rgay) September 29, 2019
Devotees of the chef and the author couldn’t get enough of the serendipitous meeting, with Gay’s post getting nearly 17,000 likes on Twitter. She followed up with a post about how incredible the food was “especially the Parmesan mousse, this tomato thing with Duke’s mayonnaise and the Cacio e Pepe ravioli.”
And yes, she added, “I did use my special stall.”