A True Neighborhood Deli Makes Its Debut


(Wednesday, July 16, 2008 8:06 AM EDT)

There was something missing in Hunt Country for local culinary experts Nick and Molly Forlano - a true neighborhood deli like the ones they grew up with in the Northeast.

But with the opening of Forlano's Market (a deli, butcher shop and bakery on Main St. in The Plains) they're hoping to fill that gap.

“We feel that coming from the Northeast, we haven't seen many markets or Italian delis down here in Virginia,” said New York City native Nick Forlano in a recent interview. “We've been hungry for this.”

With Nick as head of the kitchen and Molly as sommelier and in charge of the front-of-house, the husband-wife duo opened the doors of Forlano's Market in late June. They have been happy with the community's response.

“It's been hectic, but we need it to be hectic!” Nick Forlano said.

Providing their customers with the freshest locally raised meats, produce and cheese is a priority for the Forlanos.

“There are so many local farmers. Why not [sell locally grown products]?” Forlano said. “It's here. It's beautiful. Why not showcase Virginia?”

And being able to give each customer individual attention is an integral part of the Forlanos' mission.

“When I was growing up, we knew the guy behind the deli counter. He knew how mom wanted her veal cut,” Nick Forlano said. He wants his customers to trust him the same way: “I want to work with them when it comes to food,” he said.

Currently the market offers daily homemade baguettes, ciabatta, loaves and rolls, a variety of sandwiches (the BLT has been a big seller), Italian cold-cut plates, and boutique wines, among many other delectable treats.

Pizza soon will make its way onto the menu, as will Belgian ales. And, in a couple months, Nick will be cutting meat to order.

Cooking classes led by Nick also are a feature of the market. Upcoming classes include summer pastas, entree salads, garden salsas and cold soups.

With hardwood floors, a bar right by the kitchen and the Forlanos' personal decorative touches (Nick has his baseball hats on display and Molly has photos of herself on horses), the couple really want customers to feel welcome.

“We want to be a friendly local place and have people just sit down and hang out,” Nick Forlano said.

Opening the market is the realization of a lifelong dream for both Nick and Molly, and they are deeply committed to making the market a success.

“We're not going to hold back,” Nick said. “This is who we are. We'll see how we do.”

For more information on Forlano's Market, see the Web site at www.forlanosmarket.com.

Nick and Molly Forlano recently opened their own market and deli. (Photo by Karen Buckley)

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