Food & dining

short order

Brookline takeout you’ll want to eat in

Caramelized bacon sandwich at Rifrullo.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Caramelized bacon sandwich at Rifrullo.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Colleen Marnell-Suhanosky at her cafe Rifrullo.


More SoHo than Route 9 is how you might describe Colleen Marnell-Suhanosky’s Brookline cafe. The former Manhattan restaurateur with culinary roots in Boston (she began her career at Biba under Lydia Shire) opened the 16-seat Rifrullo in September in a small commercial strip, where it replaced historic Sealey’s Lunch. Marnell-Suhanosky and longtime collaborator Bobby Mendoza have created breakfast, lunch, and dinner takeout menus rich with inventive uses of seasonal ingredients. Sandwiches are on bread baked by the chef, who worked in New York with Gramercy Tavern pastry chef Claudia Fleming, and opened Sfoglia with her ex-husband, Ron Suhanosky, on Nantucket in 2000, and in Manhattan in 2006. At Rifrullo, the caramelized bacon sandwich ($9) is full of complex flavors such as tangy, lemony black-pepper mayo with perfectly ripe mashed avocado. The cafe offers BYOB dinners once a month ($35 per person). Marnell-Suhanosky, a mother of three, envisions the cafe as “enlightened takeout,” a solution for families too busy to cook. Stop by on a weeknight (Rifrullo means “social hub” in Florentine slang), while customers chat across a large wooden table and wait for their orders. The cafe is already living up to its name. Rifrullo, 147 Cypress St., Brookline, 617-505-6727,


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