The son of Italian immigrants that arrived in the Unites States in 1968, Nick Varano is one of Boston’s leading restaurateurs. Having grown up in the city’s North End neighborhood, it was only fitting that Varano’s first full-service restaurant, Strega Ristorante, would debut on Hanover Street within the heart of Boston’s Little Italy.
With a passion for hard work, at just twelve years old, Varano went to work at Victor’s; his parents’ Italian restaurant located in East Boston. Here, he learned everything he could about the food service industry, including what it takes to run a successful restaurant. While Varano spent much of his 20’s and early 30’s exploring his entrepreneurial spirit, it was during dinner with an old friend in the North End when he made the decision to purchase the exact space; ultimately turning it into a premier location boasting authentic Italian cuisine, dramatic décor and unmatched hospitality. In 2003, original Strega North End was born.
Experiencing great success, Varano, doubled his Hanover Street presence in 2007 with Nico Ristorante. With his finger always on the pulse of Boston’s ever-expanding restaurant scene, Varano launched Strega Waterfront at ONE Fan Pier in 2010 – trailblazing the way for an array of new dining options for what has become one of Boston’s most popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. Offering creative twists on the delicious Italian fare that has become synonymous with the ‘Strega’ brand, coupled with a glamorous atmosphere and spectacular water views, Strega Waterfront quickly became and remains one of the premiere dining options in the ever growing Seaport area.
In late summer 2013, with his sights set on the suburbs, Varano unveiled Strega Prime at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, an expansive, dramatically-styled Italian steakhouse concept helmed by Executive Chef Farouk Bazoune. Already known as the North Shore’s premier dining destination, Strega Prime’s reputation as a world-class restaurant continues to spread. Aware of the enthusiasm exhibited by guests and critics, alike, Varano opened the doors at STRIP by Strega in 2015, an upscale, uber-modern, high energy steakhouse housed in the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston’s stylish Back Bay neighborhood. STRIP by Strega quickly became the ‘go to’ spot in Boston and was received praise from restaurant critics for the elevated dining experience that Chef Farouk and the team delivered to the expanding Boston culinary scene.
In 2019, Nick partnered with lifelong friend Frank DePasquale of DePasquale Ventures and unveiled their newest venture a 135-seat, 5,200-square-foot Italian restaurant at the five-star, $2.4 billion Encore Boston Harbor Resort. Called Fratelli (brothers in Italian), it is the first local restaurant partnership between DePasquale and Varano and only one of two locally-operated venues at the three-million-square-foot destination resort.
Over the past years Nick Varano has become a trailblazer in the restaurant industry. Setting high standards for customer experience and outstanding culinary offerings in each of his locations. Nick Varano is a prominent restauranteur in the Boston-area and beyond
Dedicated to bringing a personal touch to each of his restaurants, Varano can often be found engaging with guests either at the bar or tableside in the dining room.