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, Strega Ristorante was born.
Experiencing great success, Varano, with the help of highly-regarded Executive Chef Salvatore Firicano, doubled his Hanover Street presence in 2007 with Nico Ristorante, Wine Bar and Lounge. 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 in the developing area. 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 – a leading restaurant in the still developing 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 has now opened the doors at STRIP, an upscale, uber-modern, high energy steakhouse housed in the new Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston’s stylish Back Bay neighborhood.
Dedicated to bringing a personal touch to each of his four restaurants, Varano can often be found engaging with guests either at the bar or tableside in the dining room.