One of the highlights during our recent trip to New York City was a tasting at Ai Fiori translated to ‘Among the Flowers’ in Italian. A Michelin Star Italian Restaurant located within The Langham Place at 400 5th Avenue 2nd, New York City, NY 10018. We visited during lunch and choose the five course meal option. I love italian food and was incredibly excited to try Ai Fiori. I've had a few opportunities to enjoy a meal at a Michelin Star rated restaurant, but this was the first for Italian. Ai Fiori is easily one of the top five best meals I've had. Truly a must for anyone visiting New York City.
Michelin Star Rating
The term "Michelin Star" is a hallmark of fine dining quality. Michelin awards 0 to 3 stars on the basis of the anonymous reviews. The reviewers concentrate on the quality, mastery of technique, personality and consistency of the food, when making their reviews. They do not look at interior decor, table setting, or service quality when awarding stars, though the guide shows forks and spoons which describes how fancy or casual a restaurant may be. Michelin focuses entirely on the food.
ABOUT AI FIORI
Ai Fiori focuses on Chef White’s signature hand-made pastas, seasonal ingredients, and traditional regional dishes inspired by land and sea. The menu has a la carte, prix-fixe, and tasting options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We choose the five course lunch tasting menu.
Chef di Cucina, Scott Schneider, oversees daily kitchen operations with Wine Director Colin Thoreen curating the wine list. The wine menu has over 1000 selections. In addition to the main dining room, there is Bar Fiori. You can experience a piece of Ai Fiori in a more casual environment. Enjoy a snack, cocktail, or quick lunch. I have had an afternoon coffee and snack while waiting to leave for the airport. One of my favorite spots to work from when staying in New York.
Ai Fiori is also available to host elegant private events and offers many different setups based on the size of the party and occasion. The restaurant has received three stars from The New York Times as well as Michelin Star recognition the past several years. Ai Fiori was also included in Esquire Magazine’s 2011 List of Best New Restaurants in America. New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo labeled the signature dish Astice the “greatest dish in the world.” Ai Fiori also ranks among Zagat’s Best Italian in NYC, and the Forbes Travel Guide awarded it four stars.
Information provided from aifiorinyc.com
Before the courses began to arrive, we were offered fresh bread service with butter. I love good bread and this was the perfect start to our meal.
Course #1 Fluke Crudo
American Sturgeon Caviar and meyer Lemon. This was the perfect blend of flavors. Olive oil base with a hint of citrus. Light, fresh, and a bit of crunch. Very enjoyable and perfect first course on a hot day.
Course #2 Spaghetti
Unlike any spaghetti I have ever had. By far my favorite part of the meal. Made with blue crab, lemon, bottarga, and chillies.
There is a slight kick to the dish, but just absolute perfection. Incredibly flavorful. Absolutely my favorite dish of the day and a must try if you visit.
Course #3 Lamb and Halibut
For course number three we had both the Lamb and the Halibut to try.
The Abbachio roasted lamb saddle with farrow squash and salsa verde was my favorite of the two. Hearty and rich with flavor. The dish reminds me of a warm cabin in the middle of a snow storm. One of the best lamb dishes I've tried.
Ippoglosso line caught halibut with apple brussel sprouts was the other course three dish. While light and cooked to perfection, I found the lamb to be more interesting and satisfying. If you love fish, you will enjoy the halibut, but if you are choosing between the two, I vote for the lamb.
Course #4 Cheese
I am a cheese lover and can make a meal out of a cheese plate. So I was very excited about the cheese course. We had the Annalise raw cow's milk from Switzerland. Perfect cheese to wind down the meal and cleanse the palette. Flavorful, but not overpowering.
Course #5 Tiramisu
The most interesting tiramisu I've had the pleasure of tasting. The deconstructed version of a classic with dark chocolate, espresso, ladyfingers, and chocolate gelato.
The dessert was just the right amount of chocolate to satisfy a craving. Light and airy the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful meal.
Michelin Star Italian Restaurant
Whether you are a foodie or looking for a delicious Italian restaurant in the city, I highly recommend trying Ai Fiore.
Perfect for an anniversary, birthday, special date, or anytime you are craving a quality Italian restaurant experience. I know that we will definitely be back to experience all that Ai Fiore has to offer.