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Michael White's tony Italian eatery in Langham Place Fifth Avenue.


Cuisine

Open
Breakfast & Dinner daily, Lunch Mon.-Fri.
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Ai Fiori, New York, NY

Ai Fiori Restaurant Review

: Chef Michael White scored big with seafood-centric Marea and his more casual Osteria Morini. Ai Fiori hits something of a middle ground, offering elevated takes on Italian fare (both surf and turf) in a high-end dining room. Located on the second floor of the Langham Place Fifth Avenue, the restaurant is understated in its design, yet sleek and comfortable. The focus, therefore, is what’s on the plate. The menu is separated in the traditional Italian three-part manner. Pasta portions are small but filling. Saffron-laced gnocchetti is more like strozzapretti --- thick, inch-long chewy pasta bits that tangle with uni and crab --- while the more subtle ultra-curly squid ink pasta is laced with sepia and scallops. Both are very well executed. Risotto is creamy, with the flavors of fennel and Parmigiano. Yet secondi, or meat and seafood dishes, are even better. Fork-tender beef cheeks and silky pan-roasted cod are sure bets. At lunch, try the LaFrieda burger --- why not? The wine list globe trots and has both greatest hits (some bottles in the four-figure price range) and some decent $30 options. Desserts, wheeled to each table, include olive oil cake and gooey chocolate torte.





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