Chef Michael White, who's been on a roll with his Italian restaurants Convivio and Marea, has launched two new ventures in the space of a month. The first was Soho's Osteria Morini, which specializes in the "soulful cuisine and convivial spirit" of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Number two is Ai Fiori, which opened its doors last week on the second floor of the luxurious Setai Fifth Avenue hotel, at 37th Street. Executive Chef Chris Jaeckle (Morimoto and Eleven Madison Park) will have command of the 2,200 square foot kitchen and several top-of-class sous chefs, including acclaimed pastry chef Robert Truitt (Corton). Here's a look inside the posh new restaurant.
Ai Fiori is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a menu featuring the food of the Italian Mediterranean coast "with French Riviera influences and innovative antipasti, White’s signature pastas and entrees typical of the Riviera region." Entrees range from $29 to $43, and include options like Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster, Vegetable Julienne, Sauce Americane ($39) and Squid Ink Pasta Quills, Pigato Wine, Cream, and Sturgeon Caviar ($19). (Peruse the full menu, which is subject to change.) The liquor license was obtained at the end of last week, so you can also stop in for a drink at the bar, which serves a cocktail menu from Eben Freeman (Tailor), who knows how to shake it.
Ai Fiori // 400 Fifth Avenue at 36th Street // (212) 613-8660