Ai Fiori

Manhattan's culinary ride to the Riviera
VERIFIED LUXURY
Despite its Midtown Manhattan location, Ai Fiori from the Altamarea Group (which also includes Marea, Vaucluse, Osteria Morini, etc.) manages to transport you directly to the French and Italian Riviera; this is an oasis for foodies amid the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, and with famed chef Michael White at the helm, you know your appetite is in good hands. The sights and smells of the Mediterranean prove to be Ai Fiori’s muse, permeating the seasonal menu and the design of the space, including the swanky bar outfitted with photographs of various French and Italian scenes. Chef Michael White, encouraged and inspired by his love of Italian food and his connection to the South of France, seamlessly combines the culture and cuisine of both countries for a culinary concept that takes traditional dishes and adds a contemporary twist.
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Our Inspector's Highlights
• The upscale Midtown Manhattan eatery, helmed by chef Michael White, recently launched a Sunday brunch (11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) that is sure to be the talk of the town, if not for its vast assortment of treats from its buffet-style food selection, but for the live entertainment thanks to a captivating cellist.

• You may recognize chef Michael White from his other successful restaurants, including Al Molo in Hong Kong and Marea in New York City. He boasts an impressive culinary background, from formal training at the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago to stints abroad in Italy and France.

• The man behind the wine list is beverage director and chef sommelier Hristo Zisovski. Starting with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Zisovski went on to work at high-end restaurants such as March (assistant beverage director) and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Jean Georges (chef sommelier).
Things to Know
• From the beginning, Ai Fiori’s concept has stemmed from the cuisine of the French and Italian Riviera. Therefore, you’ll find a menu heavily dominated by a blend of dishes from those seaside regions of Italy and France.

•  When chef Michael White and Ahmass Fakahany (CEO of the Altamarea Group hospitality brand) concocted the plan for the menu, the premise was to take traditional dishes and add a more contemporary twist. The result was a playful plates such as ratatouille made with a crispy tempura squash blossom or a new version of lobster bisque made with slices of raw lobster and hot cream.

• The menus at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant change seasonally to keep things fresh and varied, but for dinner, you can expect to find pasta such as ricotta and mascarpone ravioli with sottocenere and a red wine glaze, or fish dishes such as pan-seared sea scallops with corn, chanterelles, pancetta and polenta.

• While the restaurant may feel like it’s nowhere near New York City, Ai Fiori’s location is quite convenient. Langham Place, Fifth Avenue can be found in the city’s Midtown Manhattan neighborhood along the famous shopping street.
The Food
• Nosh on starters such as cauliflower panna cotta with sea urchin, lemon, and Parmesan or pasta plates such as ricotta and mascarpone ravioli with sottocenere and a red wine glaze that will simply melt in your mouth.

• Portions at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant are perfectly plated to balance the richness of a dish so you can save plenty of room for tasty desserts such as a dark chocolate tartaletta with anise crema, grapefruit, and hazelnut gelato.

• Whether you’re a seasoned oenophile or not, there’s no denying the impressive laundry list of wine on offer, covering a wide range of regions that takes you from Provence and Burgundy to Liguria and Tuscany.
The Look
• There’s something incredibly calming about the design of Ai Fiori, making it a great escape from the frenzied commotion of New York City. Meaning “among the flowers” in Italian, Ai Fiori evokes a sophisticated Mediterranean ambiance, complete with sleek lines, textured light blue columns, walls of windows and plenty of flowers.

• The restaurant’s corner location within Langham Place, Fifth Avenue affords pristine views of the city, even though you’re only on the second floor.

• The dimly lit bar proves an ideal spot for a cocktail before you head in for your main meal at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant, with colorful images of the Italian and French Riviera above the white marble bar.
Getting There
400 5th Avenue | 2nd Level Langham Place Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10018
TEL212-613-8660
Ai Fiori
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