How do you and your friends agree on restaurants? Is it price? The menu? The service? It’s often challenging finding restaurants that everyone could agree on, that has an actual quality standard, so when you do find something it’s one less thing to worry about. Ai Fiori, which is located off of 5th Avenue, is a One Star Michelin Restaurant that specializes in Italian and French dishes. It has the interior of an elegant hotel setting and is definitely worth dressing up for.
During my visit I was able to indulge in three items. Blue Crab Spaghetti, Pan Seared scallops, and Strip Loin were the choices for the evening. I’ll start off with the Lobster Bisque and Spaghetti. It consisted of Lobster Pieces with a creamy bisque soup. The soup is rich, flavorful, and creamy. There was an oil flavor to it that I would’ve loved to taste without, but the overall beginning dish was great. The Spaghetti consisted of Blue Crab, Lemon, and Bottarga Chillies. The pasta was hand-made and the flavors were light. The Blue Crab was sweet and the lemon added the extra acidity the dishes needed to combat the spiciness of the chillies. This was a dish that was good, but there could’ve been more. It was a tomato based pasta that could’ve included larger chunks of crab meat. I would’ve loved to see thick white pieces surrounding the pasta, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The next dish were the Pan Seared Scallops. It consisted of Fennel, Leek, Trout Roe, and Shellfish Sabayon. The Scallops were a bit under-cooked, which was fine with me, but for someone else maybe a challenge. They were Pan-Seared on the top but didn’t have any color on the bottom. There were sliced apples that were presented with this dish which I thought was an interesting concept. I would’ve never thought to put Green Apples with trout roe and Scallops, but it was strangely good. The Trout Roe, which was full of saltiness, didn’t work well with the sweetness of the apples. The apples had a very tart flavor, which didn’t go well with the onion flavor of the leeks.
The last dish that was ordered was the Strip Loin. It consisted of Pommes Puree, Spring Onion, and Bordelaise Sauce. The Strip Loin was a bit under-seasoned, but I assume it was under seasoned because of the Bordelaise Sauce. Bordelaise sauce is usually made with red wine, butter, shallots, and herbs so I can understand why I didn’t taste much seasonings. The Strip was ordered medium well, which was cooked perfectly. I usually order beef at a medium temperature, but the crowd I was with found it more convienent to get it at a medium well level. The Pommes Puree can be described as a creamier version of mashed potatoes. Although, these potatoes could’ve been whipped a bit more finer to my liking they were still good.
Overall, this restaurant is a go-to if you’re in the area. New York is a pretty big city, so if you don’t make it to this restaurant, I’d understand.