After a meeting in midtown, I decided to stop here for lunch. Ai Fiori was written up in a few publications, and I've been wanting to stop in. I had thought the restaurant was on the first floor, but no, it's on the second. The dining room is beautiful, and each table was graced with a fresh arrangement of exquisite flowers.
I looked at the cocktail list, and selected the only vodka specialty cocktail offered. It was a little sour with the juice they used. It was not my thing. The lunch menu is available a la carte, or as a prix fixe where you select an appetizer and entree.
I selected the fresh sardine appetizer. I've been seeing more and more about fresh sardines in the foodie world and wanted to try them. As I waited, I wondered if they would like anything like the smelts we used to catch ice fishing. Welp - I don't know what sardines taste like if they were caught the same day as you eat them (like the smelts) but these were pretty fishy. The tomato relish on the plate would cover the fishyness, but I would not order these again.
As I waited for my entree, I looked around the room - the room was pretty, but the view, not so much. Those flowers add a lot.
When my entree came, it looked quite nice. It's a veal agnolotti. When I cut one of those fluffy pillows in half, and tried that bite. And it was heavenly. I called over a bus boy and asked him to send someone to recommend a wine to go with this work of art. By my 5th bite or so, my wine had arrived, and I had the pleasure of enjoying the obviously homemade pasta filled with savory minced veal. This I would order again :)
Ai Fiori is a business lunch locale - not a ladies who lunch locale. The dining room has a nice light during the day, but I don't think this section of 5th Ave would be too pretty at night. Despite the amazing service at this restaurant, for the money there are many other places I'd rather go.