It was belated Holiday gift (we do dinners since my brother and I are challenging to buy for) time of the year and we were up for some Italian. After a little research I found Florian and since I was familiar with the Management team being a big fan of the Red Eye Grill and Trattoria Dell’Arte I was looking forward to checking out their latest and greatest. Florian’s space is huge and beautiful somewhat reminding me of cafes in Prague. A nude golden female statue (think Goldfinger) greets you and another poses behind the bar, a nice long, sleek and marble topped one. I really liked their Cocktail menu and the New Fashion (Maker’s Mark, blood orange liquor,burlesque bitters) had my name all over it. If you like Bourbon get one, my favorite new cocktail of 2015 thus far. My brother ordered up their twist on the Margarita the Diavolo Zafferano (Tequila, St. Germain, pineapple, and pepperoncino) and was a big fan. While waiting for our drinks Focaccia and Fried Meat Ravioli showed up gratis(turned out Happy hour is from 5-7pm). The Focaccia was fresh out of the oven oozing just the right amount of olive oil and the Ravioli were very lightly fried and stuffed with a delicious ragu.
Once seated I ordered from their create your own Negroni bar…I love Negroni’s(Bond drinks them in the short story Risicio). I choose Hendricks for my Gin, Americano for my Vermouth, and Cynar as my bitter. In addition I added Mint bitters. Nailed it. We started with a selection from the Veggies that included Purple Brussel Sprouts w/Bacon Spinach ,and the Cippolini Onions w/ Eggplant. One of the specials was an order of Pasta Carbonera…with Lobster! This I had never seen before, though my Bro claimed he has. A great rendition of the classic dish with the Lobster taking it to another level. For our entrees we ordered to share the Colorado Brook Trout with Shrimp Meunière (two large fillets with about 5 medium sized shrimp. Very good though a little heavy on butter and oil for me) and the Veal Chop Parm with Pepperoni(another dish I’ve never seen before…how could no one think to top chicken or veal parm with pepperoni?)! It filled up the entire large plate. I ordered a glass of Sangiovese to work my way through the entrees. We somewhat over ordered, which worked out for me since I had the Veal for the next few days, it was that big. We were fairly stuffed, so we ordered up coffee and espresso to relax with…and to go with the slice of flour-less Almond and Lemon cake. I did mention we were stuffed right? Florian is another hit from the Firemen Hospitality team and more New York restaurants should look this good. Service of note was top notch our waitress was awesome.
Florian is located at 225 Park Avenue South