It has been quite a year for Michael White, who opened two Italian eateries within months of each other (not to mention while also pursuing ventures in Asia). Yet he has proved he can deftly command a mini empire while putting out some exceptional food. The man has a way with pasta, and one of the city's best noodle dishes is the trofie nero at Ai Fiori, located on the second floor of the Setai Hotel. A light seafood ragout coats jet-black squid ink noodles while baby scallops, seppia, and little nubs of crab play peek-a-boo in the tight corkscrew curls. A sprinkling of spiced bread crumbs adds a final touch of crunch. Sumptuous. 400 Fifth Avenue, 212-613-8660, (10018)

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400 Fifth Ave.
New York NY 10018


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