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Best Italian (Upscale) New York 2011 - Ai Fiori

Ai Fiori

Ai Fiori

400 Fifth Ave.

New York, NY 10018

212-613-8660

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Michael White has had a big year, opening not only Osteria Morini in Soho, but also Ai Fiori, an elegant Italian (with some French influences) restaurant in the Setai Hotel. The $84 four-course dinner is actually a great deal, since you can pick any four dishes from the full menu of apps, pastas, entr?es, and desserts. The butter-poached oysters with caviar is a fave, as is the trofie nero, which tosses jet-black squid-ink pasta with a light seafood ragout dotted with baby scallops. The subdued ambiance does feel a little corporate at times (but makes it an ideal spot for business meals), yet it provides a refreshing change from having to scream to converse with your date. 400 Fifth Avenue, 212-613-8660, aifiorinyc.com
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