I’m becoming a Michelin Star restaurant fiend. If that’s a faux pas to make a big thing about, sue me. If I’m going to spend a large proportion of my income on food, I’m going to shout about it. You see, whilst I’m more than comfortable enough to go to these types of places, my bank account still notices. I’m not exactly a millionaire. I’m happy with that though, because Ai Fiori, my third ever Michelin Starred restaurant is memorable to me, because I don’t get to taste food like this every day.
As many people who read my blog or follow me on social media will know, I recently went to NYC for Valentine’s Day with my boyfriend. We wanted to treat ourselves (yes: go Dutch) to a lovely meal, without the cliché/price/menu of Valentine’s itself. You see, I’m the fussiest foodie in the world, and taster menus just aren’t my thing. So instead, we booked in for February 13th, and were able to choose most of the normal food from the A La Carte. Ai Fiori stood out to me immediately, because its Italian/French Riviera cuisine is right up my street. I wasn’t disappointed.
For my British readers, you’ll be pleased to know that Michelin Star dining seems cheaper in NYC than it does in London, for example. For $97, we got four amazingly delicious courses, and there were plenty of choices. We were slightly limited due to the fact that their tasting menu was already being served if people wanted it, but it didn’t affect us really.
To start, I had ‘Zuppa di Zucca’, a butternut squash soup, although I opted for this without the foie gras. I really enjoyed the effort they went to with presentation on this, because they demonstrated everything on my plate (pumpkin seeds, and some other tasty bits and pieces) before pouring the actual soup over the top of it. It was a nice touch!
Dougie, my boyfriend, had ‘Polpo’, something with octopus, and it looked incredible:
For the pasta and risotto course which came next, I had an absolutely delicious treat in ‘Agnolotti’, which is veal parcels with butternut squash, sage, and black truffle sugo.
Dougie had Risotto, containing duck confit, which he also enjoyed.
Our mains came next. This is the part we substituted in from the tasting menu. It’s normally available A La Carte, but not that night. However, we had our hearts set on steak, so we had ‘Tagliata’, strip steak with potato terrine and some other accompaniments. Now, the steak was absolutely bloody incredible. The potato terrine of ‘cacio e pepe’, however, was nice (because I love potato!), but also a bit too strong on the pepe (which means pepper!). It put Dougie off a little, so I finished his as well. I’ve never seen such incredibly presented food though, so please do order it if you get chance.
Finally, for dessert, we had brownies with ice cream. It was supposed to come with a mango flavor, but I basically don’t like fruit, so I had mine with vanilla. A perfect way to finish up!
Obviously, throughout the meal, we were treated to little extras, and we were even given some little treats to go home with. We tipped generously because the service was great, and the atmosphere was lovely (not pretentious!), too. I really recommend this place if you’re ever in the city, because its food is, for the most part, truly to die for.
You can read more about the food I ate in NYC here, for some great tips as well!
What’s your fave place to eat? xx