Manhattan’s Upper East Side is known for expensive shopping, elegant brownstones and impeccable dining. Caffé Dei Fiori fits right in among its peers, serving fresh, house-made Italian cuisine in a small, but chic space in the 70s. With two floors, and prime viewing of bustling Lexington Avenue, the space is rather intimate, and decorated with bright and colorful pieces that you’ll want to take home with you. In warmer months, a backyard patio will give you further incentive to head uptown and try out this spot.
Owner Daliso Gulmini, who hails from Bologna, Italy, brings us exclusive family recipes, fresh ingredients and a creative menu that focuses on pastas and organic meats, fish and cheeses. When we had the pleasure of dining here on a cold winter’s day, we were immediately tempted by some of their nightly specials. The Soup of the Day, which happened to be a decadent corn soup, warmed our bellies and had us hankering for the next dish.
Sticking again with another nightly special, we couldn’t resist getting our hands (er, forks) on their Lobster Pasta, which showcased how expertly they do Italian here. The pasta was clearly fresh and house-made, and the chunks of lobster and light sauce complimented an already flavorful dish. We also tried their Pollo Arrosto con Contorni, better known as roasted chicken with roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts in the States. The presentation was great — the waitstaff brings out the entire roasted chicken to present to you, before cutting it up tableside. Very tender and juicy, the chicken was cooked to perfection and the sides were top notch.
We finished up our evening with something sweet from their dessert menu, the Cioccolato Fondant con Gelato alla Crema, a chocolate fondant with créme anglaise ice cream. Trust me, you can never really go wrong with a molten chocolate cake and this one had the texture of a fluffy brownie with a gooey interior that made us smile.
Caffè Dei Fiori is a wonderful place for an intimate meal, with an attentive and friendly waitstaff, a full bar and exquisite wines. If you need a new restaurant to add in to your fine dining repertoire, look no further.
Twisted Talk: Have you ever been to Caffé Dei Fiori? What’s your favorite dish? Discuss below!