The New Italian on the Block
By Hillary Latos
As part of the Fireman Hospitality Group, which owns Trattoria dell'Arte, Redeye Grill, Cafe Fiorello, Brooklyn Diner, and Bond 45 which are all conveniently located in the heart of NYC's entertainment districts, Florian is their latest Italian trattoria that serves elevated Italian home style dishes. Inspired by the famed 300 year old Venetian coffee house Caffe Florian, that same warm and convivial and timeless Italian atmosphere has been recreated and transported to the heart of NYC's Flatiron district. From the large Tuscan bronze sculptures to the Italian imported tiles, lapis green marbled walls, and wood beamed ceilings, collectively these small details reflect the rich cultural history and art of Italian hospitality.
While there is no shortage of Italian restaurants in NYC, Florian has a very Romanesque celebratory feel. Upon entering the dramatic floor to ceiling glass entryway you're visually drawn to the 6 larger than life bronze nudes crafted in Pietrasanta that seem to be inspired by Botticelli's neo classical style but with contemporary attributes, such as opening a wine bottle while presiding over the bar, or holding a bevy of golden wine chalises. To interpret fine Italian cuisine, Bolognese born Executive Chef Brando de Oliveira has created a menu that spans different regional cuisines throughout Italy. Be sure to ask for the flavorful amuse bouche cheese puffs. Start with a combination of seasonal vegetable antipasti sourced from the Union Square greenmarket and creamy housemade burrata from the mozzarella bar. As burrata is considered a barometer of authentic Italian cuisine, choose from various options such as a stuffed caprese, carbonara or olive salad with parma ham. The appetizers reflect his style of elevated Italian comfort food with vegetable ribollita soup, grandma's chicken soup, crispy fried "giudea" artichoke, and fried shrimp and calamari. A "must try" is the decadent whole lobster thin crust pizza topped with their delicious buratta on a bed of savory pomodoro sauce. The home made fresh pasta are unique and scrumptious with favorites being the rich ossobucco and bechamel lasagna surrounding a center bone that's filled with marrow, and the creamy pesto ravioli all abrando filled with arugula and spinach. For main courses try the veal chop parmagiana, braised short rib with bramata polenta, or the almond crusted brook trout with crab.
One of the highlights of the meal are the indulgent desserts which were made to share. Chocolate lovers can get their fix from the rich signature chocolate mousse or the chocolate pizza with melted Nutella on a crispy thin crust pizza that is well worth every calorie.
225 Park Avenue South NYC
NY, NY 10003