I recently dined at an Upper East Side gem highlighting cuisine from Bologna, Italy. Located at 973 Lexington Avenue, between 71st and 70th streets, Caffe Dei Fiori is one of the newest gastronomic additions to the Italian culinary scene and is a great upscale go-to spot! The owner Daliso Gulmini, is native from Bologna, Italy and his culinary expertise as well as authentic family recipes are what inspires the traditional and delectable menu offered here.
They offer wonderful Italian wine selections to pair with all of the courses on the menu. I enjoyed a Berlucchi Sparkling Rosé to start and paired that with the Prosciutto di Parma e Burrata as well as the Tartare di Tonno con Avocado (Tuna Tartare) with slightly spicy avocados and shoe string potatoes. Both were excellent appetizer choices that paired beautifully with my bubbly. The ingredients here are extremely fresh, and when combined with the upscale ambiance, you feel as if you were actually in Bologna, Italy.
For the second course I enjoyed the Gnocchetti al Nero di Seppia: squid ink ghocchetti with calamari, shrimp, and scallops. This dish is one of a kind and absolutely order worthy. Pair this dish with a nice glass of Prosecco or crisp glass of white wine. For the mains, I delectable dove into two incredible meat dishes. The Costolette d’Agnello con i Funghi, which is a slightly seared rack of lamb with wild mushrooms and the Maialino Croccante, Chutney di Mela Cotogna, Scalogno al Vin Santo e Polenta, which is a delicious plate of Crispy Suckling Pig, Quince Chutney, Vin Santo Shallots and Polenta. Both dishes were absolutely incredible and cooked to perfection! Paired with both of these dishes was a glass of the Barolo and Barbera, which went beautifully with the medium rare lamb, crispy pork, polenta, and fruit flavors.
Other creative menu items at Caffe dei Fiori include: Free range farmer’s poached eggs, potatoes and black truffle veloute’, Parmigiano foam, Milanese risotto “Riserva San Massimo” with ossobuco, Homemade black pepper spaghetti Carbonara style, and Swordfish steak with zucchini puree’ ‘Scapece’ and crispy zucchini (which was totally going to be my choice if I had gotten fish that evening).
If you still have room after your delicious Italian meal, I highly recommend splitting one of their delectable, handcrafted desserts which include Cheesecake Ice Cream with Raspberries and Crumble, Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Sauce, Gianduia Tarte and Pear Compote, as well as Tiramisu. I chose the cheesecake ice cream, which was the perfect decision after so many courses. It was cold, creamy, and texturally perfect!
Be sure to check out the Bologna inspired Caffe dei Fiori in the Upper East Side. This Italian gem is great for date nights as well as for those who just want to grab a good glass of wine and delicious share-able appetizers. You will not be disappointed with anything on the menu here, trust me!