F&F: Ai Fiori

January 6th, 2011 by Dick Johnson

 

PX This presents THE F&F REVIEW

Hey, sorry we couldn’t make it to "Friends&Family," we were out of town/ had to work/ not invited. We’re really glad we finally managed to come by, though— it’s so nice to see you!
What’s that? You would still like us to take the time to fill out the F&F survey, because you’d love to take advantage of all our vast experience, knowledge, insight, and expertise as long as we’re already here? Because you invited 75 people to F&F, and afterward all you got was 41 "Congrats[es]!" 22 "Awesome[s]!" 3 "Ciao[s]!" and 9 "Best of luck[s]!" ?
Of course, we’d be honored. Oh ha, yesss, we’ll be honest— brutally honest even, ha ha! After all, that’s what friends & family are for!
No no please, don’t send anything more, we’re stuffed, we can’t breathe, you’ll have to roll us out of here, ha ha ha… !

 

Ai Fiori

What was your first impression?
Swanky!
But I’m not surprised; I looove The Setai hotels.

Please rate the Bar:
Beautiful, welcoming, spacious, and comfortable. (There are actually two bars/lounges in The Setai—- one on the main floor and another on the second floor past Ai Fiori’s glass doors.)

Please rate the drinks/ cocktails/ wine:
The cocktails list is creative and diverse, but on the main floor they have a bit of a recipe problem. On two separate occasions, two different bartenders altered their mixology to accommodate their own whims rather than supply the drinks as described. One bartender attempted to substitute Beefeater for the Beefeater 24 offered in the recipe printed on the list, and the other added framboise and cranberry juice for no apparent reason to a special house "margarita" recipe that stated simply two types of premium tequila and fresh lime juice. Very odd.
In any case, if you’re a truly discerning drinker, keep your eye on those shifty fuckers.

The upstairs bartender seems more fastidious, but unfortunately, he’s slow. The wait time for your drink is then compounded by the fact he’s also servicing the entire dining room as well as all the patrons seated at the bar. Good thing the seats are so cozy.

And the wine list is as you’d expect— ample, diverse, and sagacious, but reasonably priced, all things considered.

Please rate the Dining Room:
It’s big. And luxurious without being stifling. It does kinda make you wonder, however, why they slapped that ugly POS monitor up on the wall smack in the center of the room.

Please rate the BOH:
Very good. Vaaastly better than Morini, I’ll tell you that much.
This is likely why Morini sucks—- homeboy is busy, mmkay?

How was the staff?
Extremely polite and quite conscientious. Superbly professional (except maybe the downstairs bartenders, obvs).

What did you eat?/ How was the food?
Crudo : Good, fresh, simple, tasty.
Black Truffle Risotto :
Very good, luscious, flavorful. Delicious.
Lobster : A bit too underdone for my taste, but otherwise lovely. Oh well, better underdone than overdone. But, personally I would have preferred a bit more succulence and a bit less translucence.
Rack of Lamb : Tender, perfectly cooked, hearty but delicate.
Oh damn, I can’t remember dessert now: Not much of one for the sweets, so dessert was either sent from the kitchen or it was ordered when I wasn’t paying attention. And honestly, I can’t recall what the dishes were (one was chocolate— very rich), but I do recollect they were quite good— and reminded me of pastry chef Patrick Coston. (I’m sure they weren’t his, though.) Sorry!

What did you like?
Hey, if The Setai installed itself a fancy KFC, I’d probably still love it to death.

What did you dislike?
Framboise? And tequila? Gagh.

What was your last impression?
So, now I finally know where the fuck Ai Fiori is.

Would you come back?
The full dining experience is a tad turgid for me, but I’ll gladly return to the bar/lounge anytime.

Thank you, and hope to see you soon!
Thanks, it was a pleasure.

 

 

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