New York City- 8/17/11 -8/20/11

Day 1-Wednesday Day 2- Thursday Day 3 - Friday Day 4- Saturday

Felidia restaurant

Felidia is owned by Lidia Bastianich, a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur and one of the most-loved chefs on PBS television. She has held true to her Italian roots and culture, which she proudly and warmly invites her fans to experience. Lidia owns several Italian restaurants in the U.S. but she consider Felidia as the jewel in her culinary crow.  For over three decades Felida has set and maintained the standard for fine Italian dining, with authentic Italian cuisine.  Felidia flourishes under the notable culinary force of celebrated restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, long-recognized for her refined, classic dishes, and Michelin-rated Executive Chef Fortunato Nicotra, who adds innovative flair to the restaurantís thoughtfully integrated menu. Chef Nicotra is a Piedmont-trained and Michelin-starred chef who joined Felidia since 1996 and has brought an innovative touch to traditional ingredients and dishes from all the regions of Italy.

Click on LINK a video where Lidia is explaining how she came up of the name Felidia and she talks about the restaurant, Italian Cuisine and Chef Nicotra. 

 

Felidia has been consistently on the top 10 best Italian restaurants list in New York over years.

 

The outside of the restaurant.

 

Ky and I settling in out seat.

Elicia and Auntie Kim.

 

Hoa and I

Joe and Dung.  Joe is from New Jersey and he was able to get a table for 8 with 1 day notice.  Apparently Joe had some connection and we were able to get a reservation.

Elicia, Auntie Kim, and uncle Larry

 

The decor of the restaurant is very pleasant and relaxing.  We sat in one of the main dining room, handsomely appointed with mahogany details on the wall, our table was decorated with luxurious linens, and sparkling crystal glass.  The room was dimly lit, but not so dark where you can't see the rest of your party.  Tables were somewhat close creating a cozy atmosphere.

We had an early reservation at 6:00AM and we were the first guests in the restaurants.

Some of the wine bottles are on display in the main dining area.

David Weitzenhoffer is the wine director for Felidia restaurant, overseeing a Wine Spectator Grand Award Winning list of 1100 selections in the cellar and a full service bar.

We decided to go with the Chef's Tasting Menu and so Joe is consulting with David Weitzenhoffer, the sommelier to pair the food with the best wine.  Per David's recommendation we ordered 2 bottles of white wine and 2 bottles of red wine.

Joe asked our waiter if Chef Nicotra could come out so we can meet him.  Our waiter said that he will ask but it is going to be a difficult task.  Joe added that he is a Sicilian, same as  chef Nicotra and to tell him "stesso paese" (Same country in Italian).  Within a few minutes Chef Nicotra came out and talk to us.   He is very nice man with an Italian accent.  Joe informed him that we  went to Morimoto yesterday and now we are at his restaurant for a culinary feast.  By coincidence, Chef Nicotra told us that in 2008 he has a chance to do a culinary battle with chef Morimoto on the Iron chef show but he lost to Morimoto.  Chef Nicotra said he lost because the secret ingredient was Kampachi , a Japanese fish which Morimoto definitely has an advantage because he is a lot more familiar with the fish and "NO the Show was not fixed".  Never the less Chef Nicotra said it was a very good experience!

Posing with Chef Fortunato Nicotra.

 Chef Nicotra is a celebrity in his own right, he is as talented as he is down to earth. You will understand why he commands so much respect amongst the culinary world after viewing his food.  Although Lidia's signature style of cooking is all over the menu, Fortunato does an exceptional job in staying true to it by bringing out new flavors.  

Next.. Chef's tasting Menu

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