Lidia Bastianich has become the Italian relative of everyone’s dreams. Prior to dominating Italian cuisine on television, she has made her mark on the restaurant world with highly praised eateries, including Felidia. Opened in 1981, the Midtown Manhattan restaurant is a staple in the neighborhood and a must-visit for any native and traveler.
As people walk through the doors to Felidia, they are transported from the hustle and bustle of the city to an intimate dining experience that will make them feel they are dining in the Italian countryside. While the menu items might seem daunting, the servers are there to exquisitely guide patrons through the dishes to ensure the perfect meal selection. To capture the true Felidia experience it is encouraged to choose the chef’s tasting menu, which are personally selected dishes from executive chef Fortunato Nicotra.
Holding the position since 1996, chef Nicotra has revamped the menu to include beloved signature dishes, but also new favorites. One of these dishes is ofelle, which is potato and pasta dumplings stuffed with corn, burrata, herbs, lobster, and finished with a sauce of house-made butter. The flavors combine together to make a delicious dish that is unforgettable and will have people comparing this dish with future dining experiences. Some of the classic dishes that remain at Felidia are the tutto crudo, which is an artistic presentation of three different shaved raw fishes, and Cacio e Pere, pasta stuffed with fresh pecorino, grayed pear, and sautéed with pear juice.
The wine pairings are just as delightful as the dishes. Felidia’s extensive wine list, boasting roughly 1,500 types of wines, offers some of the highest quality of wines from Italy. With Jenni Giuzio as the Wine Director, it is clearly evident why Felidia was awarded as one of the Top Ten Italian Restaurants in the United States from Wine Spectator. One of their wines that need to be tasted is the Marco de Bartoli Vigna la Miccia Marsala Superiore Oro. This unique vintage is an innovative expression of Marsala with fruity notes that is perfect for one of Felidia’s signature desserts.
While enjoying dinner, people should not be surprised to have Bastianich come to the table to see how they are enjoying the meal and have a small conversation with them. As the main course is completed, it is time to make room for the delectable desserts. The quasi un tiramisu, which is mascarpone, Nutella, hazelnut, and shaved chocolate, is the way to end the perfect meal. Patrons will also get a small dish of biscotti for the table, which include bite size versions of the Italian horn to bring good luck.
Opened for almost 35 years, Felidia remains the preeminent Italian restaurant for people looking to expand their culinary knowledge. “Tutti a Tavola a Mangiare,” Bastianich proclaims at the end of every episode in her cooking series, which means “everyone to the table to eat,” and diners at Felidia will do just that.