From the soft lighting to the warm, textured interiors splashed with jewel tones and rich woods, the mood at the new restaurant inside Midtown’s artsy Chambers Hotel made for the perfect end-of-week dinner outing. Aperitivo drinks in the swanky first-floor lounge bar featured signature mixtures such as the Jack O’Groni (a must-try for pumpkin lovers) and the U.V.A Spritz, which readied appetites for the evening ahead. Downstairs in the main dining room, a colossal custom work of art by painter Fiona San Giuliano spanned an entire wall, giving guests a front row seat to an enchanting Italian landscape in watercolor. The stage was set for a Tuscan feast in New York City.
FELICE 56, the latest restaurant of Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group’s FELICE, is a sophisticated addition to the FELICE family. Its food program flawlessly demonstrates the range of Tuscany’s cuisine through dishes that pay homage to ingredients and flavors found in the countryside and coastal areas. Executive Chef Adrian Kercuku, who calls Florence home, describes the menu as “a twist on everyday Tuscan recipes that have been passed down for generations.”
The menu is packed with mouth-watering specialties, creating a bit of a challenge for the indecisive foodie when it comes time to order. Although, having multiple meal options to choose from is hardly worth a gripe. Star pasta dishes include the Cacio e Pepe and Fettucine alla Bolognese, as well as the Pappardelle al Cacao, Chiantigiana (cocoa nib pappardelle with slow-braised short rib ragù). From the sea, consider the Linguinie alla Viareggina (with Manila clams and PEI mussels) and the Branzino al Forno (oven-roasted Mediterranean sea bass). Land standouts include the Tagliata di Manzo (roasted skirt steak with salsa verde) and the Arrosto (slow-cooked roast beef), which, as Kercuku puts it, is made the way your grandmother would make it on a Sunday with herbs from her garden.
“What distinguishes true Italian cooking is a respect for the land and old traditions,” explains Chef Adrian. “We work with local farmers to source the freshest ingredients and form real relationships with the land to create the homemade dishes that showcase the spirit of Tuscany.”
Vino drinkers will appreciate FELICE 56’s extensive wine program focused on a collection of varietals, blends, and esoteric grapes exclusive to Italy, with a large selection of vintage Super Tuscan and Brunello wines. For fans of organic and sustainable labels, the restaurant has its own namesake Chardonnay, Sangiovese, and Rosato bottles to try.
Caffeine seekers will find a traditional Italian coffee bar at the entrance. Run by Lorenzo Antonelli, director of Sant Ambroeus Coffee Bars, the bar serves up espresso and cappuccino using a special blend by Italy’s Lavazza. Stop by to snack on fresh-from-the-oven Italian pastries and a variety of housemade panini tartufati and schiacciate ripiene.