Felix Culpa, which translates to “happy fault” or “blessed mistake,” is a hybrid lounge-cum-restaurant with spiffy midcentury modern decor, resplendent with velvet couches, Pop Art, and eclectic chandeliers.
The nightspot scores with authentic Italian dishes and American classics rendered with finesse. Menu highlights are the charred octopus, steak tartare blended with bone marrow béarnaise sauce, gnocchi with pickled fennel, and a rigatoni bolognese from the recipe of the mother of Bologna-born operating partner Massimiliano “Max” Sgarbi.
“In Italy, especially northern Italy, no sauce is running on the plate—it’s not dry, it’s compact,” Sgarbi explains. “So the way [the bolognese] is made is a long process with just a little bit of tomato to give the softness, and you cook it for five, six hours with the meat, carrot, celery, and red wine.”