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  • Writer's pictureJody Johnson

Fine Dining NY Style

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

Indian, Filipino, Thai, Mexican, Masai. . . . it would be hard to find a type of cuisine that is not represented somewhere in New York. Choosing where to eat in a city that is known for some of the best restaurants in the world can be, to say the least, a bit overwhelming. I had jotted down a couple of places that I wanted to try before I arrived but trying to narrow restaurants down on-line was nearly as overwhelming as walking through the city and randomly choosing one to eat at. I'll reveal amongst a few posts a number of the places I found some fabulous eats.

** Erminia restaurant has closed.

Erminia for my birthday dinner

Erminia 250 E 83rd St. New York

I stumbled upon Erminia quite by accident. I had another restaurant pegged to eat at on the night of my birthday but upon arrival I found the crowd spilling out the door. Knowing that there were hundreds of other options I continued down the street. I smelled Erminia before I even realized that the tiny and cozy looking building housed a restaurant. Garlic and other savory spices stopped me in my tracks as I walked the Yorkville neighborhood near my AirBnB room and I quickly found their source. Poking my head inside the candlelit venue I felt I was looking inside someone's private chalet. It was tiny, dark, intimate. . .and filled with mostly couples. 'Table for one please.' The host promptly seated me and I chose a rich Cabernet to start. I ordered the involtini di pollo: chicken breast filled with prosciutto, provolone, and roasted eggplant in a white wine sauce along with a salad of fennel and parmesan. The staff spoke Italian amongst themselves and for a moment I was transported back to Italy. I am falling in love with the cultural diversity of this city. The service was divine and I was given simply the best cannoli I have ever had as a birthday treat on the house. The prices were on par with any better dining establishment and well worth it.

I later discovered that Erminia has been voted one of the most romantic restaurants in New York. No small feat in a city of around 24,000 restaurants!

I am already plotting out my return visit to Erminia.

Felice 83 was another restaurant that I stumbled upon looking for a lunch spot. Italian food is one of my favorite cuisines and not readily available in my home town.

Featuring a long wine list, tufted leather seating, and a local vibe, Felice 83 is owned by the same people/company that run Sant Ambroeus on Madison Avenue. I opted for the Crostoni Stracciatella: a generous slice of bread topped with burrata, pumpkin seeds, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and the Ravioli della Casa: house made spinach and ricotta ravioli, finished with a butter and sage sauce and topped with parmesan.

Ravioli della Casa

With all the cheese and carbs, it's a good think that walking was my primary means of getting around in New York.

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