I check out not to go to a new restaurant shortly immediately after its opening so as to give them a possibility to sleek things out. But, mainly because of the wobbly condition of the sector in the course of Covid, I want to give a newcomer a raise, if probable, to bring in an audience. Which is how I discovered myself at Felice Columbus just a 7 days just after it experienced opened.
Not solely to my shock, the area was packed by 7 o’clock, with more occupied tables outside the house regardless of a New York warmth wave. Which just goes to demonstrate how pleased and keen people are to dine out and to try what’s new, primarily when Felice Columbus presently has the pedigree of a very successful cafe enterprise, the SA Hospitality Team beneath Jacopo Giustiniani, Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli, who have properly planted their flag in a dozen locations in Manhattan, Southampton and Palm Beach front, such as Sant Ambroeus (an offshoot of the Milan authentic), Casa Lever (in the Lever Creating on Park Avenue) and a number of espresso bars. Their courage in opening Felice Columbus in these skittish times demonstrates just how substantially religion they have in the potential of eating.
This newest, on the higher West Aspect, is a excellent deal extra rustic than the elegantly appointed Felice 56 in the Chambers Hotel, but very similar to other Felice restaurants, all with a dominant bar—here it’s a lot more than 40 toes extensive. The Columbus branch could use more lighting to allow for attendees to see each the décor and the gorgeous meals well prepared by Govt Chef Ivalyo Pavlov, under culinary director chef Iacopo Falai, and at the second the sound amount is deafening at 90 decibels—equivalent to an electric powered lawnmower or motorcycle. (How is it that a one table of 4 short-sleeved adult males can make as much noise as a flotilla of tugboat foghorns?) A amount underneath the dining place is a handsome lounge just remaining set to use for tiny events.
The menu is really very long on antipasti and pastas and limited on primary classes, and although Giustiniani, whose family members owns a winery in Lucca, says that Felice “delivers the genuine Tuscan flavors of his homeland,” there’s extremely tiny on Felice’s menu that could be named especially Tuscan, with much more of a Pan-Italian and greatly Roman cast to it. But it rarely issues with food items this delectable.
A person absolutely Tuscan item is just one of the ideal on the menu: crostini (bread crusts) topped with easy chicken liver mousse, sweet onion confit and Tuscan prosciutto ($21). A fantastic way to start off is with the chef’s assortment of imported smoked fish—which is a lot more a nod to the Higher West Side than to Italy—with balsamic-laced cipollini onions, pickled artichokes and boiled potatoes ($37). There are 4 salads, like chicory ($19), quinoa ($18) and caprese ($19).
Each individual pasta I tasted was initial-rate and impeccably cooked al dente, all of them coming at the similar time to the table, incredibly hot and aromatic. Spaghetti all’arrabiata ($21) comes with an “angry” sauce of tomatoes, garlic confit, pepperoncino chilies, cherry tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The fettuccine alla bolognese ($26) is extraordinary for its intensity of a prolonged-simmered veal ragù with lots of chopped vegetables absorbed into the sauce. That quintessential Roman trattoria dish tonnarelli cacio e pepe ($23) is deceptively straightforward, designed with only extra fat strands of pasta, pecorino Romano cheese and coarsely ground black pepper, all melded into a creamy delight. Summery and aromatic basil is included into entwined gemellii pasta with arugula ($24), and pappardelle with sweet sausage has the wonderful bitter inflection of braised endive, porcini mushrooms and a truffe sauce ($24). I elevated my eyebrows upon observing that the spaghetti alla carbonara ($24) contained major product, which would appall Roman cooks. And, whilst potatoes are certainly a gluten-free tuber, is it essential to point out that with the gnocchi description, which may place some men and women off?
The branzino ($36) is baked in parchment, so it steams daintily and retains its texture, with ripened cherry tomatoes, chopped capers, olives, braised olives, parsley and lemon. The tender and crisp hen Milanese with wild arugula, cherry tomatoes, Parmigiano and a wealthy balsamic reduction ($29) is as superior as any in city, and the rooster breast with bib lettuce, tomato, crimson wine vinegar and olive oil ($27) also was a good hearty choice. In simple fact, all the dishes arrive in sizeable parts, so splitting a pasta is recommended. I was happily astonished that the sliced sirloin steak, all 12 ounces of it, was surprisingly excellent without the need of this currently being a steakhouse, served with broccoli di rabe and fantastic garlic-loaded roasted Yukon potatoes, which at $39 is a great buy.
Because of the Sant Ambroeus connection, the dolci here are superb, which is seldom the case in Italian dining establishments. The darkly intensive tiramisù, the chocolate torte, the Principessa lemon sponge cake with vanilla pastry product and almond marzipan, and the mascarpone cheese cake are all properly truly worth ordering ($12 every single).
That 42 1/2-foot-long bar attributes its have cocktails together with a Negroni program, and the wine record is really deep with wines from 20 Italian locations, which includes Felice’s have private wine label. Prices are reasonable minded and there are dozens of bottles under $70.
I would like Felice Columbus all the luck in the globe but, frankly, I really don’t feel it will want it, supplied the interest of the clientele in that portion of the world for really genuine Italian cooking of this high-quality. If not as elegant as Felice 56, the place you can bask in the refinement of the knowledge at quite substantially the same price tag, Felice Columbus is a welcome addition to the community and a location any person who loves large portions of wonderful Italian meals will want to know about.
240 Columbus Avenue
Felice Columbus is open nightly for meal.