Elegantly accessed by a sweeping staircase (or elevator) in the Langham hotel's lobby, Ai Fiori stands proudly above its Fifth Avenue address. This perfect perch for pretty ladies with their deal-making beaus in tow is dominated by walls of windows and espresso-dark wood. The handsome marble bar and lounge furnished with tufted banquettes sets an ideal scene for a post-work drink; while large florals, leather chairs and square columns lure families into the formal dining room.
Service is attentive, the linens are thick, chargers are monogrammed with a goldleaf “F” and every last detail is very, very lovely. As one might expect of a Michael White restaurant, the menu boasts of Italian favorites mingled with contemporary flair. Pastas are masterful, so begin with thin spaghetti tossed in a chunky tomato sauce infused with garlic, scallion, spicy chili and sweet crabmeat. Fish courses can be even more enticing—try the Atlantic halibut crowned with yellow squash and purple radishes or a plate of aromatic bouillabaisse.
Desserts too shine through, as seen in the velvety Paris-Brest. Light, frilly and deliciously creamy with choux pastry and hazelnut-praline, it's almost too pretty to eat.