Scalini Fedeli is what I'd consider a hidden gem in New York City. It's not the high-end Italian restaurant that spills from people's mouths. It's not an "it" place, somewhere of the moment; it's been open for more than a decade. There are clearly plenty of people in the know, though —it will require advance reservations to get in on a busy Saturday night.
What you get during your $65 three-course prix fixe dinner is worth more than you'll pay for it. And if my word isn't enough, consider that when The New York Times reviewed it in 1999, the same meal cost just $5 less.
After the entrees, two flavors of sorbet were offered as palate cleansers and in an old-school Italian way, one flavor was set in front of all the women and the other for the men.
When it came time for dessert, we received one more than we had ordered. And the chef came out to let us know that he had offered it to us as a way to make up for one person's entree being served minutes after the rest. That's sharp service.
Though the dessert list consisted of several traditional dishes, they each had a bit of a twist. And all of the ones we had were excellent.
As we prepared to leave the restaurant, I asked about my leftovers, which had not yet arrived at the table. Moments later, a manager arrived to explain that somehow they'd lost track of it in the kitchen and that they would like us to wait five minutes as they were preparing the entire dish again for us. It was an incredibly gracious way to make up for their mistake. When it was brought out, the chef came to apologize again.
The restaurant was busy and hectic through the evening and the service wasn't always on top of everything immediately. But the efforts they made to make up for that were touches so impressive that we left feeling as though we had received superior service, only adding to the overall value of our meal.
Scalini Fedeli is on par with some of the best, more well-known restaurants in the city that charge at least $20 more for similar experiences. So if you're looking for something special that is slightly more affordable, Scalini Fedeli is your restaurant.