Restaurants, Italian Midtown East
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
15 Love It
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Photograph: Diana DeLucia
This midtown trattoria set up shop decades before serious Italian restaurants were a lira a dozen (A Voce, we’re looking at you). The food at Lidia Bastianich’s 58th Street gem is as exuberant as it was when it opened nearly 30 years ago. An octopus “mosaic” is a brilliant dish—an impossibly delicate slice of cephalopod terrine spiked with chives and served with expertly charred tentacles. Pastas, including the ravioli-like krafi, stuffed with mild cheese and sweet, plump raisins, are uniformly fantastic; larger dishes like a three-way veal (braised cheeks, tenderloin and sweetbreads) are as smartly composed as any you’re likely to see. Consider it required eating.


Venue name: Felidia
Address: 243 E 58th St
New York
Cross street: between Second and Third Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Thu noon–2:30pm, 4:30–10:30pm; Fri noon–2:30pm, 5–11:30pm; Sat 5–11:30pm; Sun 4–10pm
Transport: Subway: N, R, W to Lexington Ave–59th St; 4, 5, 6 to 59th St
Price: Average main course: $30. AmEx, DC, Disc, MC, V
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Average User Rating

4.3 / 5

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2 people listening
Dennis R

We should have known from the pained and stressed looks on the faces of the two tables we were seated next to as we arrived at our table at Felidia last evening. It took only a minute to understand their hostage-like looks as the cacophony from a party of approximately ten young women having a bachelorette party overtook the room. Hoping it was a short laugh at a momentary joke, we started reviewing the menus and sipping our water but it soon became obvious that the bachelorette party, fueled by alcohol and "look-at-us" egos were on a roll of raised voices, cross-talking and cackling that absolutely ruined the atmosphere of an otherwise nice-looking restaurant. I asked a passing waiter if he could speak to the offending table and ask them to dial it back a bit. he shrugged with a sense of "what can I do?" commitment. 

The nearby diners looked at us as if to say "run while you can, we've already ordered and are stuck here - and miserable". I will not soon forget the man's face at that table.  I then got up and approached a staff member asking to see the manager. She responded "what kind of manager?". I said "THE manager". He arrived at our table and I asked him if we could move to a table downstairs. He said there were no tables available. Actually, there were several tables available, but they were reserved, just as ours had been. 

The manager apologized but offered no other solution. It was at that point we decided to vote with our feet and our dollars. There was no point in dropping $1,600 for the seven of us to suffer through a tavern-like atmosphere in which we could not even hear each other at our own table. The Olive Garden would have been more civil that what we walked into. The manager and staff, although apologetic, need to learn how to run a restaurant in New York City. First, you don't put a bachelorette party in a main dining room of what is alleged to be a first class restaurant. You put them in a private dining room, which Felidia does have, according to their web site. Secondly, you don't let other guests suffer from the immature obnoxious behavior of a group that does not know how to conduct themselves in a public setting. The management should have asked the bachelorette group to quiet down. If that didn't work, they should have invited them to move to the private dining room. If they refused, then the management should have comp'd them on what they had consumed so far and then thrown them out. 

Instead, the management appeared afraid to confront and deal with the situation. For some reason the management felt okay with letting several other tables have a miserable time instead of stepping in to correct an unacceptable situation. The irony is that the bachelorette group was probably having a once-in-five-years experience while the other guests, like us, live in the neighborhood and dine out every Saturday evening. 

Note to Felidia's management: find your courage...the day of political correctness and being afraid to offend anybody - especially at the expense of others - are over! Defend your restaurant's brand, if not for your other guests, then at least for your staff and investors. The good news is that we left, stepped outside, called Caravaggio's on East 74th Street and were warmly greeted and accepted. We Uber'd over there and enjoying an absolutely lovely dining experience, hallmarked by a creative menu, a superb wine list, a very pleasant dining atmosphere and a customer-focused staff that made us feel welcomed and valued. Felidia....you have a lot to learn!

Maggie R

simply wonderful Italian for a special occasion (including Thanksgiving when the spread can't be beat).

Kristin S

Felidia is my favorite restaurant! Chef Nicotra is amazing and the food never disappoints! Choosing a favorite dish is like choosing your favorite child :)

Brian M.

This odd location restaurant has been a mainstay since they moved there in the early 1980's from Queens.  Located near the 59th street bridge, Felidia is a fantastic take on Italian cuisine that shows why Lydia Bastianich is at the top of the culinary world.  I started my meal with a beef carpaccio over arugula.  It went well with the wine and the truffle sauce made it more of a entree than appetizer.  For the main meal, the home made spinach pappardelle with duck was exquisite.  They offered truffle shavings, but I was already in truffle overload from the earlier meal.  Added bonus this evening, Lydia herself was walking around the dining room and working with the service to ensure everyone had a primo experience.