Entering any of the three Felice restaurants in New York City immediately transports you to Tuscany. The warm, inviting atmosphere truly reflects the passion and commitment to excellence of brothers Jacopo and Matteo Giustiniani, to share their family’s culinary and wine making skills.
We were thrilled to be invited to an exclusive dinner at their latest endeavor, Felice 15 Gold Street . The restaurant is located in the Gild Hall hotel at 15 Gold Street in the heart of the financial district.
Besides the anticipation of Felice’s consistently scrumptious food, we had the opportunity to meet Matteo Giustiniani. Matteo flew in from the family’s Tuscany vineyards to share their latest varietals, including the long awaited Rosè, which was raved about last year.
The dark wood and library paneling, combined with the gold lighting accessories is so warm, you can just imagine what it is like to be at the family’s estate in Italy. The private room on the mezzanine would definitely be a great choice for a personal event or private dinner party.
It is remarkable that the brothers deliver an equally superb result in both the food and the wine, and so we were treated to a truly memorable pairing.
The evening’s focus was on the wine produced at Fattoria Sardi Giustiniani the family winery, which sits on over 100 acres northeast of Tuscany between the mountains and the sea. This vineyard was started by the brother’s maternal grandfather in the 80's and inherited by Jacopo and Matteo in 2002. This unique terroir, with its clean air and sun-drenched climate, lends itself to wines that are both organic and exceptional. Matteo Giustiniani enhanced the traditional winemaking skills with French inspirations acquired when studying winemaking in Bordeaux.
We were greeted with a glass of one of our favorites, the Fattoria Sardi Vermentino 2012. This is always a delightful wine to enjoy both alone or with food and the 2012 vintage did not disappoint.
The dinner began with a lovely antipasto: assorted Crostones, Veal Meatballs and mouthwatering Rice Balls. This was perfectly paired with the highly anticipated Rosè – Fattoria Sardi Rosato 2012, a beautifully colored, crisp wine that is quite food-friendly.
Our next pairing was a delightful surprise: The Villa Sardi Rosso 2012 was an excellent companion for the delicate Spinach Ravioli stuffed with Ricotta and draped with a butter, sage and parmesan sauce. This spicy red made the ravioli an unforgettable dish.
They saved the best for last with the 2009 Fattoria Sardi Sebastiani Merlot, a full-bodied beauty that is intense and elegant at the same time. This paired flawlessly with the Tagliati Di Manzo; grilled sirloin served with arugula salad, parmesan and roasted potatoes – cooked to perfection.
The dinner was a terrific success and the latest vintages were as wonderful as we expected. The Giustiniani brothers bring their talents for food and wine together to form an unstoppable team.
Once again we left Felice 15 Gold Street smiling, satisfied and planning our next visit.