Restaurants We Know You Want to Put on Your Radar: Il Fiorista Makes Date Night Easy

Restaurants having a side hustle IN their actual restaurant is nothing new. Just ask anyone who’s ever dropped into a Cracker Barrel, where rocking chairs and country fried steak have coexisted peacefully for years. That’s why we’re dedicating today’s Restaurants We Know You Want to Put on Your Radar to Il Fiorista in New York City, a restaurant, flower shop, and flower education center as the cool kids call it these days. Now if you’re running late to date night, you can literally just grab flowers at the same exact spot you plan to eat dinner. But not on the first date, that’s a little too much. Leisurely advises starting with a drink at a place with easy to find exits in case things go south. Don’t incorporate Italian food or flowers until at least the third date, as Leisurely advises waiting to reveal your secret pasta and petals pairing.

Cracker Barrel, one of the OG’s of restaurant side hustling. Photo:  Cracker Barrel/Facebook

Cracker Barrel, one of the OG’s of restaurant side hustling. Photo: Cracker Barrel/Facebook

While food and flowers might not be romantic for everyone, especially during allergy season, we’re writing this restaurant profile on the strong belief that people find flowers pretty and Italian food pretty tasty. At Il Fiorista, you get to experience both. The 85-seat restaurant, owned by Alessandra and Mario De Benedetti, is as much about teaching guests how to put together the perfect bouquet as it is how to appreciate floral notes in a cocktail. The community space offers workshops to teach green thumbs sustainable growing methods, as well as the many uses flowers can have in a home.

Bread, the only way to start a proper Italian feast. Keep one to dip in all the sauces.  Photo: Il Fiorista

Bread, the only way to start a proper Italian feast. Keep one to dip in all the sauces. Photo: Il Fiorista

However, if learning makes you hungry, Il Fiorista’s Executive Chef Garrison Price crafted a seasonal menu built around edible flowers and herbs, with a strong focus on Mediterranean flavors. That means fluke crudo cured with fermented and salted chrysanthemum leaves and flowers with fennel pollen. There’s also a sweet corn tart with ricotta (obviously), buckwheat, husk cherries and basil seeds and strip loin with flowering marjoram, green chile and sweet potato leaves. Cocktails like the Drunken Sunflower combine rye, popcorn shoots, and toasted sunflower, while the wine list sourced from across the globe comes in at around 200 bottles.

The Corn Tart at Il Fiorista. Photo:  Il Fiorista/Facebook

The Corn Tart at Il Fiorista. Photo: Il Fiorista/Facebook

Classes, which will begin in October, will take place in the restaurant’s Flower Room. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and soon, grab and go service for those of you who are all about the Netflix and chill night. Guests can begin booking their date night experiences by clicking here.

The Flower Room at Il Fiorista, where classes take place.  Photo: Il Fiorista

The Flower Room at Il Fiorista, where classes take place. Photo: Il Fiorista