About

Ai Fiori, translated to ‘Among the Flowers’ in Italian, showcases the modern interpretations of French and Italian Riviera cuisine. The menu highlights Chef White’s signature hand-made pastas, emphasizes seasonal ingredients, and features traditional regional dishes inspired by land and sea.  The menu provides a la carte, prix-fixe, and tasting menu options that are available for lunch and dinner, as well as an express breakfast to start your day.

Ai Fiori is located on the Second Floor of the Langham Hotel on Fifth Ave. Chef di Cucina, Scott Schneider, oversees the daily kitchen operations at Ai Fiori with Wine Director Alessandro Piliego curating the wine list, which boasts over 1000 selections. In addition to the main dining room, Bar Fiori and its lounge area offer guests the opportunity to experience Ai Fiori in a more casual environment to enjoy a craft cocktail and snack with friends during happy hour, have a quick lunch on the go, or catch afternoon coffee and pastry with colleagues. 

Ai Fiori plays host to elegant private events and offers many different attractive setups to consider based on the size of the party and occasion. We are dedicated to making each business, social, or personal event memorable and suited to your needs.

Ai Fiori received three stars from The New York Times as well as Michelin Star recognition the past several years. The restaurant was also included in Esquire Magazine’s 2011 List of Best New Restaurants in America. Additionally, New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo labeled the signature dish Astice the “greatest dish in the world.” Ai Fiori also ranks among Zagat’s Best Italian in NYC, and the Forbes Travel Guide awarded it four stars.

Team

  • Although Michael White’s soulful, flavorful interpretations of Italian cuisine indicate otherwise, Michael is in fact a Midwesterner who spent his childhood in Beloit, Wisconsin.  By whim or intuition, White decided to enroll in Kendall Culinary Institute and then secured a position in Chicago’s Spiaggia.  He studied for seven years at the acclaimed San Domenico in Imola before returning to the United States. 

    In 2007, White partnered with Ahmass Fakahany to open Due Terre and Due Mari in New Jersey.  One year later, Fakahany and White officially formed the Altamarea Group to open Marea, which garnered three stars from The New York Times, and holds two Michelin stars.  From Marea, Fakahany and White extended their culinary vision and opened Michelin-starred Ai Fiori; Osteria Morini restaurants in Soho, New York; Bernardsville, New Jersey; and Washington, D.C.; Vaucluse, their French brasserie on Park Avenue, New York; and Nicoletta Pizzerias.  Outside the United States, Altamarea has properties in London, Istanbul, and Hong Kong.

     

    Chef White has received the highest recognition in his career from Michelin, Relais & Chateaux, The New York Times, James Beard Foundation, Zagats and many other organizations.  White was also named of of the “40 Most Influential New Yorkers under 40” by Crains, New York.  He has also been requested to cook for several U.S. Presidents.

  • David Schneider’s passion for hospitality and food began in Huntsville, Alabama where he enjoyed helping his parents prepare elaborate meals for family and friends.  It was during these formative years that he discovered the joy food and wine brought to others through his service.

    David followed his love of film and food to New York City’s Columbia University and the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). He began his professional career as a captain at Petrossian followed by two years in the kitchen at 71 Clinton Fresh Food. After returning to the front of the house and working as a server at various Italian restaurants, David entered management at USHG’s MoMA Cafes before joining the opening management team at A Voce Columbus. In 2011, David joined the Altamarea Group’s Marea as a Floor Maitre d’. Marea’s energy, excitement, and camaraderie convinced him that he had found his niche with AMG. David left Marea to become the opening General Manager of Ristorante Morini and then Ai Fiori.

    David now brings his love for fine dining, passion for hosting others, and earnest desire to share gracious hospitality as Director of Ai Fiori and Vaucluse, Altamarea Group's first French restaurant. 

  • Ai Fiori General Manager, Eliza Poehlman is not afraid of a little hard work. While living in Los Angeles in the summer of 2006, Eliza’s passion for hospitality was ignited while working as a hostess at a local sushi restaurant on Universal Citywalk. The following summer, Eliza followed that passion to New York City where she began working at Jean Georges. A year into her tenure with Jean- Georges, Eliza was quickly promoted to maître d, where she continued to grow and learn about restaurants for the next 2 years.

     

    By 2010, Eliza was ready to take on more responsibility and try her hand at assisting in opening restaurants, starting with Print Restaurant and Press Lounge. Hired as maître d to assist in building their reservationists and hosts program, Eliza was quickly catapulted into the breakfast-lunch manager position. It is here that Eliza spent the subsequent 3 years learning all she could about managing a staff, working closely with the kitchen and handling guest relations. 

     

    Eliza’s love for a challenge and need to always grow is what eventually led her to become a manager at Ai Fiori. With an innate sense of hospitality and attention to detail, it was no surprise when Eliza became Assistant General Manager of Ai Fiori in 2016, and was later promoted to General Manager in 2017, where, under her leadership, Ai Fiori maintains their 1 Michelin Star and grows stronger every day.

     

  • Scott was born in Vermilion, in Northern Ohio, a largely agricultural area, that exposed Scott to a climate producing the freshest ingredients in spring and summer months.  Scott was quite inspired by his grandfather, who was raised on a farm and helped develop his knowledge for growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables in his garden.

     

    Scott attended Lorain County Joint Vocational School (LCJVS) for culinary arts where he first developed his true passion for food. He simultaneously worked at Moosehead Grill and was determined to continue his education, Scott enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where he excelled in his classes and externship and graduated with a bachelors degree.

     

    After graduation, Scott worked in some of New York’s great kitchens including Restaurant 81, Union Square Café, La Mangeoire, and Bar Basque under Chef Yuhi Fujinaga.

     

    In 2011 Scott joined the team at Ai Fiori, as a line cook and quickly rose through the ranks to become Executive Sous Chef. Scott continued to develop his culinary and leadership skills under Chef Michael White and the Altamarea Group ultimately becoming Chef de Cuisine in June 2016. Scott’s knowledge and passion for Italian cuisine is evident through his high quality and consistently yet also innovative touches in the A Fiori menu.

  • Growing up in Rome Italy, Alessandro Piliego was exposed to great home cooked food and wine at an early age. As a child, Piliego often made runs to the local enoteca to fill empty bottles of wine straight from the barrels. He has traveled and worked throughout Europe; Disneyland Hotel and Disney World Paris was his first endeavor. While in Spain, he worked at Relais and Chateaux Hacienda Na Ximena. He decided to move to the United States, where he worked for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL for three years. When he permanently moved to New York in 2003, he graduated from Hospitality Management at New York City College of Technology, and studied wine under Roger Dagorn, MS. Next, he went on to open The House in Gramercy, running their wine program for three years.

     

    After completing courses with the American Sommelier Association, he now holds an Advanced Certification in Wine and Spirits from the World Spirit Education Trust. In 2014, Piliego joined the Altamarea Group at Costata as Sommelier. Today, Alessandro currently holds the title of Wine Director for Ai Fiori and Ristorante Morini.  

  • One of the first faces you see upon entering Ai Fiori is that of head bartender, Pete Stanton. With a resume that runs the gamut of restaurant positions, it is not hard to see why Pete quickly made his way to head bartender at Ai Fiori.

     

    Growing up in Maryland, Pete quickly became immersed in the food industry at the young age of 14 when he began working at a local diner as a line cook. By 18 years old, Pete was a bartender at Baltimore’s 30+ year old fine dining restaurant, Crab Shanty. Just a few years later he was ready to make a move and so he headed to New York, where, due to his love for the business and hard work, he quickly became the head bartender at Iridium Jazz Club in Times Square. 

     

    Pete’s biggest career move came in 2006 when he started working for Blue Ribbon Restaurant Group. Over the next 10 years, Pete played a huge role in the success of the Blue Ribbon bar program, taking in part in multiple restaurant openings, bartending in many of their restaurants, including Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill and Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya, while taking advantage of every opportunity which was presented to him. During this time, Pete ventured to Japan on a trip that ultimately, changed his approach to hospitality. Spending a month in Japan did not just teach Pete about the many different sakes and their flavor profiles, but more importantly he walked away with an extreme appreciation for the culture. That trip still lends its influences on Pete and his creations at Ai Fiori.

     

    In 2015, Pete joined Altamarea Group where he was part of the opening bar team at Vaucluse assisting in the design of the bar, training the bar staff, and working specifically with French wines and a predominantly French back bar. Pete’s exceptional knowledge of all things spirits and unique thoughts on cocktails have led him to his most recent role with the Altamarea Group, as Ai Fiori’s Head Bartender. His carefully crafted cocktails speak of his passion and creativity in every sip.