Food & Drink

Italian eats at the JW

Everyone's heard the lyrics "History repeats itself/Try and you'll succeed", but if it were that easy Joe Esposito would have also made the Karate Kid 2 soundtrack The Best Around. Looking for repeat success, The Florentine

A massive new 220-seat contempo-Italian resto laid out in the posh new JW Marriott, TF's helmed by Todd Stein (of last year's celebrated also-contempo-Italian hotel resto Cibo Matto), and's centered around an 80-seat, 360 degree marble 'n wood bar flanked by classically tinged modern artwork, caramel colored banquettes, and library-style shelves lined with old books (so, like, gen 1 Kindles? Gross!). Start off with antipasti like seared scallops with fregola sardo/butternut squash/black truffle, chilled lobster w/ buffalo mozz, arugula, and lemon relish, and grilled octopus kicked with saffron aioli and giant white beans whose size makes them difficult to stalk. From there there's pasta action, from pumpkin risotto studded with caramelized bay scallops to buffalo-ricotta-filled ravioli w/ cured tomato, brown butter, and sage, plus meatier options of wine-braised shortribs w/ ricotta creamed spinach, and a veal porterhouse plated with roasted mushrooms, balsamic brown butter, and sugar snap peas who keep telling the veal it's momma was so fat she was a real cow

Those seeking booze need only look so far as the towering, transparent 2,000 bottle wine wall at the front of the restaurant, though it's not advisable to try them all at once, 'cause no one's ever gonna keep that down.