It may sound Italian, it may look Italian, and it may taste Italian. But Fasano hails from Brazil, and it’s firmly landed in New York City. In the former Four Seasons 2.0 space, Fasano is bringing big, elegant dining to the restaurant scene. Here’s the review.
The Brazilians Arrive in NYC
First, the Fasano group opened a private hotel and club on Fifth Avenue. Then they took over the space of the re-incarnated (and short-lived) Four Seasons restaurant. Why not? If you can make it in New York City, you can make it anywhere. And it seems like that’s Fasano’s plan. Fasano is family-owned hotel group that owns some of the top hospitality properties in Brazil. Patriarch,Vittorio Fasano immigrated to Brazil from Milan, and started a small Italian brasserie in São Paulo. From there, over the course of the past 120+ years, he and his offspring opened hotels all over Brazil.
As you might expect from the space that housed the beloved Four Seasons restaurant, the architecture and decor are seriously elegant. Not a lot of changes were made to the interior. The space is now carpeted, and some of the color palette was updated to more neutral browns. But you’re not here to read about the design or where the banquettes were made. You want to know about the vibe, and whether the foos is good enough to put Fasano on your list.
The front of the restaurant is Fasano’s casual osteria. What surprised me was how sedate the scene was. From the pedigree and reviews, I had expected the vibe to be more like The Grill, which took over the original Four Seasons space at the Seagram building. At The Grill, and you feel like you’re back in the Mad Men days of martini lunches and the 50s and 60s glamour of New York City. You walk into Fasano NYC, and it’s, well, eh. On several visits, the bar was nearly empty, and the trattoria’s crowd on the bland side.
The Main Dining Room
I still held out hope for the main dining room. As a big fan of Fasano properties, I wanted to be wowed. But while the dining room is beautiful, serene, and elegant, there was something missing. Maybe the new JP Morgan building needs to open to bring in the crowd. Also, Midtown is not quite 100% back to pre-COVID working and dining levels. But part of it was the crowd that was there, and part was the flow of the tables. There are wooden dividers throughout the dining room, hardly conducive to people watching. Given it’s in competition with places like Polo Bar and The Grill, there needs to be a power scene. At Fasano, it’s nowhere to be found.
When there’s scene, my expectations for food are on a different grading scale. However, since there was nothing to look at other than the girlfriends at my table, you’d better feed me the best food of my life. The menu pays homage to Fasano’s northern Italian roots. So you get pastas, risotto, and elegant fish presentations of the kind you’d expect in Milan. None of it blew me away. It was all fine, like the experience — but for the price, I would rather spend my money at The Grill or even Cipriani downtown.
Luckily, this is the one area where my Fasano experience aligns with my expectations. The service is as polished as can be. Everyone from the hosts to the formally dressed waiters are elegant and hospitable. There’s not an aspiring actor in the bunch; these people make their career in taking care of people. I would say the service is the strongest virtue of Fasano NYC.
I was cheering big-time for Fasano, but the place really needs to attract the glamorous NYC power scene. I will keep an eye on this promising venture, to see where it goes.
Q: Is Fasano NYC open on the weekends?
A: Fasano is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 2:30pm and from 5 pm to 10 pm. Saturday times are 5 pm to 10 pm.
Q: Is Fasano NYC a good option for families?
A: As far as we know children are allowed, but we would say the restaurant is more appropriate for young adults and beyond. The atmosphere is elegant Milanese and it’s not a great place for young kids to run around.
Q: Is Fasano NYC a good place for business dinners?
A: Absolutely yes. With its Midtown location, it’s convenient to a lot of offices. Fasano also has private spaces that would be lovely for a private dinner. Especially if someone else, like your company, is picking up the tab.
Address: 280 Park Ave Entrance on, W 49th St, New York, NY 10017