The atmosphere was tangible sitting at the curved bar of Bar Felice, as the bartender carefully mixed the beautiful drinks. She moved with a precise grace, concentrating on the elaborate specialty cocktails or a measured pour of wine, while being attentive to those sitting at the bar.
It was a cold night, and the dark sky flooded though the windows of Bar Felice, the lounge bar extension of Felice83; dim lights, cool décor, grey stripes, trendy finishes and fixtures. The live music was made staccato by exchanges of the staff in Italian. It was busy— people chatted and laughed, rhythmically drinking deep from their glasses. And the air was warm with sultry sauces, luxurious wine and colorful cocktails.
Jacopo Giustiniani, co-owner of Bar Felice, blends his cultural heritage and familial legacy, to construct the beverage program. The drinks menu features a collection of signature wines from Giustiniani’s family’s winery in Italy, along with a handpicked selection of artisanal whiskeys and scotches and exclusive European beers.
Specialty drinks, developed by Salvatore Tafuri, are moments of Italy— some with aperol and campari flavors, prosecco accents, or are infused with wine. The Padova mixes refined Felice white wine with bitter aperol and campari to heighten the natural essence of the grapefruit juice. The Milano, though, is sweet; a refreshing mix of vodka and prosecco, l'esprit de june and white grape juice. But the Fiorentina is tangy and fruity, mixing a house-made raspberry purée with gin and cranberry juice, topped with club soda. Bar Felice also offers classic Italian cocktails like the Negroni, the Aperol Spritzer and the Garibaldi. The aesthetic of the cocktails are clean and polished, an integration of Italian inspiration and sophistication.
The menu at Bar Felice, assembled by Felice’s executive chef Simone Parisotto, has a few small plates, which are perfect to pair with the curated list of beers, wines and specialty cocktails. It is also possible to order items off of the menu from Felice 83 next door. Light bites, like arancini, filled fried rice balls, taglieri, the chef’s selection of cured meats and cheeses, or olive marinate served with scamorza cheese are reminiscent of Italy, while sliders and patatine homefries offer American comfort with an Italian twist.
The homemade polpettine are chewy meatballs made with veal and lemon zest, drowned in a smooth tomato sauce. Fritto misto di calamari e verdure brings a satisfying crunch from thin fried strands of calamari, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus and carrots. A little lighter, the insalata di carciofi from the Felice menu, is sliced raw artichokes and hearts of palm on a bed of spicy arugula and topped with fat flakes of Parmesan. With provolone, mozzarella, parmesan and goat cheese the pasta al forno is heartier. The menu presents Tuscan charm with a New York City edge.
The light bites and hand picked beverage program, make Bar Felice a great spot for a lovely night out, a happy moment— felice.
1591 First Ave
New York, NY 10016
New York, NY 10016