HoursSunday - Thursday
5PM - 10PM
Friday - Saturday
5PM - 10:30PM
212 - 288 - 7374
306 East 81st Street
It all started with what seemed like a simple decision. Sandro’s father gave him the ultimatum of either continuing his studies or going to work. He started washing dishes and peeling potatoes, working his way up in the kitchen of Ristorante Cacciani ( Frascati – Rome). On his 17th birthday he became sous chef to the renowned Franco Carbonari. Just a few days short of his 21st birthday in 1968, he won a first prize at the prestigious Circolo della Stampa in Milan. In presenting him with his award, the dean of Italian food critics, Vincenzo Buonassisi said, "given the opportunity, you will, one day, bring a whole new dimension to the thousand year old tradition of Italian cooking."
After working at Cacciani, Sandro was ready to open his first restaurant, D'Artagnan, named in memory of the great Dumas hero who, in one of the chapters of the The Three Musketeers, outlined a dessert recipe with 20 pounds of ingredients and a quart of liquor. D'Artagnan was a success, featuring a variety of innovative dishes that were to become Sandro signatures: risotto with strawberries, salads made with fried tulips, penne with a sauce of vodka. He also excelled with the more familiar presentations of roast meats and fowl, homemade pastas and soups. The olive oils were seasoned as were the vinegars and the fiery grappas - with garlic, rosemary, chili peppers, oranges, peaches, bananas and raspberries.
In 1984 while attending the GRI (Gruppo Ristatori Italiani) convention in Parma, Italy, Tony May, GRI's chairman, owner of San Domenico NY and a long-time friend, offered Sandro an opportunity to open a restaurant in New York City. The original Sandro's, which opened in 1985, was an instant success, introducing both Sandro and authentic Italian cuisine to New York City.
For seven years, Sandro drew people to his restaurant with dishes then unheard of to New Yorkers. USA Today considered Sandro’s to be one of the top 10 new restaurants in America.
When Sandro's closed in 1992, Sandro consulted for restaurants like Nello’s (NYC),Coco Pazzo (Chicago),il Buco (NYC), and Sapore Di Mare (Hamptons). He moved to the Caribbean where he opened an eponymous restaurant and enjoyed the island life with his family. After a hurricane destroyed the restaurant, he returned to New York to open Sandro's on Ninth Avenue at 22nd Street.
In the spring of 2007, Sandro came full circle with the opening of his fourth restaurant on East 81st Street. The restaurant, serving Sandro's signature Roman-style cuisine, is a favorite to both New Yorkers and Italian food lovers everywhere.
"For the worlds No. 1 amatriciana, no plane is required. I need risk only a cab ride to East 81st street in Manhattan to my currently favorite hometown Italian restaurant, Sandro’s, where the chef-owner cooks as the romans would like to." - Mimi Sheraton, NEW YORK TIMES
"The food at Sandro’s, a loud trattoria led by its unpredictable chef can make you weep with joy." - Alan Richman, BLOOMBERG MARKET
"But he (Sandro Fioriti) belongs to an older breed, embattled but not yet extinct." - Joshua David Stein, MANHATTAN MAGAZINE
"But his latest—a slim, simple, all-white spot—is pure Fioriti. Our bucatini all’Amatriciana was a fine balance of thick, chewy pasta and piquant tomato sauce, dense with chubby nibs of pancetta. Spaghetti al’ limone was a tangy explosion of citrus tempered by sweet cream." - Tony, TIME OUT NEW YORK
"I remember too vividly the glory days of my own Italian innocence in 1985, when Sandro Fioriti first thrilled us with pungent sea urchin ravioli, lemon spaghetti and his exquisite fried calamaretti. Pan seared cuttle fish combines brilliantly with slivers of artichoke" - Gael Green, BITE: MY JOURNAL
"A well known chef in Italy for more than 25 years, Fioriti’s interests extend well beyond cooking and a predilection for Roman-style dishes." - Diners club 48 of our countrys best chefs 1995
"That sprawling veal Milanese with breading startlingly crisp, laughs at the one I had in Milan."- Steve Cuozzo, NEW YORK POST
"Where restaurant critics go when they're spending their own money" - John F, Mariani, ESQUIRE
"Sandro’s brings Rome home" - Pascale Le Draoulec, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
"When not in Rome, Sandro’s is the next best thing" - Moira Hodgson, NEW YORK OBSERVER
"WINNER FOR MOST ARTISTIC ARTICHOKES" - VILLAGE VOICE, 2001
"Chef-owner Sandro Fioriti produces Roman-style and pan-Italian specialties with just enough spin to entice both serious eater and trendier diner." - Mimi Sheraton, DEPARTURES MAGAZINE
"What you will find in a long, narrow store front space, is well cooked Italian food, with an accent on the Roman – which, frankly, is all to the good." - Linda Perney, NEWSDAY
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