Fiamma is an Italian restaurant in Soho, on Spring St. between Sullivan and Sixth Ave. After you enter and your coats are taken, an elevator takes you to the elegant second floor of the restaurant, filled with curvaciously fluted vases and decanters and snazzy Italian artwork on the walls. A quiet atmosphere pervades the place.
Food was often pretty but unfortunately disappointing in taste. I had a vegetarian tasting. My first course was a white asparagus whose pecorino and mint foam accompaniments did not form a cohesive whole. My second course was a set of fried mozarella and squash blossoms with marinara. These were deep-fried in a batter. The marinara was rich and delicate, with onion accenting and giving texture. But the blossoms themselves did not have the crunchy shell they should have. They tasted like they had sat a little too long, and the oil had sogged up the batter. The third course was a tagliatelle with ricotta inside. The ricotta filling was dense and lemony, but it was just too heavy and simply did not taste that great. My final course was a simple "vegetable dish" that the chef had prepared, full of spring greens (I had called ahead and indicated that there would be vegetarians in the group). This was crunchy and tasted decent, but was hardly anything special. It felt a lot like the hot version of a salad. Dessert was a strange chocolate cake layered on pistachio shortbread and topped with a scoop of basil gelato. Again, not a combination that worked all that well. Though it was inventive.
My companions who ate meat-based dishes had similar reactions, though there were one or two dishes they liked.
Servers had a good attitude, but they also messed up twice, in delivering the wrong courses and in charging us for a bottle of wine they should not have (they corrected it when it was pointed out).
Overall, this is not a restaurant that I'd recommend, given the very high prices and the decidedly shrug-inducing (or worse, perplexing) flavor of the food.
The Vegetarian New Yorker: http://vegny.blogspot.com/