La Sirena

La Sirena is the brand new restaurant from Italian superstars Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.  The last venture these two opened in NYC was Eataly, arguably my favorite spot in the city, so I was beyond hyped up for this meal.  Usually this kind of excitement leads me down a dark path of sadness and disappointment but at La Sirena my every expectation was met and more.

Let's start with the cocktail program which is fantastic.  The menu has over two dozen drinks broken down into six different categories like Fresh & Crisp, Rich & Robust and Stirred & Boozy.  Of course there are the classic Negroni's and Sicilian Sour's but also fun old favorites like the Singapore Sling served here with Cherry Herring and pineapple. 

The space itself is stunning both inside and outside. The weather was fabulous when we dined so we opted for the terrace where the white tiled floors and fresh flowers made it feel like we were at a resort somewhere far away.

And of course the food was amazing. Each meal at La Sirena begins a basket of warm fluffy bread studded with sesame seeds.  I usually try to forgo the early carbs but I was no match for this sweet, nutty loaf of bread.  

For appetizers a summery Fluke Crudo with bright sugar snap peas, chili and lemon zest that had the perfect balance of citrus and spice...

...and a rich Roasted Quail stuffed with rosemary, garlic and greens on top a sweet rhubarb puree.

La Sirena has a full menu of Secondi including Crispy Branzino, Swordfish and Fried Rabbit but pasta was the main draw at our table; Tonarelli Neri with lobster, sweet corn and jalapeno...

...a hearty Cavatelli with Spare Ribs served Leonetta Style in chunky tomato sauce...

...and my absolute favorite of the night the Panzotti; delicate little purses of pasta stuffed with leek and mascarpone in a Castelmango & brown butter sauce.  This was the kind of delicious where your eyes roll back into your head- my little bowl of heaven right there.

We didn't have any room for dessert but we did get a chance to check out the bar really quick and I highly suggest stopping by for a drink.  These may be the most comfortable bar stools I have ever experienced and there's even a charging station at each seat so you can power up your cell phone in complete luxury.  A meal here isn't cheap but it's not overly expensive either.  I found the price point to be right on par with the quality of food, decor and service.  I think Batali and Bastianich have another winner on their hands.  Saluti!

88 9th Avenue at 17th Street
New York, NY 10011