Any new restaurant opening intrigues me, but any new Mario Batali restaurant overwhelmingly excites me, to the point where I am constantly reading reviews in place of daily current events. At first, I couldn’t get a reservation since the opening was so hyped up and then I read some “not so great reviews” so I gave my obsession a rest, but then after hearing some positive ones, I decided to give La Sirena a shot. After all, the only review that matters is mine, right?! (And Andrew Steinthal’s).
Aside from Mario Batali’s impressive resume of classic Italian eateries (Eataly, Babbo, Otto, etc.), I was captivated by the décor. We went on a scorching summer night, so it was too hot (at least for this Floridian) to eat outside on the beautiful 100-seater patio, but I definitely hope it is still open when it gets a bit cooler in the fall.
When you walk in, you are greeted by a gorgeous bar situated on a floor made of eclectic, Portuguese tiles, gold bar stools and beautiful, modern, Sputnik light fixtures (taking notes for my future dining room).
Photo credit: La Sirena
On each side of the bar there are two large dining rooms, and at 8:45PM on a Friday night, all of the tables were not filled, making the space seem a little cold and empty -- not sure why it is so hard to get a reservation. We were seated in the room to the left of the bar.
The wine menu, which can be found on an iPad, was a little overwhelming (thank goodness for the search tool, or else I would have been picking out our bottle of wine the entire meal). We decided on one of the 100 Chianti’s and it was delicious and paired well with the meal.
Here’s a rundown of the food:
Heirloom Tomatoes and Stracciatella with Opal & Thai Basil
Artichokes and Sunchokes with Rucola and Bottarga
Bucatini La Sirena with Spicy Octopus with Estratto
Lasagne al Pesto e Patate with Layers of Fresh Pasta with Pesto, Golden Potatoes and Bechamel
Ravioli all'Amatriciana with Spring Onion Butter: Pancetta, Tomato, Onion & Pecorino filled Ravioli
Pineapple Bomboloni: Italian-Style Doughnuts with Roasted Pineapple & Vanilla Gelato
I usually dissect the food and discuss what I liked and didn’t like, but truthfully, I liked everything and the pictures really do each dish justice.
La Sirena gets a 9/10 for the excellent food. It hit our G-spots in ways we can’t even explain - don't listen to other reviews - try it for yourself! Still kind of confused as to why it is so tough to get a reservation at this ginormous restaurant that isn’t fully booked. Maybe they're short staffed? Maybe they like the exclusivity and like the built up hype? I guess when Mario Batali is backing the restaurant you can do whatever you want.
88 Ninth Avenue New York City, NY 10011 Tel: (212) 977-6096