Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich, the masterminds of an Italian restaurant empire, have opened their first New York City restaurant in a decade. La Sirena occupies a sprawling space in the Maritime Hotel. The Chelsea neighborhood restaurant is open from breakfast to dinner, marking the first time the duo has ever offered breakfast (Amaretti Mascarpone Pancakes, anyone?) in any of their restaurants, which total nearly three dozen in several American cities and in Singapore. Here’s a look inside their newest.
B & B
In addition to stand-alone restaurants, Mario Batali (seated) and Joe Bastianich are also the brains behind the Eataly Italian marketplaces in Chicago and NYC.
As you enter La Sirena, you’ll see this 38-foot bar, which serves as the centerpiece of the restaurant.
Bright and fresh
The bar, made of Caesarstone quartz, separates two dining areas. In warmer months, an outdoor patio seats up to 100 extra guests.
The floor of La Sirena is decorated with handmade Portuguese pavers.
Though the focus of the restaurant is the bar, the dining rooms offer a more serene experience, including white tablecloths. Here, a cubbyhole provides a more private space for dining.
A favorite antipasti on the menu is Alici (anchovies) Marinate with Fennel Three Ways.
On the primi portion of the menu, a highlight is this Lasagne al Pesto Patate, featuring golden potatoes and bechamel.
Another standout pasta is Caserecce, a Sicilian specialty featuring broccoli rabe, Aleppo chili and sesame.
Meat eaters will love this Beef Braciole “Old School” featuring short ribs with broccoli rabe and spicy bread crumbs.