While Mario Batali has been busy opening restaurants and Eataly stores all over the country, it has been 10 years since he opened a restaurant in New York City—outside of the ones inside Eataly and his fast-casual concept in the recently opened Pennsy food hall near Penn Station. When news broke that Batali would be opening a seasonal Italian spot in Chelsea's Maritime Hotel, food lovers could barely contain their excitement.
La Sirena, which replaces the long-standing La Bottega restaurant, will finally open this Thursday, February 11. According to Grub Street, who got a sneak peek, it looks like it was worth the wait. Bright, sleek, minimalist and sporting white tablecloths, no less, the restaurant showcases a markedly different aesthetic than dimly lit, opulent Del Posto, Batali's other Chelsea restaurant.
The menu differs from Del Posto, too. Inspired by coastal Italy, it offers dishes like grilled squid with crushed favas and marinated broccoli, bucatini and spicy octopus Tomato sauce, and grilled lamb chops with Sicilian chickpea flour fritters, pomegranate and mint.
As if we needed to get more excited, Batali has been tempting fans with Instagrams of anticipated dishes over the last few weeks.
Having worked on the restaurant for over a year, Batali is just as excited as we are. "The hype will come and go and the groovy power lists will be just that. We built this to last and with our partners in the Maritime Hotel we look forward to a very long run making people happy with food, wine, cocktails and excellent and friendly service, and hey if it works out, you really can get a room."
Like Jonathan Waxman's Jams in the 1 Hotel Central Park, Andrew Carmellini's Little Park in the Smyth hotel, Sessanta in the SIXTY Soho hotel and Narcissa in the Standard East Village, La Sirena is the latest in a crop of hotel restaurants opened by renowned chefs and restaurateurs. It's new ground for Batali. He tells Grub Street that it will be the first restaurant in which he serves breakfast. Breakfast by Batali? That's worth getting excited about just as much as anything else.
This post has been updated with a quote from Batali.
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