Four years ago, Michael Laiskonis left the kitchen of Le Bernardin to start working as the creative director of the Institute of Culinary Education. And now, Laiskonis is jumping back in the kitchen as the pastry director of La Sirena, the highly-anticipated trattoria from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich in the Maritime Hotel. Laiskonis will be splitting his time between ICE and the restaurant. The chef won a James Beard award for his work at Le Bernardin in 2007.
He will be joined in the kitchen by pastry chef Thea Habjanic, and chef de cuisine Josh Laurano. The menu will include desserts like a "monte bianco" made with candied chestnuts, roasted pear, and whipped cream; a "baba amaro" with citrus and amaro-soaked cake, plus basil gelato and bergamot; and a "torta ubriaco" with brioche, rum custard, roasted pineapple, and fiore de latte gelato.
A few more details on the new restaurant: Luca Vesnaver will run the floor of La Sirena, and Del Posto's Jeff Katz is overseeing the service. The space will have two dining rooms connected by a 40-foot bar. Right now, the team is shooting for a January opening. This is Batali and Bastianich's first standalone New York City restaurant since Del Posto. Stay tuned for more details on the opening as they become available.