The big, brassy La Sirena from Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich is about to get an overlay. And it’s going to feel a lot like Casa Mono & Bar Jamon —staff included. The restaurant-within-a-restaurant will debut later this month in the space that separates dining rooms — with its 38-foot long, white Caesarstone bar, high ceilings, and Portuguese mosaic floors.
In a property that spans a city block, La Sirena opened in Chelsea’s Maritime Hotel close to this time last year.
A source tells Eater that one of the Casa Mono chefs — either Andy Nusser or Anthony Sasso — will make the move to Chelsea, a spokesperson for the restaurant confirmed, overseeing a tapas menu, with cocktails that highlight sherry and variations on the gin and tonic. Though the dramatic space needs no updates, a few cosmetic changes will mark the transition.
La Sirena has earned tepid reviews, with Eater critic Ryan Sutton calling it “oddly boring.” Its broad menu is unlike any from Batali, catering to tourists, yet stretching to appeal to a range of palates — with spotty success. A restaurant coming from Batali, says Sutton, “has to be better than this.” Even with a two-star Times review and a Michelin star, someone decided La Sirena needs something else.
That something comes from a little restaurant in Gramercy Park, which stands in contrast to the behemoth. In defiance of the industry norm, Casa Mono remains compelling nearly 15 years after it opened, where it’s still a challenge to score a seat, no matter the night.
No word yet on a name. Check back for updates.