Friday, May 29, 2009

La Sirene

La Sirene, the tiny 25 seat bistro on Broome St., just east of Varick, is easily missed. But, be aware: you don't want to.

I'd only been once, a year ago, with my pal Cristina. We were there for the BYOB factor (no corking fee!!!), and I think I ordered a crabcake, which wasn't memorable, although I'm sure I enjoyed it.

What I remembered most about La Sirene was the atmosphere and seeming anonymity. The only other diners were a gang of young, ricidulously attractive Parisian-types sitting around the only long table (that's one of about 5 others, catch my drift), drifting in and out for a smoke, sharing bottles of wine, and, of course, having conversations in FRENCH. SWEET!

As it is, I went back last night on a "date", you could say :), and settled in for their Prix Fixe, 26.50 for three courses, served between 5-7. It's on the low side as far as these places go, but still, as is well known, what you get makes the money either worth it/not.

Our waitress was tres adorable! She had triangular bangs. Enough said.

Bread Basket: Tangy, chewy bread served with strangely cold (albeit GOOD) butter. Butter should be room temp! But, that's me nitpicking.

First course: We both ordered the traditional onion soup which was pretty great. The broth was lovely, lovely, and plenty of cheese on top. No complaints.

Main Course: Brian got the Sea Shepherds pie, pretty much exactly what it sounds like, which seemed good, but was a small portion (as expected in a prix fixe). I spied around and I noticed that pretty much ALL the portions being served were quite small, indeed.

That is, until my massive, heaping bowl of Mussels in Curry Cream came out. Holy God. There were SO MANY. AND delcious. Yum. With thyme sprigs poking out of the thick curry cream sauce coating every mussel-y morsel! Not to mention at the end you are left with basically a bowl of glorious dipping sauce for the rest of your bread.

Dessert: Your choice of a baby scoop of ice cream or sorbet. No chocolate :(, for shame, but they offered vanilla ice cream and lemon, coconut, raspberry, eh and something else for the sorbet. Scratch the lemon - Brian ordered it and they were out!

So, he got vanilla and I chose coconut. Both homemade. I was VERY fond of my coconut. I think it was the curry sauce I had just consumed, but I found it to be one of the best frozen dessert experiences, and I think the flavor profile of my previous dish only added to it.


1. BYOB: Gather friends, bring a ten dollar bottle of decent wine, and have the waitress open it for you for free. Boo yah.

2. Prix Fixe: 100% worth it, especially if you order the...

3. MUSSELS!: Brilliant. I can recommend personally the curry, but there were a traditional white wine/herb, dijon, and one more to choose from. I'm sure they are all delicious as well.

4. You will feel very cool knowing about a very under the radar bistro serving some serious grub.


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