558 Broome St, New York, NY 10013
A rare BYOB gem in Manhattan. First, La Sirene boasts a quality staff. Daphne, our all-in-one, hostess, waitress, and sommelier was knowledgeable and extremely helpful, providing suggestions and personable service that elevated the enjoyment of the entire dining experience. In addition, the food from the eight dishes we had, was wonderful... for the most part. The duck liver appetizer was so flavorful I found myself lapping up the residual fat from the plate (like fat from seared foie gras). Another surprising appetizer (I was skeptical at first) was the poached quail egg and foie gras jelly. The egg was perfectly poached, and upon breaking through the gelatin and egg white, the yolk oozed out wonderfully over the different components of the dish. The combination of textures and tastes from the foie gras, egg yolk, egg white, and jelly proved to be a stellar example of how cooking should be about creating a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts. The off-menu quail was my favorite of the night. I simply never had quail that was so moist and delicately flavored. The seasoning was subtle and appropriate where the meat was allowed to shine through the virtue of its perfect doneness. However, with all these high points, this gem of a restaurant had a near unforgivable flaw. The one dish that threatened to ruin the entire experience was the pork tenderloin with, oh yes, chocolate sauce. The chocolate overpowered every other component of the dish, drowning and muddling any other flavor that attempted to break through. Even more unforgivable, the pork (and i LOVE pork), was cooked to the point I felt like I was eating sandpaper. It was so overcooked that even the excessive chocolate sauce didn't succeed in masking how dry and tough the meat had become. Despite this, in the end, the combination of Daphne's service and the virtues of the other dishes managed to save the evening, qualifying it, in my mind, as a delightful gem.