The Italian phrase ci siamo interprets to “here we are,” a Godot-like assertion that hints at the ethos of this new Hudson Yards-adjacent restaurant from the hospitality guru Danny Meyer: Here we’re! But the place is right here? As with a lot of Hudson Yards, at Ci Siamo it looks like right here might be any metropolis within the obscure center U.S.—Denver, Houston, Cincinnati.
The chef, Hillary Sterling, hung out working with Missy Robbins, whose affect is obvious within the exemplary contemporary pastas.
The disorientation begins as, in your means, you move by Manhattan West Plaza, whose options embody an N.H.L. retailer, a Peloton Studios, and Citrovia, a garish fake backyard of nineteen-foot steel-and-fibreglass lemon timber and shrubs with material snowcaps, which reads as a misbegotten vodka advert however is supposed to be a “tourist attraction,” in accordance with Google. Once you’ve got lastly positioned Ci Siamo—it’s so arduous to seek out that the restaurant sends a chipper textual content with instructions—the entryway’s heat hues and scent of woodsmoke put you at ease.
The wood-burning oven additionally seems a flavorful half hen, marinated in mustard, garlic oil, and oregano, charred to juicy perfection.
From the welcoming employees, who not solely improve however create atmosphere with their willingness to please (how do they keep so completely happy?), to the glamorous décor—good-looking leather-based, velvet, Craftsman-modern tilework, all accented by scores of eclectic lighting fixtures—Meyer definitely is aware of find out how to appeal to the well-groomed skilled class. But what pulls all of it collectively is, after all, the meals, and Meyer’s culminating transfer was to enlist Hillary Sterling as chef. In the previous 20 years, Sterling has labored within the kitchens of Bobby Flay—whose interaction of citrus and fruity spice reveals up in a seafood salad—and Missy Robbins—whose affect is obvious in Sterling’s exemplary contemporary pastas; most not too long ago, she was the chef of Vic’s, in NoHo, which she steered to its standing as worthy neighborhood standby.
For the rapini agnolotti, Sterling folds ricotta and greens into paper-thin pasta envelopes; it’s completed with a lemony butter sauce and bread crumbs.
Sterling excels at zhuzhing up dishes we’ve seen earlier than, and the menu at Ci Siamo is so stocked with crowd-pleasers that it may be tough to decide on. Begin with focaccia, an eight-inch spherical with the right ratio of exterior crunch to inside fluff. It comes with a knife for reducing—an unwieldy activity, however price it—and a shiny chili-flecked tomato unfold that it doesn’t want. You are principally required to order the now well-known Caramelized Onion Torta, described lovingly by a server, one night, as “French onion soup in a tart.” It, too, is a personal-sized spherical, redolent of Uno’s pan pizzas in one of the best ways, with a gorgeously flaky crust, piled with melty balsamic onions and Pecorino-infused cream. For your well being, there’s the chilled Insalata di Mare, by which a couple of wan mussels don’t stand an opportunity subsequent to succulent, almost uncooked scallops, hunks of tender swordfish, and nuggets of poached lobster, dressed with Castelvetrano olives, parsley, and Aleppo-pepper-spiked lemon and orange juice.
Among the decadent contemporary pastas, a hefty rigatoni is a hedonist’s delight, studded with guanciale batons fried to a crunch, the fats coating every ridged tube. Rapini agnolotti—paper-thin pasta envelopes of ricotta and greens completed with a lemony butter sauce and bread crumbs—was deemed, by one diner, “fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli”; heaven, for those who like that form of factor.
Desserts, by Claudia Fleming, previously of Gramercy Tavern, embody hazelnut gelato (high) and pull-apart bomboloni (backside) with dipping chocolate.
The wood-burning oven seems a stunning complete trout, deboned (after all) and filled with mustard greens, fried bread, and golden raisins for sweetness. Even higher is a smoky mixture of hen-of-the-woods, oyster, and trumpet mushrooms roasted with thyme, in addition to a flavorful half hen, marinated in mustard, garlic oil, and oregano, charred to juicy perfection.
When dessert is made by pastry royalty—on this case, Claudia Fleming, previously of Gramercy Tavern—there isn’t any attainable cause to abstain. Good luck deciding between a wealthy chocolate budino, flower-shaped pull-apart bomboloni with dipping chocolate, a super-tart lemon torta, and a dense cheesecake with preserved cherries. One night time, a server whose gelato suggestion went unheeded gleefully delivered a free of charge bowl of wealthy, creamy hazelnut. When he swung by later to see how we appreciated it, he beamed at the reply. (Pastas and entrées $21-$43.) ♦