The buzz has been spreading among food aficionados since its opening in July of 2015. My palate keeps telling me it is a stunning addition to the area’s restaurant scene. The Fratelli Bruno: Cosimo and Gerardo, and their family combined their considerable talents at Le Sirene Ristorante on Palmer Ave. in Larchmont. And now they are about to celebrate a 3rd Anniversary with delightful, original regional Italian specialties.
Owner Cosimo Bruno is general manager and host, but also shares kitchen duties with Executive Chef Alberto Pepe, his nephew, who also grew up in Salerno. Hospitable Maitre d’ is Gabriele Pepe, also a nephew. Let the warmth guide you to your seat and let the professional staff give you a tour of the menu.
The bar/lounge is to your right as you enter. The Bruno’s know their wines. Cosimo Bruno is a Certified Sommelier. The ‘pizzaoli’ is at his wood fired pizza oven at the end of the bar ready to prepare over a dozen of his tasty individually styled pies.
There is a subdued sophistication about the place. Casual but proper. ‘Le Sirene’ is named after the luring mythological mermaids of classical Greek literature: ‘The Sirens’. Colorful modern paintings adorn the walls depicting sea themes. There are pastel hues throughout, with lovely table clothed seating on two levels. A private dining room in the rear, near the kitchen, is available for special banquets and events. Flowers and seasonal artifacts add to the adornments. The staff wears handsome uniforms.
As implied in the name of the restaurant, the aim here is to lure your palate. The menu reeks with originality. Chef Pepe’s tempting starters currently include: Tender Roasted baby octopus with leeks and potato puree; Red and yellow beet salad with red onions, fennel and orange with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil; Yellowfin tuna carpaccio with baby greens and buffalo mozzarella; and fresh Burrata with strained, roasted squash, red wine vinegar and fresh basil.
Signature pastas may include: Chitarrine con ragu di vitello e piselli, homemade spaghetti with ragu of grounded veal and fresh peas; Pennette alla carbonara campana, small penne with aged pork cheek, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, extra virgin and black pepper; and Gnocchetti con melanzane, cipolla rossa e provola affumicata, handmade small potato gnocchi with eggplant, sweet red onions, fresh tomato,, smoked provola cheese and basil. Risotti of the day include: Risotto allo zafferano, cappesante e gamberetti, with saffron, Peconic Bay scallops and shrimp.
Beautifully plated ‘Carne’ and ‘Pesce’ specialties include: Salmone alla griglia con crosta di pistachio, salsa allo zafferano con endivia e scalogni, wild salmon grilled and crusted with pistachio, served with saffron and fish broth, braised endive and shallots; Galletto arrosto con aglio limone e porri, roasted Cornish hen with garlic and Mayer lemon puree and braised leeks; and Carrello d’agnello al forno, baked rack of lamb with braised fennel and sunchoke puree. ‘Contorni’ such as Haicorts verts, Broccoli di Rape and roasted potato are available as a supplement.
Special Hint: There is a 3-course Prix Fixe Luncheon available daily for $25. Happy Hours: 5 to 7 pm, Tuesday thru Thursday & Sunday. Bar menu.
A visit to Le Sirene is not complete without a taste from the dessert menu as prepared by Executive Pastry Chef Kathy Bruno, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of Italy. Choices may include: Key Lime Cheesecake, Apple Napoleon, Spiced Pear, Chocolate Souffle, Le Sirene Tiramisu, popular Bombolini (ricotta doughnuts), and assorted Gelato & Sorbetti.
Le Sirene Ristorante, 1957 Palmer Ave., Larchmont. Open for lunch and dinner Tues - Sat, noon to 3 pm. Dinner served: Tues - Sat, 4:30 pm to 10:30 pm; Sun, 4:30 pm to 9 pm. Closed Mondays. Bar/lounge. Private dining room for up to 30 guests. 3-Course Prix Fixe Lunch: $25. Pizzas from $10. Dinner main courses: $18 to $48. Wine list. Pizza served to 10 pm. Take out. Major credit cards. Proper casual dress. Free street parking. Reservations suggested. Phone: 914-834-8300. www.lesireneristorante.com
(Morris Gut has been tracking and writing about the food and dining scene in greater Westchester for 30 years. (235-6591. E-mail: email@example.com)