Santina Lights Up The High Line…

Santina Restaurant
Santina Restaurant

No grass ever grows under our feet in NYC.

Awake at 6am, pump up the deflated tires on the bikes and hit the always appealing Hudson River Bike Path.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower

Little traffic on a gorgeous Sunday and we ride like the wind with the Hudson River on our right. The view of the Empire State Building and Freedom Tower are spectacular. We cruise down to the Statue of Liberty, stopping first at the ever expanding Brookfield Place at One World Trade Center.

Brookfield Place
Brookfield Place

The new food pavilion has added a patisserie court downstairs, directly across from the luxury retail therapy mainstays Burberry, Gucci, Ferragamo, etc.

We escalate upstairs and devoured a Black Seed bagel with lox and dill schmear.

We saluted Lady Liberty, checked out the restored Pier A and headed to the Meatpackinbg district.

Santina Chandelier
Santina Chandelier

We had a 12:15 reservation at the new hot spot, Santina Restaurant, wedged directly under the High Line at the intersection of Washington and Gansevoort streets.

Santina  photo: eater.com
Santina photo: eater.com

The glass and steel restaurant, designed by Renzo Piano and right around the corner from the Piano designed and soon to debut Whitney Museum (May 1st), is charming with heavy meditterean influences.

Santina is part of the Torrisi guys Major Food Group which also own Carbone, Parm, ZZ’s Clam Bar and Dirty French. The principles being Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick.

Santina is situated on what previously was the coast of Manhattan where some of the city’s first farmers markets once stood.

Julian Schnabel Artwork
Julian Schnabel Artwork

The seven custom Murano chandeliers are to die for and the Julian Schnabel painting made from broken pottery is impressive, enhancing the decor.

Santina  photo:bloomberg.com
Santina photo:bloomberg.com

We checked in early and then strolled the Highline for 30 minutes and headed back to Santina which is named after Rich Carbone’s grandmother.

You enter Santina and feel as if you have walked into a lovely, sunny time warp. It’s the Italian Rivera, circa 1960.

Santina Bar
Santina Bar

We hung at the bar for 20 minutes until our outside table was ready.

I adore sitting outside, but for Santina I would settle inside because it is a charming space, encircled by huge windows which brings the outside in.

The hostesses and managers are welcoming and very accommodating. A special shout out to manager, Kristen Hafford.

The service can be spotty, but I am going to give them a break since outdoor dining is only one week old and brunch has only been around a mere three weeks.

The kitchen is run by Mario Carbone and chef de cuisine Dan Haar.

Our server was lovely and spot on with her recommendations.

Since we were biking and heading to a Broadway matinee after brunch, we passed on the adult beverage. Cocktails were flowing and the bar was hopping with a large dose of tourists sashaying in from the High Line.

Arugula Fig Salad
Arugula Fig Salad

We kicked off the meal with an arugula and fig salad with almonds ($14). It was crunchy and delicious.

Cecina
Cecina

We followed this with cecina which is a chickpea crepe. We chose the tuna tartare filling with raw tuna, herbs and Calabrian chiles ($16). Other selections included avocado trapanese ($12) and salmon affumicato ($17).

Tuna Tartare
Tuna Tartare

Every table is provided with two condiments, a spicy salsa verde and a fabulous roasted tomato with fried shallots, chiles and garlic. It was a perfect accompaniment to the cecina.

Roasted Tomato Condiment
Roasted Tomato Condiment

Other menu selections include several rice dishes, broccoli percorino ($17) and guanicale and pepe ($18), pastas ($17-19),  a fish sandwich ($18), a whole grilled porgy ($27) as well as salads…a kale sunchoke ($16) and Insalata Pompeii composed of raw vegetables ($14).

Traditional brunch fare is also available…almond pancakes ($16), pannetone french toast ($16) fruit plate, shrimp frittata ($20) and several egg dishes ($17).

Lime Meranga
Lime Meranga

Josh Ber’s dessert was off the charts. The Lime Meranga ($10) was spectacular. It is presented whole with a side of custard sauce. The server proceeds to makes a show of crushing the meringue then smothering the dessert with custard filling. It is adorned with fresh raspberries.

Crush Lime Meranga
Crushed Lime Meranga

Santina is going to be huge. It is all about location, but the food is wonderful and reasonably priced for the neighborhood. It has been packed since the January opening.

Shop, visit the new Whitney, stroll the High Line and plan a colorful, upbeat break and head to Santina.

Santina 820 Washington Street, New York City. Open for breakfast Monday-Friday 7-10:30am. Lunch Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:30pm. Dinner Daily 5:30pm-Midnight. Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm. Reservations on OpenTable.

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