Monday, January 4, 2016

Santina - New York, NY

3/5 stars

If this is the Almafi coast, sign me up!

Santina wasn't on my to-try-in-NY list, but I was tired from a very long day at work and didn't want to venture far from the High line. My friend recommended Santina so that's where I went. Later, I learned that Santina belonged to Chef Mario Carbone of the famed Carbone. I wanted to go to Carbone. I still do, but I have to say: Santina was okay. I hope Carbone is better.

Santina was packed with business men in suits and women out with their friends for the night. I loved how lively it felt, with its bright colors and tiki-decor, all tucked inside tall glass walls. The next table wasn't going to be available until 10:30 PM, but we were lucky enough to snag the last two seats at the bar. I'm glad we did, too, because the service at the bar was amazing.

We started with a cecina (a wispy chickpea-flour crepe) because I have never had one and I like trying new stuff. It was served with an almond-studded guacamole and a darkly-red, roasted salsa.

One of my favorite things about Santina was the ceramics: vibrant dishes, bowls, and drinkware. My Manganelli punch was served in a darling, ceramic pineapple with a hat.

For dinner, we ordered the blue crab pasta and the rigatoni norma. Unfortunately, our two pasta dishes were EXTREMELY salty. They weren't I-don't-eat-as-much-salt-as-my-husband salty. They tasted like you were eating spoonfuls of salt. I'm guessing it was an accident, but since we were hungry and the food had taken an hour to arrive, we powered through. I was extrememly disappointed because you could tell that if the salt catastrophe hadn't happened, these entrees would've been delicious. The blue crab pasta was chock-full of delicate crab. You were even given two tiny, adorable claws. The rigatoni norma with its eggplant and tomatoes was tasty and silky.

We tried to wash all the salt away with two awesome cocktails: the Manganelli punch (tequila, banana, pineapple, and cinnamon) and the Amalfi Gold (bourbon, orange, ginger, and creme de peche). I would've ordered more if I wasn't feeling a bit under the weather.


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