If you miss going to Maialino down near Gramercy Park, then this new Danny Meyer hotspot could help assuage those cravings for their signature Italian dishes and warm hospitality. Ci Siamo, located in Hudson Yards, gives us all a good reason to trek over and see the new digs. One of the nice things about the new projects in Hudson Yards is that they tend to have a generous amount of space—and this restaurant’s design features soaring ceilings, a long bar, and two large dining rooms. Although the space is cavernous, the seats have been packed since they opened. Tom Piscitello, the Maitre’D, mentioned the nightly waiting list, which reached 800 one night, so do plan ahead. (We remember Tom from his days at A Voce, so nice to see him!)
The Italian phrase ci siamo translates literally to “here we are,” and the restaurant translates it to say “we’ve arrived, we’ve made it, we’re so happy to be here!” In Italy, the term is used by waiters to see if you are ready to order. (see more about this and other Italian phrases at this website)
You may be familiar with the chef, Hillary Sterling, if you have eaten at Vic’s down on Great Jones Street or at A Voce when Missy Robbins was the chef. (see Hobnob’s review of Vic’s to prod your memory.) At Vic’s she mastered the art of comfort pastas and a focus on powerfully flavorful veggies, that will stay on your mind for days after eating. Here, she brings those particular talents, with the added power of an open, wood-burning oven which lends its smoke and character to many dishes on the menu.
We were encouraged to order the Caramelized Onion Torta with balsamic and pecorino to start off the meal (seen in the photo at the top of this post) and that recommendation proved to be right-on. It is very rich, so could even be shared by four people, and fills the air with its aroma.
For our next course, the Roasted Mushrooms in a thyme and lemon glaze was a hearty, plentiful mixed of hen-of-the-woods, oyster, and trumpet mushrooms. Mushroom lovers, this is a MUST order. Left, the bar before entering the front dining room.
Our lovely server presents the 2020 Oltretorrente Colli Tortanesi Bianco from Piedmont, which accompanied our dinner. It paired very well with what we ordered, and was light with a bit of complexity. Right, a centerpiece of wine bottles separated the front dining room from the back.
Another appetizer, the Smoked Carrots with walnuts and chili, was also very powerfully rich and decadent, especially for a vegetable. When I have such a stimulating dish as this, I think, “I could become vegetarian.” Right, the entryway next to the stairs and wine cellar.
Left, another view of the back dining room. Right, Smoked Swordfish with artichoke samoriglio (a sauce of olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano) and Calabrian chili. Bob reported it was a juicy piece of fish (which is risky when ordering swordfish).
I loved this pasta: the Stracci, a very wide pasta was served with rabbit in a wine sauce with slivers of parmigiano on top. Absolutely top notch: the rabbit was light and tender. My favorite dish of the night.
Ci Siamo is located in The Manhattan West Plaza which is between 9th and 10th Avenue and 31st and 33rd Street. It’s a little tricky to find, we walked right past it because we were looking to the right instead of the left and made a full circle around the mall! Tip: it is next to Daily Provisions—that should have been a hint, knowing it is Danny Meyer’s takeout place. Right, if you take the elevator, as we did, you will see an inkling of ambiance to come with a small table and wine in the car. Wonder if anyone’s had a glass in there!
GASP! Can they possibly squeeze another building into Hudson Yards? Right, the mall on our way out with the Empire State Building aglow. Below that, was a strange lemon installation, see next photos.
The Citrovia installation, I believe, is meant for children to enjoy. (According to Google, it has permanently closed)
Ci Siamo, 440 West 33rd Street, go up one flight. Instagram @cisiamonyc