July 4th is a fantastic day to stay in the city. Everyone else has vacated to the Hamptons, the weather isn’t usually too humid, and – best of all – the restaurants you want to visit have plenty of reservations available.
For our holiday weekend, we chose Sessanta.
This 1970s throwback restaurant from Mercer Street Hospitality has been getting a ton of buzz for its Sicilian style menu and though it can be hard to get a reservation most nights, it was wide open on July 4. Sardinia 75 with kirsch, lemon, kiwi, and prosecco
That’s my cocktail in the foreground, made by an excellent and friendly mixologist. It’s sweet and tart with a little fizz. An ideal aperitif. My husband got that Seraphim with bourbon and smoked cinnamon in the background. Also excellent – the cocktails and the bar itself are highly recommended.
The bread service is unique and well portioned. No overflowing bread basket here. Just one small, dense, buttery square of foccacia per person. It’s topped with a bright, tangy tomato sauce. Not revelatory, but quite tasty.
Standout of the night – major winner. This is like the cheesesteak of your dreams, minus the cheese. The tongue actually melts in your mouth with a gentle beefy flavor that is bolstered by a touch of bright lemon oil. There are some thinly diced onions – not at all too strong – and a buttery, pliant brioche bun. Trust me – this is the sandwich that will bring you back to the restaurant. Veal Marsala with mushrooms and capers
A juicy, fruity take on veal Marsala. The wine sauce is tangier than most and to great effect – the veal is tender and the mushrooms are juicy. This is a great dish for someone who likes piquant flavors or a mushroom lover – those shrooms are the standout. Big eye tuna ragu with chiles
I love this spicy, briny pasta – what a winner! Make no mistake, it’s on the fishy side of things – you have to love seafood to enjoy this. However, if you are a major seafood lover, this is pasta for the ages. The pasta itself is al dented and thick – it absorbs the rich tomatoey sauce, laden with spicy chiles and hunks of soft, tender tuna. It’s fantastic and highly recommended.
However, I don’t know how fast I will be running back here. It’s inconvenient to where I live, a little pricey, and the service was really poor. I am talking argumentative servers, wrong dishes right and left, and almost an hour in between appetizers and entrees. Plus forgotten dishes that were then put on the bill for us to take care of. To his credit, the general manager handled everything splendidly when we let him know about our dissatisfying meal. I don’t hold it against the restaurant because of his swift and appropriate action, but I’m not aching to run back either.
Let me know what you think if you head there – just don’t miss those cocktails or fabulous tongue sliders.