Sessanta was excellent!

Cross-post from the “other” board.

After months of getting it mixed up with Santina, we made it to Sessanta last night and had a lovely meal. I was surprised that it wasn’t very crowded (maybe half full?) when we got there around 8:45, but I suppose it was a Sunday night.

Both cocktails were very good—I had the Sardinia 75 (a take on a French 75 but with kiwi and zucca) and R had a drink with thyme-infused grappa and a few other things. He later had the Marasca Sour, which had cachaca and a wheat beer. Having just returned from Brazil, we’re all about cachaca at the moment so it was nice to see it on their cocktail menu.

To start, we had the fritto misto (shrimp and seasonal veg, which in this case was broccolini). Pretty hard to mess up unless you suck at frying, but it was delicious nonetheless. Also did the charred mackerel with grapefruit and what I believe were fava beans. Fish was just lightly touched, really pleasant dish, and a nice alternative to the fluke or tuna crudos. Our server also sent out the
polpette di maiale (sausage meatballs, red peppers, sicilian honey) on the house. Guess she liked us! These are a must-order. They had a crunchy outer sear and were in a little bowl of delicious chunky red pepper sauce. I didn’t realize until now that the honey was intended for these—it came in a separate little pot—but I’m sure it would’ve been excellent with them.

I had the struncatura spaghetti with neonata, chilies, and anchovy. R had the swordfish with artichokes, currants, and pork shoulder. We shared a side of the blistered corn with mixed peppers and basil.

My pasta was perhaps the least remarkable dish of the night, but not because there was anything “bad” about it. Everything else was just a bit better. Nonetheless, its texture was perfect (great “bite” that fresh pasta sometimes lacks) and nice heat from the chilies. Maybe more anchovy could bring it over the edge?

The swordfish was a massive chunk of fish, swimming in a bowl with nuggets of tender pork shoulder and artichoke, dotted with currants. An interesting combination, but a very good one.

Blistered corn was delicious in its simplicity and a very generous portion for a side.

Dessert was a warm, nutty pistachio cake with an excellent sorbet and a rich, dark chocolate sauce, surrounded by a few gems of supremed tangerines.

Our server (tall, blonde, if anyone returns and is lucky to have her) was friendly and attentive. The space is stunningly beautiful, transporting you to Italy in the Don Draper era without feeling dated or stuffy. We really, really enjoyed it and look forward to returning.

I want to try their beef tongue sliders …

By the way, there’s no persnickety asinine prohibition here about mentioning Chowhound, or, or whatever.

It’s all good here.

You can even curse. I mean you can even fucking curse. Oh that felt good.

Nice review. I’m not a big fan of swordfish but that sounds intriguing. That and the server!

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Thanks for the review!

Has anyone else on the forum visited recently?

I love the space/decor and have a temporary res. booked for May but I’m doubting whether it’s really destination worthy based on a lot of mediocre reviews I’ve seen. (NYT: 1-star)

As there’s no shortage of great Italian kitchens in NYC, I’m wondering if there’s perhaps a more well known restaurant in Manhattan that this could best be compared to; just for my own frame of reference?

I can’t decide if this is worth a meal on our trip, or whether we should stop in for a Negroni and pistachio cake at the bar instead (presumably without a res)?

Certainly not destination-worthy.

It’s an OK restaurant, with some high points (branzino and pork chop) but some very awkward low points (braised octopus was rubbery, spaghetti was gummy and the ziti was too salty).

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Thanks for confirming!

Would you say that it’s fairly easy to walk in and find seating in the bar area for cocktails and a shared app or desert (btwn 9-10 pm) on a Friday night without res.?

It sounds like this is probably the best way to experience Sessanta.

Haven’t done it personally, but I see no reason why it would be a problem.

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