The Hidden Mermaid
La Sirena Clandestina
Meet Fulton Market’s newest tenant: La Sirena Clandestina, the highly anticipated 40-seater from Branch 27’s John Manion. With exposed brick walls, industrial-chic hanging lightbulbs and a general rough-around-the-edges charm, the former pop-up has now found a permanent home to dish up tasty South American delights with a Mid-Western twist, on a menu that is a neat melange of Latin flavour and local produce (read: swordfish ceviche, venison empanadas, grilled lobster tails, the list goes on). In this former warehouse district where truly great restaurants are a dime a dozen, this hidden mermaid is worth both the seek and the wait.
To start, you can’t go wrong with the black-eyed pea frittatas, pickled onions and dende-poached shrimp, before moving onto the specialty skewered rabbit loin slathered in mustard cream or the sweet yet starchy coconut risotto. And what would a meal here be without the alfajores–a traditional Latin American sandwich cookie filled with dulce de leche–to finish? There’s a global wine list and a decent selection of beers on offer, but to keep to the theme, try the Pisco Sour in all its tangy glory of citrus juice, frothy egg white and bitters, or the mescal, amaro and lime concoction that is the Pistola Humeante (Smoking Gun) – beverage director Justin Anderson’s dozen Latin-inspired cocktail aperitifs all pack a mighty punch. Saude!