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Si Si's Food Lives Up to Its Views

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 13:34
Si Si has delicious food -- including the appetizers here, a tuna tartare and a fritto misto -- a view to rival St. Barts, and prices to match.
Ty Wenzel

The restaurant space at East Hampton Point has always been one of the most spectacular on all of the East End. Adjacent to a marina, this huge, multi-tiered space includes two long bars and an open-air dining room and patio area, all with killer views of the harbor.

Unfortunately, most of the previous iterations could never quite fulfill its promise. There were a number of less than exciting menus and some of the restaurants became legendary for erratic, chaotic service.

Si Si, which is in its second summer, seems to have cracked the code. Service, which must cover a number of different levels and dining rooms, seems to have improved, and the food, which is touted as "pan-Mediterranean," is excellent.

But nothing, as they say, is for free. We have all seen -- and I have written in these pages -- that restaurant pricing this summer on the East End has gone a little bonkers. Even given this, Si Si really pushes the envelope.

But before we worry about the bill, let's indulge. We began with house cocktails, starting with two outstanding Il Vecchio negronis, made with equal parts barrel-aged gin, Campari, and Carpano Antica vermouth. They went down quick and we were ready for food.

The spicy tuna tartare looked grade A cut, the flesh a dark ruby red, lightly spicy and served with homemade potato chips. A fritto misto came as a large portion of calamari, shrimp, and mixed vegetables -- perhaps a bit heavy on the vegetables -- served with a nice tzatziki sauce, the latter of which was a nice change from the more familiar tomato sauce, which is also included.

There are a number of very good salads, including a Si So Greek, which included heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, Taggiasca olives (alias Nicoise), and barrel-aged feta cheese. The lobster Cobb salad -- a signature of the lunch menu but also offered at dinner -- combines egg, avocado, tomato, and a harissa yogurt ranch dressing.

Entrees were also very good. The best was a wild mushroom quadrotti, which were pillow-like raviolis stuffed with morel mushrooms. It was served with a Parmesan fondue sauce and sliced black truffles. The quadriotti were light as cloud and nicely offset by some crispy leeks for texture, an outstanding pasta dish.

Simpler but still good was a pan-roasted halibut. It came out nicely seared with a quinoa tabouleh, grilled asparagus, and a cumin tahini vinaigrette -- the latter of which was needed for a fish that trends towards neutral flavor.

A New York strip steak was solid, grilled a little under the medium temp we ordered and topped with bone-marrow infused butter. It was served with a heaping side of grilled vegetable panzanella.

Darned if the seafood paella didn't sound good. I don't know of another restaurant on the East End that serves one. The price, however, was $300, advertised as serving two to three people. Since this is essentially rice and seafood, you are paying, one must assume, for the labor intensity of the dish. But still. . . . 

Similarly, if you want to really go high end, Si Si is more than happy to oblige. A tomahawk ribeye for two will run you $195 (which, considering beef prices, isn't quite as crazy as it sounds). A whole roasted branzino comes in at $160. A seafood tier, which includes lobster, will set you back $450.

Desserts are on the small side, but also very good. The sticky toffee pudding is fantastic, the ultra-moist cake served with a rum cream and a very rich coffee gelato. 

Next time we'll try the coconut panna cotta, served in a papaya soup with a fruit compote and raspberry sorbet.

All this, without the heavy-hitter entrees, ran us over $400 with tip. With housing and food prices the way they are it seems that the East End is slowly becoming an American version of St. Barts.

At least with Si Si -- given the quality of the food and the stupendous seaside location -- you can say you actually feel like you're in St. Barts.

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