A Look at the New Siren Restobar in Greenwich


market fresh whole fish and tabouleh salad

It was high time for a new addition to the dining scene in Old Greenwich, and Anshu Vidyarthi heard the siren call. A restaurateur with an excellent track record—he partners with Antoine Blech on the popular Le Penguin and Le Fat Poodle—Anshu launched his first solo venture with Siren Restobar, set in prime real estate on Sound Beach Avenue. The menu features Mediterranean tapas, and the décor by designer Lynn Morgan evokes a vacation vibe. The interior is fresh and sophisticated, a subtle nod to nautical with lots of white and blue, siren mascots painted on the walls, and a round bar displaying fresh seafood front and center.

“I wanted it to feel like you’ve just gotten off a boat on a Greek Island,” Anshu says. Siren’s ambience channels an escape to sunnier locales on a cold, gray day, and it will also be a choice spot to celebrate in the warmer months. Double doors open to a back patio with seating for thirty, and double doors in front lead to twelve sidewalk spots, with the breeze flowing through.

left: A perfect spot to grab a cocktail and a quick bite; middle: General Manager Adham Elsharkawy with owner Anshu Vidyarthi; right: lamb lollipops with harissa, tsatziki and sumac salad.

When the space was updated, a wall was removed to give the dining room an open, airy feeling. The round bar is the focal point, busy with people savoring oysters, tapas and cocktails, many having dinner there. “It’s a great way to eat,” says Anshu, who has the backing of local investors. “You feel like you’re part of the action in a convivial atmosphere.”

At the end of the day, tapas are essentially elegant party food, and it feels like a party’s happening here, with the DJ playing every Friday and Saturday night, the lively crowd and lights getting progressively dimmer throughout the evening. We ate here on a Saturday night and arrived fifteen minutes early for an already early reservation. In fact, the restaurant wasn’t open yet, but we were still welcomed to seats at a round corner table, ideal for five friends celebrating a birthday.

Birthday celebrations include sparklers, Mediterranean music and a staff serenade.

In no time our group was toasting with cocktails and savoring rounds of tapas, everything from a garlic-studded mix of house-marinated olives to the comfort food of warm mushroom croquettes on a bed of truffle aioli, and a velvety butternut squash soup garnished with pomegranate and pumpkin seeds. We sipped on the La Farmacia (a signature drink with tequila, ginger, honey, smoked chili and lime) and Naked and Famous (Mezcal, Aperol and lime) cocktails, and later, our server recommended a bottle of Sancerre to go with the multicourse meal of shared plates.

Moroccan meatballs
Grilled Haloumi
Merguez Sausage
Mezze Platter with
homemade hummus
Short Ribs

La Farmacia

There are twenty-one tapas on the menu from executive chef Jorge Ramos as well as meats and cheeses, a mezze platter (pitas with dips) and oyster and clams. With so many tempting choices, it’s easy to get carried away. Chef Ramos, originally from Uruguay and formerly a chef at Barbounia and Lola Taverna in Manhattan, turns out dishes that are simply presented, allowing the main ingredients to shine. For example, the red snapper is pan-seared to give it a crispy finish and plated with a tomato and olive caponata, while the short ribs are lightly sauced and paired simply with a dill-flecked aioli.

left: La Farmacia—tequila, ginger, honey, smoked chili and lime

The Greek salad contains no lettuce, only a variety of tomatoes, cucumbers, olive, onions and a top-quality feta. Sometimes a basic dish is the best one. We loved the Spanish patatas bravas, cubed fried potatoes in a creamy paprika sauce that is seriously addictive. Another favorite: the lamb lollipops, individual Frenched lamb chops served with tzatziki, and a fried burrata with roasted peppers. Though we shared one entrée, a special braised lamb shank served with squash and couscous, we didn’t really need it—there was so much food.

Desserts were a must, as we were celebrating a birthday. Both the lush citrus-olive-oil cake and decadent chocolate mousse satisfied all sweets cravings. Another fun way to end the meal is with the Carajillo, a Spanish take on the espresso martini with tequila, espresso and dark chocolate.

The servers made us feel at home throughout the meal, and we lingered longer than usual. For Anshu, who is also working on Juju (a Mexican restaurant next door) and a second location of Siren in Port Chester, hospitality is always the goal. He says, “I want you to feel like we invited you to our house.”

left: Olive Oyl Cake with carmelized lemon zest and honey drizzle; middle: Executive Chef Jorge Ramos; right: Grilled cauliflower, green tahini, sumac and pine nuts.

Siren RestoBar

220 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich,
203-628-4205; sirenrestobar.com

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