Sirio Ristorante: High-Class Italian Fare From High-Class People

Sirio Maccioni is one of New York's most revered restaurateurs, and his flagship, Le Cirque, remains one of the city's finest restaurants decades after it first opened. We had the opportunity to dine at his newest restaurant, Sirio Ristorante in the Pierre Hotel, at the invitation of the restaurant, and were very impressed.

The long room is elegantly appointed, with a bar up front and dining room behind it. Light woods, cream-colored walls, and chandeliers evoke opulence without being gaudy, tables are well-spaced, and the indirect lighting is optimal.

The servers have clearly been doing this for a while. Well-spoken and knowledgeable about every dish on the menu, they're attentive without being overbearing, accommodating, and quick to offer a welcome suggestion or answer a question. The kitchen paced the meal perfectly, and wine pairings were spot-on.

The menu, from executive chef Massimo Bebber, is Tuscan-influenced but interpreted through a modern lens. The menu is divided into Antipasti, Primi, Secondi, and Contorni sections, and each offering is well thought-out. Antipasti include oysters; roasted octopus with chickpea purée and frisée; buffalo mozzarella with prosciutto, gooseberry compote, and figs vin cotto; parsnip soup; and seared sea scallops with sunchoke purée, wild mushrooms, and pine nut gremolata. Primi include traditional bucatini all'amatriciana with guanciale; squid ink risotto; spaghetti with clams; homemade spinach garganelli with lamb ragu, olives, and ricotta salata; and tortelloni with veal mousse, mushroom ragu, and veal jus. The handful of Secondi options include a grass-fed veal chop, roasted chicken breast, a wet-aged 12-ounce New York strip steak that was perfectly cooked and incredibly flavorful, and a special ossobuco that was tender and also full of flavor. Pastry chef Monica Ng was also serving zabaglione with fresh fruit tableside that night, a fun and old-fashioned ending to a classy meal.

Like Le Cirque, Sirio adheres to a traditional fine-dining philosophy that's still very much in-demand, even though things are trending toward casual these days, and the clientele was mostly made up of well-heeled locals and guests of the hotel. The team knows that serving elevated fare in a comfortable and upscale dining room presided over by sharply dressed and knowledgeable staff will never go out of style, and Sirio is exactly the type of restaurant that belongs in a hotel as high-class and revered as the Pierre.