Restaurant Review: Santina in the Meatpacking District

Almost all the food at Santina pulses with the bright, refreshing flavors we crave in hot weather and, it turns out, in other months, too.

Comments: 20

  1. Two stars? For slim waisted chinos and jelly bean tinted polos? Poor desserts and a heavy hand dimming the sun? I guess it must be the mood altering herbs. I'm glad the cold winds are kept at bay, but two stars?

  2. 2 stars aint what they used to be, eh?

  3. They most certainly are not.

  4. Thank you for your honesty about the noise level. No matter how good the food is, if I can't hear my dining companion, a meal is ruined. Another trendy restaurant to cross off my list.

  5. Seriously? Sounds more like Vegas or Spring Break!

  6. I had dinner here last winer with my husband. The food was awful! I agree with the review. My pasta was oily and lacked flavor. I ordered the special dessert, I forget the name of it, some type of cake that was gummy and a mess. I was shocked that someone could spend so much money to open a restaurant and serve such badly cooked dishes. This is New York. We have so many amazing choices. The most important thing a restaurant can offer is good food! You need help. Call Gorden Ramsey!!

  7. What? Did you eat at the same restaurant as I did. The noise level was unacceptable. The dishes limp and sparse. Whatever whimsy there was, was overwhelmed with precious attitude. Talk about over rated. I hope another Times food critic offers a review. This one was way off the mark. Try Hector's down the block - been around forever - a classic.

  8. Just looking at the cavernous size, decor, self-conscious presentation & everything else reminds me of your predecessor Bryan Miller's brilliant jibe, "no neighborhood has gone from marginal to annoying in as short a time as the meatpacking district."

  9. This doesn't read like a 2-star, critic's pick kind of review.

  10. SOUND LEVEL Oppressive at peak capacity.

    I'm running. Can't wait to hang with the boozed up swells living on their credit cards.

  11. A restaurant critic who wittily weaves in references to "La Dolce Vita" and "The Seventh Seal" is a keeper. Bravo!

  12. Santina sounds wonderful and really fun. Can't wait to try the porgy and dream of Marcello Mastroianni being chased by that tune by Prado, even if I can't hear my date (might be better). Thank you, Mr. Wells, for such an evocative and useful review!

  13. The noise level in this place is absolutely unbearable. The music is so loud I couldn't hear anyone across the table and when I asked them to turn it down a touch, it was a resounding 'no'. This, unfortunately, is a constant at most Carbone/Torrisi restaurants, and given they don't have a problem filling their restaurants with scene seekers and tourists, they no longer care if their customers are comfortable as long as they turn those tables fast.

  14. "desserts are gluten-free, a worthwhile goal"
    Perhaps for 1% of the population...

  15. Is it just me or does Pete Wells dish out a lot of 2-star reviews? I worked the Front of House in this city for nearly 20 years for places like Moomba, Babbo, Lupa, and BondSt and we had to really work for the two star reviews we received. It doesn't seem it's the same any more. On any given Wednesday I can open the paper and pretty much expect to see a 2-star review. Just an observation.

  16. Be careful or you'll confirm my fears that people don't read one-star reviews. Here are a few that you might have missed: Meat Hook Sandwich from last week; Limani and Estiatorio Milos, in a double-header from the week before; Kao Soy, from February; Blue Smoke, back in January. If it's no-star reviews you crave, here is Kappo Masa from the beginning of the year.

    Incidentally, your hard work at Babbo paid off: the restaurant has never held fewer than three stars. Lupa, though, has never had more than one.

  17. Wow! I'm pleasantly surprised to have received a reply from you. Technology is amazing. Of course I cannot speak for anyone but myself but your reply left me wondering if you let the idea of your readership bias the reviews you award?

  18. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure Pete Wells gets special treatment when he goes to these places. I, an ordinary person, never ever have the same experience. Take Shuko for example - where we went the day the review came out - it got 3 or 4 stars from Pete - it was very good - but not a friendly place - they were stuck up - it was hot and we sweated through our meal. Nothing to really write home about. I feel that if I go to Santina - the owner will not be cooking in the kitchen, and the food won't be nearly as good as what Pete Wells was served. I believe he has these outstanding meals, but sadly none of us can actually get them.

  19. I recently had brunch at Santina and really enjoyed the food and the stunning decor...wish I could have ordered a Murano chandelier or the Schnabel painting to go. I drank in the colors and the sunny dispositions of the managers and servers. The service was a bit shaky, but I gave them a pass since outdoor dining is still in its infancy. I loved the cecina and accompanying fillings. The arugula salad was crisp and delicious. I really enjoyed Peter wells review, but have to disagree on the dessert. The Lime Meranga was outstanding. Devour my take at http://wp.me/p3Yngf-3bL

  20. I had lunch today at Santina - the fried fish sandwich with spicy potatoes was very good. I also ordered the Blue Crab Meat Spaghetti - it wasn't edible and I sent it back. I don't think I've ever sent a pasta dish back to the kitchen and I'm 61 yrs. old! It had a glue like consistency and had a bad fishy odor. I'm from Maryland and love crabs - the crab in this dish was not fresh. I've eaten at Carbone and Parm and lived the sauces at those 2 'sister' restaurants. Mario, Rich and Jeff should revisit the recipe for the sauce at Santina.