We visited Sirena on a Sunday evening in October, in celebration of our 40th anniversary. Our experience -- from start to finish -- was excellent! The ambience, food, and service were all excellent in every way.
We stopped by around noon to make a reservation, requesting a table with a view for our special occasion. The hostess was most accommodating and gracious. Mid-afternoon, we received a call confirming our reservation.
We arrived to find the restaurant quite busy for a Sunday in the off-season. Nonetheless, we were immediately seated. Much to our surprise, there were MANY children at this rather-pricey establishment. We were situated in a more-or-less "adults only" area. Nonetheless, the noise level is quite high because of the plethora of hard-surfaces in the restaurant. While the sound level was quite high, we were able to relax and enjoy our meal.
Our server, Marilyn, was truly outstanding. She accommodated our special requests, was attentive but not intrusive, pleasantly chatty without being annoying, and very knowledgeable of the menu.
We asked to share a portion of gnocchi as an appetizer, and the kitchen was able to meet our request, I read in a previous review that Sirena's gnocchi was not "typical," and I am happy to say that the reviewer was correct. These were the gnocchi of my dreams -- light, airy, and perfectly prepared in a light saute of mushrooms and tomatoes. The flavor was sublime and the texture absolutely perfect. ((I should add that I have spent more than three years living and traveling in Italy and KNOW what good gnocchi should taste and "feel" like!)) Suffice to say that we joined the "clean plate club" after enjoying this delightful "primo."
I followed with the sauteed scallops with mushroom risotto. There were four HUGE scallops and a generous serving of risotto. The scallops were seared perfectly, seasoned to perfection, and more than enough to satisfy a hearty appetite.
My wife enjoyed the branzino, which was a whole, small specimen. The fish was perfectly prepared and VERY tasty. Again, the portion was more than generous and the sauteed kale was delicious, as were the potatoes accompanying the dish.
Even though tempted by the menu, we were too full to partake. A minute or two later, Marilyn appeared with a complementary serving of fantastic pistachio gelato, complete with an "anniversary candle." The preparation was simply too delicious not to enjoy. This gelato would hold its head high at any piazza in Rome or Florence!
Every member of the staff we encountered was polite and helpful. We could not have been happier with our meal, the service, and the atmosphere I asked to speak to the manager at the end of our evening, and conveyed our impressions to her. She was most appreciative and encouraged us to dine with them again if ever we were in the area. She didn't have to ask us twice - if we ever travel back to Long Branch, Sirena will be our choice for dinner!
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