santinaIf you are looking for a great space, delicious food and want to feel like you are on a mini-vacation then run don’t walk to Santina.   We walked in listening to Tito Puente and that pretty much sets the tone.  Oh of course the feeling that you just came off the beach for a meal.  I can’t think of another restaurant in NYC that has created this vibe.

crepeThe four of us decided we should share everything.  We started with the Cecina, a chickpea flour pancake that is ordered with a variety of different toppings.  Really good starter for the table.  We tried two toppings.

lambThe lamb tartare that was fresh, spicy and really interesting.

tunaWe also had the tuna that was excellent.  Spicy, fresh, and delicious.  You could eat this by the spoonful.

crudoHad a few sides at this time too.  Branzino crudo.  Simply sliced fresh branzino lightly salted in olive oil.

beetsA dish of beets mixed with a blood orange dressing and a nice kick of chilis.

tortelinniOur next round was pasta.  Out of this world.  The tortellini was perfect.  Fluffy clouds of cheese stuffed into pasta.  Literally melted in your mouth.

spaghetticrabSpaghetti with blue crab was also a winner.  There was a solo guy sitting next to us eating about 4 different pastas.  He had ordered only pasta.  I had to hold myself back to not ask him if I could just have a taste.  He was thoroughly enjoying himself.

saladThe arugula fig salad had a serious vinegar bite to it which I love.

riceWild rice mixed with calamari is different and a nice side.

chickenOur main courses were next.  Chicken that had been marinated for a few days, slowly cooked and then set on top of a yogurt mix.  Really different and bone licking good.

fishGrilled whole porgy with sliced hearts of palm on top and a spicy sauce on the side.  Perfectly cooked and full of flavor.

hazelnutcakeHow could we not get dessert?  Hazelnut olive oil cake.

meringue and limeThis was really awesome.  Meringue with pine nuts that smashed down at the table and then a lime curd is poured on top.  Woah.  Sweet, tart, crunchy and just damn good.

Am I coming back?  Oh yes.