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Is Le Sirene One of the best inexpensive restaurants right now in the city?

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A lot of the reviews ive read have raved about this place.

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  1. "Inexpensive" is a relative term.
    While I liked the food and service at La Sirene, I think that the price is still on the high side for what you get.

    8 Replies
    1. re: RCC

      You really have to factor in the free BYOB. That could save hundreds of dollars for a large table.

      I've been there lots of times. The food is good. Some dishes are really good (Cassoulet, Goat Cheese Tart), others less so. I like wine but I can't afford to pay $200 for a nice premier cru Burgundy at a restuarant. So instead I pay $50 for it at a store and enjoy it at La Sirene. The prices are definitely marked up becuase of the free BYOB so I don't think it's necessary to tip extra based on the price of your wine. Nevertheless I don't think I've ever tipped under 30%.

      1. re: shane

        On the menu two cassoulet are under the entrees but it looks like the only difference is the price? Is there a difference and if so which one is better?

        1. re: popcornsutton87

          If I look at their website menu, there's only 1 cassoulet entry for $31.50.
          What other one are you referring to?

          1. re: RCC

            yeah i just saw that as well. I was looking at the menupages one.

            Also i just read that theres a new executive chef and that the owner is going back and forth between La Sirene and his new restaurant he is opening on the east side in March.

            I hope it doesn't hurt it

            1. re: popcornsutton87

              Nope, Didier the owner still comes around sparingly, and even when he's not around, we find that things are well with the kitchen and service.

              1. re: RCC

                yeah, i agree. didier told me that the new chef started off as the dish washer there when he was 16, which is kind of cool. his new fondue place in the east village is due to open next month and will also be BYOB.

                1. re: shane

                  Fondue? Somehow, I thought it was going to be steak place.

                  1. re: RCC

                    Maybe a bit of both: http://www3.timeoutny.com/newyork/the...

    2. The food is very good but food prices are higher than elsewhere but the BYOB factor is huge, so I always end up spending less there than I would at another restaurant.

      I love the steak dishes and especially the variety of all you can eat sides that come with your meal.

      1. IMO their food is solid and BYOB is of course nice, but they're not heads and shoulders above other similar spots, i.e. Tartine, Chez Brigitte, etc. It's worth a visit if you're in the area, but it's not a destination spot. I will try his new spot when it opens though as I've had a hard time finding a good fondue place in the city!

        10 Replies
        1. re: uwsister

          Tartine? In the W Village? That's at least 2 notches below La Sirene in every aspect.

          1. re: RCC

            What do you recommend at La Sirene? I tried the cassoulet last winter and thought it was good enough, but nothing special. Cafe D'Alsace in UES does a MUCH better version. I forget what my husband had but he wasn't impressed either. Could be that we ordered the wrong dishes. Do you think it's a destination spot?

            1. re: uwsister

              I suppose it really is subjective. I hated Cafe d'Alsace. Didn't have the cassoulet there as I went for what the restaurant touts itself to be, i.e. the Alsatian dishes. The trout in riesling and choucroute garni were very poor imitations. Lot's of beers, though, and different gimmicky glasses.

              1. re: RCC

                I don't drink so beer selection doesn't impress me, but yeah, different tastes/opinions and that's what makes this board interesting. I didn't think La Sirene was bad by any means, but I don't think it's a destination spot like a thread title implies.

                1. re: uwsister

                  I also don't think that La Sirene is a "destination spot".
                  However, I also don't think that that's what the thread title is implying.

                  1. re: RCC

                    Some inexpensive spots are worth traveling all over the town! "One of the best" to me means, well, one of the best. IMO there are too many better and cheaper options in the city for it to be one of the best inexpensive eats, considering La Sirene isn't super-cheap. Had the thread title been "Is La Sirene one of the best inexpensive French restaurants right now in the city?" I'd be more inclined to say yes. Semantics, I know.

                    1. re: uwsister

                      so what are some inexpensive "destination spots" to you?

                      Im willing to go anywhere

                      1. re: popcornsutton87

                        I took a quick look at Le Sirene's website since my memory failed me, and the cheapest entree (vegetarian) is $23.75. So anywhere with entrees for cheaper than that, that I'd consider a "destination spot"? I take a 45-min trip to go to a number of places in LES/Chinatown (Katz's, Clinton St., Great NY Noodle Town, etc. etc.) and most of them have entrees below $20. I'd recommend doing a search or making a new thread with at least cuisine preferences. That would help planning your trip better and more hounds would be able to help you out.

                        1. re: uwsister

                          i thought it might have been obvious that when I asked you for an inexpensive "destination spot" other than Le Sirene I would'nt have meant a Lo mein joint or a deli. Im not going to make a new thread to ask one person a question.So I guess I should make myself more clear. What do you think is an inexpensive destination spot in the same price range as Le Sirene (any cuisine)?

                          1. re: popcornsutton87

                            >What do you think is an inexpensive destination spot in the same price range as Le Sirene (any cuisine)?

                            I don't consider entrees around $20-30 to be exactly inexpensive (nor expensive, for that matter) but to entertain your question, here's a few that I along with many other hounds find to be destination-worthy with entrees between $20-30 or cheaper, off top of my head:
                            Otto, Lupa, Redhead, Clinton St. Baking Company, Shopsin's, Little Owl, Szechuan Gourmet, Madangsui, Ippudo, Artisanal, Perilla

                            The list could go on and on. BTW Great NY Noodle Town is hardly a "lo mein joint" if that's what you were referring to -- though it is very inexpensive.