Recently Opened Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 03/11/2015
Photo: M. Alexander Weber
- more in dining/
820 Washington St., 212-254-3000, Meatpacking District, Manhattan
Imagine a life-size, glass jewel box underneath the High Line, designed by Renzo Piano, no less. Santina's interior is lit by gorgeous, pastel-hued Murano chandeliers. White marble tables are preset with colorful, hand-painted Italian plates, and broken pottery is arrayed in a Julian Schnabel installation. A decorative, square bar takes center stage, where it's possible to pop in for chickpea flour pancakes with tuna tartare and light fritto misto. Major Food Group (Parm, Carbone, Dirty French) is behind it; the restaurant is named for chef-partner Mario Carbone's Italian grandmother. His focus is on Italian-style seafood as well as a wide range of salads and vegetable compositions. Pasta has its place here too, with highlights including spaghetti with blue crab and rigatoni Norma, a lusty Sicilian favorite with eggplant, tomatoes and garlic buried under a mound of cheese.