When I pulled up to the lot behind Sirena Restaurant in Los Angeles, I knew I was going to like the place. Wine Director Jeff Morgenthal’s Vespa is parked out back… a happy Italian omen of good things to come.
We started the evening with a couple of cocktails- a Classic Negroni (perfection), and a house speciality, the “Amaro Manhattan”. The description read: Amaro Montenegro, Rye, Sugar Cube, Orange Bitters, Blood Orange. I am a sucker for any cocktail involving my favorite Amaro Italiano, Montenegro. This was a very clever use of the spirit’s spicy-licorice notes, which played perfectly against the bitters and blood orange. The whole thing was lifted by a sharp zing of acidity from the fresh fruit, and the subtle mineral notes of the rye held everything together. Dangerously good.
I want to wax romantically about the extent of Sirena’s wine list, (Italian Wine Lovers Unite!), the ambiance, the service, but that truly deserves its own post! For now all I can think about is this beautiful cocktail, another lovely transformation of my beloved Amaro Montenegro.