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Siroc Restaurant, McPherson Square - Chef Martin Lackovic in the Former Gerard's Place Space


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Anyone been? Website is still under construction, but it looks like they've been up and running since January 16. The presser they have on the front window described the cuisine as Med-Italian influenced with house made pastas, charcuterie, and the like. I took a glance at both the lunch and dinner menus and they looked very promising. Lunch prices are $10-18 and includes focaccia's, pastas, salads, and a couple lower priced entrees, while the dinner prices creep into the mid-$20s.

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Anyone been? Website is still under construction, but it looks like they've been up and running since January 16. The presser they have on the front window described the cuisine as Med-Italian influenced with house made pastas, charcuterie, and the like. I took a glance at both the lunch and dinner menus and they looked very promising. Lunch prices are $10-18 and includes focaccia's, pastas, salads, and a couple lower priced entrees, while the dinner prices creep into the mid-$20s.

It is phenomenal - I am actually a server there! The pastas are the dishes to try (all homemade in the back by Martin Lackovic himself) and if you are a meat lover, the veal ossobuco is the speciality, as well as the beef tenderloin. All the appetizers are perfection and great portions for starters. Great selection of northern Italian wines, homemade ciabatta and foccacia bread, great ambiance. Give it a try!

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I used to work across the little park from Gerard's Place. I was amazed at how talented was the chef but how poorly attended was the restaurant. It had a blue-haired lady clientele, for the most part. It never seemed to meet expectations, for whatever reasons, even though Gerard himself may have been one of the more accomplished chefs in the city. It was like Gerard's Place was trying to be Cafe Renaissance in Vienna.

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Had a couple of meals recently over at Siroc [lunch today and dinner prior] to give them a try.

For recently opening, they're especially doing a nice job. While eating there I've chatted up Mehdi Dris, who's part of the team that runs the front of the house. Very friendly fellow who's attentive to the diners [helping the server staff with delivering plates, etc].

An appetizer that I've tried so far is the nicely flavored House-Made Rabbit and Black Truffle Sausages served over Soft Parmesan Polenta and Braised Salsify. The polenta and salsify accompanied the sausages nicely. For lunch I've tried the House-Made Egg Fettuccine Tossed with a Slow Roasted Lamb Ragu topped with Pecorino Cheese. Huge portion imo, lots of lamb ragu, and tons of flavored. For dinner I tried the Veal Ossobuco with Braised Vegetables served over Creamy Parmesan Polenta and topped with Gremolata. Another good-sized portion [MSN103 above is right] and well-executed. I've only tried 1 thing for dessert so far, taking the server's recommendation for the Warm Almond Cake with Blueberry topping and a Cinnamon Zabaglione Sauce underneath. Yummy!

Only thing "eh" so far is the glass of their Montepulciano D'Abruzzo, it was simply OK to me [nothing wow]. But I'll try more of the wines eventually. Didn't see any cocktails being offered [perhaps I didn't look hard enough?]

Service that I've experienced is very attentive & pleasant, and not overwhelming. The restaurant you can see is still getting their sealegs a little. But from the people-watching I've done so far it seems that Siroc is already getting a fair share of repeat/regulars. My lunch today saw the restaurant doing fairly brisk service, and it seemed a number of tables have been here before [greeting Mehdi & Chef Lackovic in friendly terms]. Nice to see the Chef chatting up the diners.

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I just had a nice lunch with a friend at Siroc.

I had the spinach pappardelle with a mushroom ragout. It was delicious but I was expecting a bigger portion. So, I had to have dessert, and chose the chocolate hazelnut mousse with raspberry creme anglaise. Quite nice. Coffee was french press and very good.

Bread basket was excellent.

I don't eat out much -- ok almost never unless it's on the firm -- so this was a nice treat.

Hope the place does well. It was about half-full for lunch.

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It is phenomenal - I am actually a server there! The pastas are the dishes to try (all homemade in the back by Martin Lackovic himself) and if you are a meat lover, the veal ossobuco is the speciality, as well as the beef tenderloin. All the appetizers are perfection and great portions for starters. Great selection of northern Italian wines, homemade ciabatta and foccacia bread, great ambiance. Give it a try!

Welcome, MSN103, and thank you very much for disclosing your affiliation with Siroc (MSN103 also verified the affiliation during registration - this may seem like such a small, nitpicky thing to ask of members, but here's what happens when you don't:

On Yelp, there is a five-star review about Siroc from a user named "William B," who is a member of the "Yelp Elite Squad." You can find the review easily enough, but here's an excerpt from it:

I have not given a lot of five-star reviews to DC restaurants, but Siroc earns one...

But that was only a pale shadow of the wonderfulness of the pastas

Go while you can, and while the magic lasts.

There is also another review from a user named "Judith M," and here is an excerpt from that:

This may be my first 5-star review in DC...

we haven't been able to get the wonderfulness of this place out of our heads...

Go here before you can't get a reservation.

I'll leave everyone to draw their own conclusions, but there are four points I want to make:

1) These are the only two times I can ever remember seeing the word "wonderfulness."

2) I see nothing ethically wrong with business owners playing the internet to their advantage.

3) Keeping a grip on membership is the single most important thing I do on this website. Hillvalley and mktye will both tell you how much work is involved in the process. Since November, I've taken over the job myself and spend 20-30 minutes a day, every day, working to ensure the integrity of this community. That might not sound like much, but that's behind the scenes, in addition to everything else that's involved - and when I take a few days off from it? I have two hours of work staring me in the face, that I have to do or it will keep piling up. And then once a month, inactive members (people who haven't posted, and who haven't signed on in the past year) are pruned, because it's important to me that our membership statistics are accurate and not inflated. In January, we almost had our first net-negative month, because of the unusually high number of people who joined during January, 2008 - we ended up adding 71 people, and pruning 65. For a net gain of six people, there was probably 10-15 hours of work involved. And every time I say to myself that it's not just worth it, I ask myself what would remain if it wasn't done, which brings me to my final point:

4) When everyone is Yelping at the same time, all you hear is noise.)

It's worth it, and so is a $27 bottle of Falanghina at Siroc, a dry, crisp white from the Campania region of Southern Italy which is full-bodied enough to carry you through your entire meal. The basket of breads (which MSN103 describe as being homemade) seem purchased to me, but they were still good, especially when dipped in a high-quality olive oil, perhaps Tuscan because of its hint of grassiness.

House Made Rabbit and Black Truffle Sausages ($8) were served over soft Parmesan polenta and braised salsify, and were surprisingly mild, almost certainly cut with a fair amount of veal or even chicken, to match the little pool of semi-reduced sauce underneath. I didn't care for the polenta, which seemed too quickly done, but the salsify was wonderful, if subtle, and the server graciously split the dish into two elegant platings - at four dollars per plate, there was nothing not to like here.

I know that Martin Lackovic used to work with Roberto Donna at Galileo, so without even looking, I ordered four half-portions of the first four pastas on the menu:

Hand-cut Spinach Pappardelle ($9 for the half-portion) tossed with crushed tomatoes, shrimp, pancetta, artichokes, and Thyme oil

House-made Black Pepper Tagliatelle ($10) with sweet garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and seared scallops

Cappelacci ($11.50) filled with Lobster and Roasted Corn with a sweet-pepper sauce and chervil

Yukon Gold Potato Gnocchi ($10) with braised lamb, tomato and roasted carrots topped with Pecorino cheese.

All four pasta dishes were good to very good, but when the chef stopped into the dining room, he noted that his favorite is the Squid-ink Capellini ($9.50 for a half-portion) with baby clams, white wine, garlic, and oven-dried tomatoes.

Service was excellent, with one of the Dris brothers (the owners) working the front of the house. I was the first diner ever to set foot into Gerard's Place, having had lunch there at 11:30 AM on the first day of service, and I remember very well that the thermostat was upside down. Last night, I sat right next to where I sat years and years ago - the thermostat is digital now, and no longer upside-down. Things have changed here, but despite my (largely) fond memories and blatant love of Gerard Pangaud's cooking, I was not disappointed with my first visit to Siroc, an independently owned restaurant in a space that could have easily gone institutional.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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I know that Martin Lackovic used to work with Roberto Donna at Galileo, so without even looking, I ordered four half-portions of the first four pastas on the menu:

Now I am wondering if I was mistakenly given a half-portion. There is no way they would serve half of what I was given.

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Now I am wondering if I was mistakenly given a half-portion. There is no way they would serve half of what I was given.

The pastas were served on two oval plates, each containing two small servings of pasta side-by-side. These were not large half-portions, but perhaps they were slightly bigger because it was dinner?

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The pastas were served on two oval plates, each containing two small servings of pasta side-by-side. These were not large half-portions, but perhaps they were slightly bigger because it was dinner?

Well, I just thought that my portion and my buddy's, even though served in the same bowls as the other tables, seemed small compared to what the next table got. It was delicious, though, and I will give them another try.

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Five of us had a truly marvelous lunch at Siroc last week. I don't remember everything we had, but I'll tell you what I remember.

The bread in the bread basket was very good quality - I think it was foccaccia and a nice chewy crusty bread.

I had Endive and Cress Salad with Orange Sections, Crispy Bacon and Candied Pecans dressed with a Vanilla Vinaigrette. It was one of the best salads I've ever had. The endive was cut up into slivers and wasn't bitter (I'm not a fan of endive in its usual whole-leaf form, but I like everything else in the salad so I ordered it, and was very happily surprised by the endive). The dressing was a little sweet but not too sweet, and melded perfectly with the ingredients. The bacon was in tiny bits that surprised me here and there, and was indeed crispy and full of flavor. I had a half salad because it was entree-size and I wanted a main dish - I love a place that will serve you half plates of pasta and half salads.

There was a soft shell crab special - I'm a nut for soft shells, as long as they're not deep-friend so that you hardly taste the crab. This was one largish crab, sauteed, in a creamy sauce which I thought sounded odd but was a beautiful complement to the crab. I can't remember exactly what was else was in the dish - I'm thinking fennel, and one or two other things. The crab was cooked perfectly. Loved this.

Finished with chocolate hazelnut mousse, enrobed in chocolate, with raspberry sauce and creme anglais and fresh raspberries. Just perfect. There was also french press coffee - I'm no coffee expert but I know some people prefer french press.

One of my friends had the gnocchi and gave me one - it was so tender! I didn't know gnocchi could be that tender. Scrumptious. She had the pan seared spicy shrimp as an appetizer and found it too spicy for her - I had one and enjoyed it, though I didn't really taste any of the pomegranate that it said was in the caponata. Another friend had the squid ink cappellini, and he was very happy with it.

We all agreed that we would absolutely go back to Siroc. And I would recommend it without hesitation.

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I very much enjoyed lunch at Siroc today. The atmosphere is warm and lively, if a bit noisy and cramped at full capacity. But I'll toast full capacity for a new restaurant in these times!

Service was very friendly and informative. I had a half-portion of the cress and endive salad described upthread, and the bacon was amazing--finely chopped and subtly glazed so that each bite of the salad had a nice crunchy, savory sweetness to it. My half-portion of fettuccini with lamb and carrot ragu and pecorino was good--very flavorful, tender lamb--but the pasta stuck together in a clump.

Dessert was absolute heaven--moist, golden almond cake with blueberry topping and a creamy cinnamon sauce. I love that there was such an interesting offering, and hooray for the French press!

I'd be interested to try Siroc for dinner, perhaps after a bit more time to settle in.

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I ate outside here on Tuesday and had a mixed experience. I enjoyed the House Made Rabbit and Black Truffle Sausages , but like Don noted there seemed to be a little cheating as they were unnaturally greasy and the polenta underneath had the consistency of instant mashed potatoes. The Penne with Pancetta was done nicely, although it lacked that little something extra that they have in the red sauces at Tosca and Spezie. Service was pushy, trying several times to take my plate before I was finished eating. I couldn't understand this as the patio (where we were sitting) was never full so they really had no reason to rush us out, but they did, getting us in and out in under 40 minutes.

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I skipped Restaurant Week last winter, but decided to rejoin the hordes of diners this week, after looking at Siroc's promising menu online. Despite one major glitch, the choice proved to be a very good one. I opened with the scallops in a red pepper sauce with black lentils and roasted artichokes. This may have been the dish of the night--three plump, perfectly cooked bivalved in a nice, spicy sauce--a truly good, and good-sized appetizer. Bob's tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad with deviled eggs, while pretty, paled by comparison.

For entrees, Bob opted for the veal cheeks with polenta--a decidedly autumnal dish, but well prepared. I went for the rockfish with fingerlings, fennel, and "tomato fillets." Unfortunately, when it came out, the good-sized slab of rockfish was rock-hard. The flavor was okay, but I decided to send it back for a piece less overdone (I NEVER do that). The second time was the charm--this time it flaked nicely, was almost underdone, and the accompaniments sang whereas before they seemed flat. The "tomato fillets" claim seems a bit overstated--neither plate had much in the way of tomatoes at all--but the second time around, roasted peppers made a good base with the sliced fingerlings.

For dessert, we both went for the almond cake with cinnamon zabaglione and blueberry topping. A fine choice--a very moist cake, and the tartness of the blueberries offset what would have been a too sweet zabaglione. Our opening martinis were well prepared, but the meaty, unpitted olives seemed like an off note. But our glasses of Malbec Organic, Musarango, Veneto, Italy 2006 were very good, and a generous pour at $8 each.

Best of all, the staff handled my return of the fish with enormous graciousness, and they performed admirably throughout the meal. Siroc strikes me as an admirably capable and modest place that deserves a good crowd (though the space is pretty but noisy). They certainly handled themselves well this Restaurant Week.

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We tried Siroc for the first time last week, pre-RW. We both had salads and pasta, which is what we were craving. My SO had the day's special, a ragu (? can't remember). I thought it would be too heavy, but it was flavorful without being heavy. The pasta itself was lovely. I had the black pepper pasta with scallops. It was not over sauced, and the scallops were perfectly done. Yummy beet salad.

The service was warm and professional, and I think the space is a big improvement over what Gerard's Place was. Unfortunately, perhaps because it was tourist season, there were patrons who were wearing gym shorts. I don't want to revisit the dress code debate, but it just diminishes the experience when someone walks in looking like he just walked off the soccer field. There was also a distraction as a large party was seated, and then had an angst-filled debate about whether or not to stay. Ultimately, the left. The staff handled it efficiently and quietly (re-setting the tables, etc.) Don't people look at a meny on-line or outside the door before choosing?

Anyway, I can't wait for cooler weather so I can try some of Siroc's heartier pasta dishes. I will definitely return.

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Had dinner at Siroc with three friends last night and had a very enjoyable experience. Regarding appetizers, the sweetbread and stuffed portobello were both excellent but the flavor of the "Baby Octopus Salami" did not match its imaginative presentation. One of the great things about Siroc is that you can order half-portions of their great, home-made pasta. If you can't decide which one to get you can also order two different pastas as a main course and have them served on a single plate. All of the pastas were a big hit (my personal favorite was the black pepper tagliatelle). I can't say they were the best I've had in the city but I'm biased and spoiled because I live around the corner from Palena (run, don't walk, to try the gnocchi there if you haven't already). The best thing about Siroc though is the value. This place definitely fills the void in this city for high-end restaurants that don't break the bank. Dinner for 4 - consisting of 3 appetizers, 4 main courses and a $40 bottle of wine (an excellent Barbera D'Asti) - set us back $40 per person plus tip. A steal when you also consider the high level of service and atmosphere. I will definitely be back.

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If you can't decide which one to get you can also order two different pastas as a main course and have them served on a single plate.

Is it just me, or does this seem like a terrible idea? In my mind, different pasta (hence different sauce) --> different plate. Images of red sauce and cream sauce and brown butter and miscellaneous herbs melding together into some odd monstrosity on a plate are running through my brain, threatening to give me nightmares reminiscent of the local Chinese buffet back home where people piled a single plate with 20 different foods, each seeping with a different sauce, as if they weren't allowed to return for more.

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Is it just me, or does this seem like a terrible idea? In my mind, different pasta (hence different sauce) --> different plate.

Although I agree with you in principle, I actually think I did this there, and whatever I had, worked.

ETA: And here it is!

Edited by DonRocks
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Had dinner at Siroc with three friends last night and had a very enjoyable experience. Regarding appetizers, the sweetbread and stuffed portobello were both excellent but the flavor of the "Baby Octopus Salami" did not match its imaginative presentation.

I concur. My brother and I had a great lunch at Siroc a few weeks ago (see his blog www.eatwellslivewells.com). The baby octopus salame is gorgeous, but tasteless. Everything else we got was full of flavor.

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I had the black pepper pasta with scallops. It was not over sauced, and the scallops were perfectly done.

Service was wonderful as they accommodated my request to order the black pepper tagiliatelle to go. It was so close and warm and comforting on the cold, bone-chilling night that I ordered it on that it was like the little flickering flame from the lighter-upper device from Harry Potter. Reheated well, too.

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I took a group of 9 here for Sunday dinner and the last official night of DC's Winter Restaurant Week.

Most folks were 1st-timers at Siroc, and the restaurant made some new fans that night. Some of the dishes were got the most compliments were the Agnolotti filled Braised Beef Short Ribs and Roasted Red Potatoes tossed in its braising liquid with Grated Montasio Cheese, Domestic Lamb Chops [w/ a Small tower of Potato Artichoke and Thyme with Sautéed Spinach and a Rosemary Sauce], Pan Seared Skate Wing on Zucchini Puree [w/ Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms, Roasted Fennel and a Sweet Red Pepper Sauce]. For dessert this RW period, their Ricotta and Chestnut Cheesecake [w/ Sautéed Apples in a Caramel Sauce with Candied Pecan] tasted great but didn't have the texture of a traditional or light cheesecake [more mousse-like].

Service was pleasant. All in all a good night!

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Last night was a lovely night to sit outside anywhere in Washington. I had thought it might get a bit chilly, but surprisingly, the patio at Siroc (which lacks heaters, as far as I noticed) remained pleasant after the sun went down. Dinner itself, however, was less so.

My friend and I wanted to taste several dishes from the menu, and as noted upthread, Siroc happily does half-portions of pasta, which meant we could do two appetizers and two pastas. For our first course, we had the Cappelacci filled with Lobster and Roasted Corn with a Sweet Pepper Beurre Blanc and Baby Cilantro and an off-menu special of Soft-Shell Crab with Crispy Pork Belly and Baby Bok Choi. The latter was absolutely the dish of the night: a big, meaty soft-shell, prepared expertly, with crispy pieces of pork and tender greens, all tied together with just enough of a balsamic-reduction drizzle (which is an ingredient that likely belongs on the trite food list if not already there, but did work in this dish, adding a bit of tang and cutting the richness of the fried crab).

Sadly, the pasta did not work as well. This dish was basically another riff on lobster and butter, but although many dishes succeed with only those two elements, this dish completely failed to pull it off. There was an odd sour-citrus note (from the sweet pepper?) and a bit of a chili oil (hot pepper as a balancing element? I don't know, it was just confusing) that didn't integrate; if there was corn present, it surely wasn't roasted, because none of that flavor came through. The lobster itself was compressed into dense balls at the center of the cappelacci, and so lacking in any forthright lobster flavor that it seems safe to assume it had been frozen. This was likely also the case with the crabmeat in the crabcake amuse over a spot of mango puree, although the mere presence of an amuse was a pleasant surprise, and highlights the very good service we had throughout.

For our second courses, we had another half-portion of pasta, this time the Hand-made Potato Gnocchi with a Ragu of Muscovy Duck with Caramelized Carrots and Parsnips. For a dish with so many elements that should have exploded with flavor, we wound up instead with a bowl of dumplings under-topped with a sauce at once overly herbaceous and bland. This would have benefited from a brief encounter with a salt-shaker, which might have allowed the flavors of the duck and the root vegetables to emerge and lend some life to the dish; instead, this was just sad. We also had the Quail Marinated in Pomegranate with Fingerling Potatoes baked with Goat Cheese Curd, Green Olives and Crushed Tomatoes, which did at least have flavor; unfortunately, many of them just didn't belong together! One of the odd men out here was the cheese; luckily, to some degree, there was very little of it (I think we each had one small bite that included it). I don't recall actually seeing any olives, and the fingerlings were sad and limp, although properly seasoned. I think I got the one fairly meaty bite of the bird, the skin of which had been lacquered to a sticky-sweet shine by the marinade.

It's disappointing when a meal that seems promising falls this far short of the mark, especially when there are little elements that shine. The plates evinced plenty of good technique: the vegetables in the ragu had been chopped into perfect, tiny dice; the crab was fried with neither too light nor too heavy a hand. Service was unobtrusive and spot-on throughout the night, as well; when we realized that our chosen orders of the Nero d'Avola and Soave wouldn't be exactly right with our first course dishes (particularly the Nero), we added a glass of the Chardonnay, which managed to appear before the appetizer after all, allowing us to pair it with the pasta dish.

I hadn't been to Siroc before and very much wanted to like it, and if invited back I would get the soft-shell crab again in a hot minute and have not a single qualm. But for a small, independent restaurant to fight off the corporate behemoth, it has to be far more consistent -- after all, even this short-ish thread yields a sense that the highs are high and the lows are definitely low -- and send out dishes that don't wind up less than the sum of their parts.

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Well now I know why no one has been, obviously everyone has already gone once and decided not to return...

Last night went to Siroc for a early bday dinner with my in laws. The restaurant is incredibly small and has no real ambiance good or bad. I started with the quail because it sounded good. Even though I had read leleboo's review. The flavors were decent, but there was no discernible olive or artichoke in the dish. And the sauce was definitely too sticky. I would have preferred more of a sauce and less of a sticky coating.

I then had the squid ink pasta with clams and sundried tomatoes which unfortunately was awful. There was no sauce that I could find or taste. The pasta was gummy and didn't taste like anything but starch. The sundried tomatoes had not been baked enough to have that real sweet flavor. The clams were fine, but without any sauce or decent pasta to pair with them they weren't good enough on their own to redeem anything. I was really disappointed. I should have sent it back, but my in laws had an awful weekend and I didn't want to make a fuss. I ended with the chocolate hazelnut mousse, which had a really strange taste to it. I am not sure if it was the raspberry coulis or creme anglaise, but something had a strange off-putting flavor. I hope my companions had better food. I didn't get a chance to ask my husband what he thought. Perhaps I would have been better off with meat or fish than pasta. But there was nothing to make me want to come back to this spot in a city with so many options.

Edited by ktmoomau
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Well now I know why no one has been, obviously everyone has already gone once and decided not to return...

Siroc is around the corner from my office. For lunch, they have a pretty respectable offering of better-than-average salads at reasonable prices. I can't speak to anything else on the menu besides the iced tea, which is unremarkable. I've had very modest expectations and have never been disappointed but I have also never ordered anythign particularly creative or interesting either.

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Well now I know why no one has been, obviously everyone has already gone once and decided not to return...

Last night went to Siroc for a early bday dinner with my in laws. The restaurant is incredibly small and has no real ambiance good or bad. I started with the quail because it sounded good. Even though I had read leleboo's review. The flavors were decent, but there was no discernible olive or artichoke in the dish. And the sauce was definitely too sticky. I would have preferred more of a sauce and less of a sticky coating.

I then had the squid ink pasta with clams and sundried tomatoes which unfortunately was awful. There was no sauce that I could find or taste. The pasta was gummy and didn't taste like anything but starch. The sundried tomatoes had not been baked enough to have that real sweet flavor. The clams were fine, but without any sauce or decent pasta to pair with them they weren't good enough on their own to redeem anything. I was really disappointed. I should have sent it back, but my in laws had an awful weekend and I didn't want to make a fuss. I ended with the chocolate hazelnut mousse, which had a really strange taste to it. I am not sure if it was the raspberry coulis or creme anglaise, but something had a strange off-putting flavor. I hope my companions had better food. I didn't get a chance to ask my husband what he thought. Perhaps I would have been better off with meat or fish than pasta. But there was nothing to make me want to come back to this spot in a city with so many options.

Wow. I've been to Siroc about five times over the past year or so, always with a different dining companion. Always had pasta. Always left satisfied. Never had anything that tasted strange. Didn't like the octopus salami appetizer, which was beautiful but tasteless. Other than that, no complaints from me or my guests.

I don't find the room to be "incredibly small," either.

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I don't find the room to be "incredibly small," either.

Well as a party of six the chairs couldn't fit underneath the table and all our knees were touching, but there was no other space that they could have put us, even pushing tables together by the wall, not because customers were there, but because of the size of the room. I think there were probably a maximum of 16-25 tables which seems very small to me. I think that the whole space of the dining room is probably about the same size at Palena Cafe only, not including the back room in square footage. But "incredibly" is a very subjective word.

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Siroc on Wedesday night was good - agnolotti with braised short-ribs/potato filling, parmesan and a stock like sauce made from the braising liquids. Good, if simple arugula salad. Dining companions also enjoyed their pasta choices and one order of the beef tenderloin, prepared rare as requested. And a charming Brazillian waitress who made everything taste better!

I also think their wine list is interesting and reasonably priced. I was the lucky guest of my main vendor, so they were happy to spring for a bottle of the GAJA Ca'Marcanda from Maremma. Very tasty and the Falanghina that proceeded it was nice as well. Dinng companions were all pleased and I think it was still a better call than DC Coast!

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Lunched today. Restaurant PACKED at 12:30 (about which more later). Very good (if sometimes disorienting) experience. Service very attentive, courteous and prompt. Foccacia in bread basket very good- -nice salty tang in the crust. Servied with olive oil. I ordered the "local flounder with zucchini sauce" which also came with roasted fennel and sliced tomatoes. Dish was BEAUTIFUL with two different sauces in concentric circles around little stack of the flounder meat surrounded by the fennel and tomatoes. Can't recall pricing but thinking $14-15 (well-priced for top tier lunch place). Great flavors just a nicely presented and prepared dish. Espresso afterward- -prompt and fresh. Great lunch- -only downside this visit was the noise level which was absolutely off the charts at "can't hear myself think" level - - I hadn't experienced that before at Siroc- -perhaps was being seated deep into the restaurant rather than up front- -reverberations seemed to be coming our way. Anyhow I continue to recommend Siroc for relatively quick and high quality business lunch at a surprisingly reasonable price point.

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Lunch earlier this week; hadn't been in about a year but was as I remembered it. Good on quality. Very good on value given the location. Reliably consistent (more my dining companion's view since he goes more regularly than I do).

Venue: perfect for a calm business lunch. Nothing distracting. Quiet enough for conversation. Some formality without stuffiness.

Service: very good. our waiter was sincere, proactive, friendly and unobstrusive. really a high point of the meal.

Food: As follows...

- (maybe around $7?) special gnocchi. siroc has a bit of a reputation for its pastas (mostly or entirely made in house) so ordered this main as an appetizer. first, big points for flexibility. love, love, love when a restaurant will make reasonable adjustments (though also recognize the right of truly gifted chefs to resist modification of carefully composed dishes) especially on portion sizes. When we asked if they'd make this as an app, the server's response was immediate: "no problem". Can't recall what the sauce was--maybe some morel/mushroom and cheese? Overall, a good version not very close to Palena good but still enjoyed it.

- ($14) Local Flounder Filet with a Zucchine Sauce, Roasted Fennel Bulb, Caramelized Shallots and Tomato Filets: really no complaints with this at all. Fish was fresh and properly cooked with a nice crunch and browning on top but thoroughly moist and flaky throughout. The fennel, shallots and tomato enhanced, and didn't overwhelm, the fish. Good sized portion for the money.

A final cappuccino didn't rival Filter (or Sidamo, Peregine, Chinatown, etc, etc) but was made using an actual espresso machine and was better than average for downtown restaurants.

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Another data point -

We had lunch here this week and our experience largely mirrors Darkstar's experience. Good food at a pretty reasonable price, and the wait staff is very good.  Most of the pastas we tried were very good (exception was the slightly doughy gnocchi) though the sauces were all a tad saltier than ideal to my taste.  The portions are quite large - the half portions we ordered were substantial enough to serve as full size entrees.  Our sweetbread appetizer was well executed and quite substantial for the price.

Our waitress was great - we felt neither intruded upon nor neglected, the orders and bill all came at the right time.

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Thought I'd bring this thread current. Had a very nice Restaurant Week lunch yesterday at Siroc. Three good-sized courses for $22, plus nice focaccia and olive oil. I had: Burrata with eggplant and tomato confit, pesto tagliatelle with scallops, and ginger panna cotta with strawberries. All very good. As always, the pasta was a home run. Finished with a nice french press coffee.

Siroc is still a valuable cog in the downtown lunch wheel.

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