First Impressions: Sessanta

Sessanta tables2

Back story: The parties involved are restaurateur John McDonald of Lure Fishbar and El Toro Blanco; Steven Eckler, a former managing partner at the Harrison and the Red Cat; and Jordan Frosolone, former chef de cuisine at Hearth and August. They took over the space that had been the Thai restaurant Kittichai when the Sixty Soho hotel was known as 60 Thompson.

The vibe: The Sessanta website says that Martin Brudnizki Design Studio was inspired by “mid-century Italy, combining the avant-garde aesthetic of Giò Ponti with the glamour of Federico Fellini to transport diners to the post-war heyday of Italian culture.” If that doesn’t mean anything to you, try this: It’s a highly designed space, not unlike Lure, but with less contemporary boat and more retro Italy (and a dash of the lobby of the Smyth). You walk into the hotel, then bear left, where the host stand is; a narrow room/hallway with lounge seating leads to the dining room, with an O-shaped with the bar in the middle. The lighting is dim but attractive.

Sessanta loungeMenu: The restaurant is currently open for breakfast and dinner.

Sessanta dinner menu Sessanta breakfast menu What to like: Adam and I first went for dinner on a weeknight. I had the sucrine lettuce salad (with prosciutto, pecorino di enna, and walnuts) and the skirt steak (with scurdalia potatoes, rapini, and hazelnuts); Adam ordered the tomato and peach salad and the tortelli (with fennel, Sicilian anchovies, pine nuts, golden raisins, and saffron). Then I went back a week or two later and had a Negroni at the bar. While not necessarily memorable, the food was better than we expected for a scene-y restaurant, and the salad portions were impressive. I found the design successful, more like homage than pastiche. The old-world atmosphere is particularly strong at the bar, with its upholstered stools; I could get comfortable there. Also, the outdoor seating, in the setback on Thompson Street, is so lovely. There may be no better spot in New York City for a breakfast meeting.

Sessanta outside tablesRoom for improvement: Even though the restaurant was only half full, the back area was so loud we could barely hear each other—all that wood paneling and tile flooring makes for intense clatter. Also, Sessanta is a hotspot right now, so it attracts a certain sort of screecher. (Lure draws the same crowd even though it’s been open forever, and I find it, too, painfully loud.) As we left, we paused in the front half of the room, by the bar; the noise was considerably more tolerable.

Anything else? Fans of the Harrison—and especially those of us who frequented the bar—will be thrilled to know that Fausto is now tending bar at Sessanta. Also, there’s apparently a bar called the Gordon Bar on the hotel’s second floor, but I have yet to go there.

Contact: 60 Thompson (inside the Sixty Soho Hotel), between Spring and Broome; 212-219-8119;

Sessanta boothsRecent New Kid on the Block / First Impressions articles:
NYC Elite
The Wooly Daily
Gourmet Garage
City Pole
Maison Kayser
Ten Thousand Things



  1. Looks beautiful but I really liked Kittichai too.

  2. Glad to know where Fausto landed. Great guy!

  3. Thanks for the report. Loud restaurant? Crossing this one off my list.

  4. We had a wonderful dinner at Sessanta and can’t wait to go back. The chef spent many years working under David Chang at Momofuku. We had the opportunity to meet him and he is incredibly nice and humble. The people working there all seemed lovely – especially the sommelier.