If chef John Manion was a TV host, he’d be bleeped. A f#$%^&* lot.
You’ll swear by his new Fulton Market restaurant, La Sirena Clandestina, opening this week.
After a peripatetic life/career (time spent in Brazil and Argentina; chef at Mas, Branch 27, and Goose Island), Manion put down roots in the form of an intimate 44-seater with a come one, come all vibe. His goal: to whisk you straight out of Chicago (his kitchen stays open until 12:30; there’s a Sunday band).
Latin influence and local flavor merge on the menu, which changes depending on what’s available. Envision black-eyed pea fritters with oil-poached shrimp, baked empanadas, crispy chile-flecked chicken thighs, and moqueca (fish stew). Proteins (sweetbreads, prawns) are grilled and served simply, with chimichurri, piri piri, and the like.
Justin Anderson swirls experimental cocktails using mezcal, fernet, and cachaca. There’s cheap beer, too.
It’s the Schlitz.
La Sirena Clandestina, 954 West Fulton Market, at Morgan Street (312-226-5300 or lasirenachicago.com).
Photo: Courtesy of La Sirena Clandestina