16 Middle Neck Rd. Great Neck, NY 516-482-1500
Sip City, specializing in international small-plates cooking and fresh-juice cocktails.Hours: Open every day for dinner, starting at 4 p.m.; lunch, Monday to Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.; Sunday brunch, noon to 4 p.m. Ambience: Good Service: Very Good Credit cards: Accepted Accessibility: Tight dining area
Eating at Sip City is a trip: eastern and western U.S., Middle East,Europe, Southeast Asia, East Africa, Latin America, enough combinations to make you feel both tantalized and warned. All the cross-pollination leads to incidents such as Boursin cheese in the Kobe beef sliders and Thai chili sauce on a Beijing duck spring roll. But Sip City is about mixing things and ramping up the volume. This long-awaited, buzz-driven place occupies the busy corner that housed Mushrooms, among many temporaries. The stylized, notice-me makeover leads to a smile and evinces a wince. The approach, of course, is very downtown. General manager John Capobianco, who brought you the departed On3 in Glen Head, sees it as a prototype for other Sips in high-traffic L.I. hubs. The place has plenty of juice, and not just in the cocktails.
Between sips, you'll go through a mostly satisfying range of colorful small plates. The snappy Singapore street noodles, with minced chicken and napa cabbage, balance herbs and chiles for modest heat. That Beijing duck spring roll continues the Asian-fusion theme with sweetness and crunch. Duck goes Latin via high-end nachos, capped with shredded confit, pico de gallo, avocado, and cotija cheese. Veer American with a respectable shrimp cocktail, tasty crab cakes, tender beef brisket with crisp onions and a white-bean ragout; and updated Caesar salad, egg-free, finished with a pecorino-cheese tuile. Anglerfish, or monkfish, is categorized East African for its hints of coconut curry, mint, coriander and ginger, plus a cut of lime-grilled pineapple. The sunny spin on Caprese salad brings in pesto and ripe heirloom tomatoes. Shared plates fall under the United Nationsheading. The platter of hummus, tzatziki, pickled peppers, olives and artichokes with pita bread definitely contributes to world peace. Likewise, churros with chocolate sauce.
Dull fattoush salad, overdone sliders and marinated beef, bland coriander-crusted tuna, metallic lemon tart, limp banana fritters.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Eat, drink, be merry.