The coastal Italian menu with a strong focus on fish and vegetables drew me to Santina immediately. As part of the Major Food Group (think Dirty French, Carbone, Sadelle's etc.), the restaurant joins a list of popular, acclaimed restaurants, and in doing so has high expectations to fill. Upon entering Santina, you're greeted by bright colors and a welcoming, Mediterranean-inspired interior, which is a nice reprieve from the typical dark and gloomy New York restaurant. I love the colorful, hand-painted, and unique dishes used as well. I was excited to try the super creative (and not to mention beautifully plated!) squash carpaccio, and it did not disappoint. The delicate butternut squash was balanced nicely with a honey agrodolce, pink peppercorns, pumpkin seeds, and crème fraîche. The cecina (Tuscan chickpea pancake) was served in the skillet accompanied by a delicious avocado salsa verde, and came offered with a variety of toppings. We chose the spicy Calabrian tuna tartare, which was super fresh. with just the right amount of spice. The kale & sunchoke salad was light and refreshing, perfect before heading into our main courses. There are several seasonal rice and pasta dishes on the menu, and we thoroughly enjoyed our fusilli Santina with Merguez sausage & mussels (the guanciale e pepe rice dish, however, was quite underwhelming). The Guajillo chicken with eggplant yogurt was cooked perfectly and so full of flavor; the radicchio and frisée added a nice contrasting bite to the dish as well. We had plans for dessert elsewhere, but I would definitely like to return and taste the sweets, along with many other things on the menu! I love that Santina easily caters to meat-eaters, pescatarians, and vegetarians alike, with many fresh and creative dishes available for everyone. Although the prices are a bit high, it's on-par with the neighborhood, and the solid food & fun atmosphere ensure I'll be returning again soon.