This is a LONG overdue post about the not so new restaurant, Siena Tavern. Being a HUGE foodie and Top Chef fan, I was ecstatic when I first heard that the fan-favorite Chef Fabio would be opening a restaurant in Chicago. Obvious to anyone who watched his season, he has this charisma that makes every lady swoon and every man want to be in his shoes. So when the announcements were going around that Fabio's new restaurant Siena Tavern was set to open, I quickly jumped on Open Table and secured a table stat.
Both Matt and I immediately walked in loving the vibe of the place. It has a great huge bar right when you walk in and the restaurant is extremely spacious. They quickly seated us at our table and immediately our server came over explaining everything about the menu. Their menu was what you expected it to offer...charcuterie, cheese, pasta, pizza, salad, entrees and my favorite part - a crudo bar (which you don't normally find in an Italian restaurant).
We started with a bottle of wine (obviously the necessities first) and landed on a pizza, as well as some charcuterie to share as starters. The pizza was good, but very reminiscent of La Madia pizzas - which I love, so it's hard to trump that one for me. Nonetheless though, it was pretty tasty.
For our entrees, Matt and I usually go polar opposite directions, which this case was no different. He went for the Double Cut Veal Chop and I went for the Siena Chopped Salad. Matt was totally satisfied with his meal, I think more for the amount of food he was given, and I was...left expecting a little more. The salad was good and his veal chop was perfectly fine, but my expectations were a little higher than what we experienced.
Overall everything was "good", but I'll be honest. In a city where mediocre food doesn't last very long, your food has to be exceptional if you expect it to make it very far. Was Siena Tavern above average? Yes when it comes to service, but the food itself was just good only because there are other Italian restaurants in the city that offer truly exceptional fare. So will I return to Siena Tavern? Sure, but I'll always have a hand full of restaurants that will be my first choice.