I finally had the chance to visit Bar Siena this week with a friend, and given how much I love Siena Tavern, I was super excited about my menu tasting at its more extensive and expansive counterpart located in the West Loop. Plus I also trust any venture former Top Chef contestant Fabio Viviani is involved with.
At the restaurant, guests have a full view of a dome shaped pizza oven, which we learned was hand imported from Italy. We were seated on the upper level so we had a nice overview of the entire restaurant. Amazing energy, which was followed my amazing food, as our drinks and appetizer came out. My guest and I tried the No.5 and the No.11 on the cocktail menu, and both drinks were incredibly cool and invigorating.
Mine was Grey Goose with lemon juice, ginger berry syrup, Laphroaig and St. Elizabeth all spice dram. I nursed this drink my entire dinner and it tasted delicious with every dish I tried. The right amount of sweet and spritz a drink should have and thankfully I had only planned to have one drink that evening.
For appetizers, our server said the Taleggio Foccacia was a must have. Out came a loaf of gorgeously gooey bread stuffed with Stacchino cheese, drizzled with truffle honey, and topped with Arugula. The bread also had little crystals of sea salt that created a sweet & sour taste to the warm, fresh dough. This is a sizeable appetizer and almost as big as a mini pizza, so it will fill you up. But that certainly isn’t a problem when its house-made bread with such amazing ingredients.
After waiting some time for our appetizer to digest, our entrees came out. I don’t get to eat seafood pastas much so I was excited about my Maine Lobster Agnolotti. This dish, also my menu pick, was one of the best pastas I’ve eaten that involves fish. Agnolotti is a type of ravioli with extra fancy drum wheat and usually a corn filling. The dish came with burrata, blistered tomatoes and some Fresno chilies. The pasta was exceptionally tender and the fragrant fresh tomato sauce absolutely sealed the deal.
The other entrée was the Langoustine Risotto, which was also phenomenal. Braised leeks, charred tomato and chili flakes scattered generously throughout; this dish will surely stimulate your taste buds. I always have deep respect for a restaurant with good risotto, because I think Arborio rice is a difficult carb to cook with. But at Bar Siena, it has been thoughtfully conceptualized into a rich and refined dish.
And then it was time for dessert, which I don’t even try to resist anymore. Plus, I wasn’t about to leave without seeing what their Bombobar had to offer. The Bomboloni with Maple Buttercream was a fun change from the chocolate overload I’ve had lately. In Italy, these mini donuts are meant to be eaten as a snack, and I’m glad I didn’t learn that until after I had left the restaurant. While you can’t go wrong with tender fried pastry dough rolled in sugar, if you’re seeking perfection, I can assure you that Bombobar has figured out this secret.
All in all, it was a fun and relaxing tasting with the perfect mid-week vibe one could ask for. It seems Bar Siena has already made its mark in the West Loop so if you haven’t been there yet, it’s time to check it out!
Neighborhood: West Loop
Address: 832 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: (312) 492-7775
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:30am-2am, Saturday: 11:30am-2am, Sunday: 10am-2am
Price: $9 - $27