I'm reviewing both restaurants so you can compare them, but don't ask me to pick my favorite!
The BF and I stopped by Siena Tavern on a Thursday night and the place was hopping with a large corporate party in the bar, and a full dining room. Although we had a reservation, we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table.
We were seated next to the windows lining Hubbard Street which afforded us great people watching of those on the outdoor patio and passing by. I asked some friends for menu suggestions before our visit to Siena Tavern and the overlapping suggestion was the coccoli, crispy dough served with stracchino cheese, prosciutto di parma, and truffle honey. You pull the dough apart and top them with the meat and cheese, forming a mini sandwich. These dough balls were delish!
|Rigatoni with Lamb Amatriciana|
Even though our previous three dishes all were carb-heavy, we somehow mentioned to save room for a monkeybread dessert. Yes, we're crazy. Yes, we love carbs. The dessert featured generous amounts of caramel, candied hazelnuts, and hazelnut whipped cream. Dessert is certainly not an afterthought here.
The BF also joined me at Bar Siena when we stopped in on a weeknight. The restaurant had only been open for about one month when we dined so it was certainly buzzing. The lower level bar was jam-packed with large groups of twenty- and thirty-somethings. You could barely get in the revolving door it was so crowded! The open kitchen on the first floor also features a red Italian pizza oven lovingly named Bella. Luckily, we were escorted upstairs to the main dining room where we had more room to breathe. Upstairs includes another bar where a private party had rented the space the night we were there. Every table in the dining room was taken and included large leather booths lining the perimeter and smaller tables in the middle. There is a large opening in the center of the second floor dining room uniting the first and second floors.
Bar Siena takes a more casual approach than Siena Tavern, offering a selection of antipasti, crudo, pizzas, calzones, pastas, and larger plates meant for sharing. The wine and beer list is very diverse, offering a range of options for different budgets.
We started off with the burrata wedge salad with heirloom cherry tomatoes, crispy coppa, pickled red onion, and crostini. The salad was tossed in an incredible blue cheese dressing. We loved the flavor and mixed texture in this salad. I'd highly recommend it!
|Burrata Wedge Salad|
|Spicy Coppa Pizza|
|Sweet Corn Ravioli|
|Salted Caramel Bomboloni|
|Chocolate Fudge Bomboloni|
As with Siena Tavern, I was again impressed with the quality of food at Bar Siena. This is certainly the place to be right now too. On the night I dined, some guy from The Bachelor and Michael Jordan were there. Yes, Michael Jordan. Make a reservation well in advance and get ready for a delicious night!
Because I loved different aspects of Siena Tavern and Bar Siena, I'm giving both spots 4.5 ghosts out of 5!
51 W. Kinzie St.
Chicago, IL 60652
832 W. Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607