I knew I wanted a good Italian meal, but it was difficult to narrow it down with so many options around the city. I kept hearing the same few recommendations and finally decided to try Siena Tavern. Located in the River North area and just around the corner from my hotel, this restaurant serves Traditional Italian food with a modern twist. It’s co-owned by “fan favorite” Top Chef, Fabio Viviani.
The upscale space is dimly lit with a bar and lounge. It was packed and fairly loud, but I didn’t mind at all. It was a bustling environment without the pretentious feel.
I highly recommend making a reservation which you can do online. I arrived for my 7:45pm reservation and was immediately seated at a high-top near the pizza and mozzarella bar area.
My waitress, Allison, was super nice and welcoming. She handed me the food and beverage menus and briefly went over them. She was very helpful and open to any questions.
The cocktails sounded great, but they had a nice selection of wines as well. I figured I start off with a glass. I asked Allison which wine she suggested and she delivered a nice earthy red.
There was one appetizer that really caught my attention. The Coccoli is crispy fried dough with stracchino cheese, prosciutto di parma, and truffle honey. How could I not try it? I was told I could order a half serving as well. Perfect!
The dough was crispy on the outside and light and airy inside. Stracchino cheese is a type of Italian cow’s milk cheese with a mild and delicate flavor. The salty prosciutto and sweet truffle honey went together very well, mixed that with the creamy cheese and you have a heavenly combination.
Just open up the crispy dough puff and stuff everything inside. Yep, just do it. It was yummy. Don’t skip this appetizer!
Everything on the menu sounded so good. I needed to decide what to have for my entrée. It was hard to ignore the homemade pastas. I couldn’t decide between a couple, but after some easy convincing from Allison I went with the Squid Ink Linguini…and I am so happy I did!
The dish is made with scratch made squid ink pasta, a spicy cream lobster sauce, green onions, and topped with a grilled lobster tail.
This dish was amazing! The sauce was so flavorful with a kick, but not too spicy. The pasta was perfectly cooked and there were generous chunks of tender lobster throughout. I had absolutely no problem finishing it. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but soooo worth it!
I finished my wine and it was time to try a cocktail. I ordered the No. 1 – Absolut vodka, ginger zest, lemon, and sage tincture. It was light and refreshing.
The appetizer and pasta were so good, I had to take a peek at the dessert menu. Allison went over their most popular offerings and I could not pass up on the Coconut Orange Crème Brulee. The orange-flavored custard is topped with caramelized sugar and coconut whipped cream. It was creamy, slightly tart, and very good.
My dinner at Siena Tavern was wonderful. It’s easy to see why it was so packed. The coccoli were delicious and the squid ink pasta was super tasty. The service was incredible! I would love to come back to try their other dishes.
51 W Kinzie Street
Chicago, IL 60654