Monday, August 10, 2015

Sienna on the Square

Yesterday was a rare Sunday Date Day for us. We had tickets to see Kinky Boots. That show was the reason we bought a 3 show package to the summer CLO shows. It is a fantastic show and a treat to have Billy Porter come to his hometown to play Lola. After the show, we headed to Market Square and enjoyed the beautiful day for a bit before the smell of cigarette smoke chased us over to dinner a bit earlier than our reservation. Our dinner destination: Sienna on the Square. We had been to Sienna before, in September 2013, and were excited to try it again because it had been so long since our last visit. It was almost like a new-to-us place.
Happily, despite being about 10 minutes early, we were seated right away. We were just inside the opened front - enough inside to enjoy the a/c but close enough to the outside to enjoy the sunshine & outdoors & see Market Square. I ordered a glass of sauvignon blanc while SP opted for iced tea and a glass of pinot grigio. 

We ordered and ate a lot of food:
Bread with a white bean, garlic, and caramelized onion puree topped with olive oil. The bread was delicious, crusty and soft inside. The bean puree was a big hit with SP, who ate it all.
Housemade Stracciatella (cherry tomato, basil, arugula, olive oil, grilled bread). This was excellent! The cheese was so fresh tasting. We both shoveled it in rather rapidly. I loved the grilled bread. We can never get our grilled bread to have that great char/grill flavor at home.
Appetizer special of the day: Shrimp with deep fried polenta, tomatoes and microgreens. The polenta cubes had a crispy fried exterior but were so soft and flavorful inside, almost like deep fried cheese, but better (yes, I just said this was better than fried cheese). Four large shrimp, red and yellow tomatoes. I used some of the bread to mop up all the sauce on this plate.
Sienna Chopped Salad (romaine, tomato, cucumber, onion, crouton, red wine vinaigrette, gorgonzola). Initially I asked for no onions, but it turns out the tomato, cucumber, and onions are marinated together. I definitely wanted tomato & cucumber, so I got onions, too. The salad was a little strong on onion flavor for me (even though I picked out the onion bits, the flavor was everywhere) but we both liked the overall flavor of the salad. The greens were crispy and chopped bite size so I wasn't trying to cut them or figuring out how to neatly cram a gigantic leafy green in my mouth.
SP ordered Tomato Bisque (basil oil, grilled bread, parmesan). The above photo of the bowl is very important. Note the tiny base and wide top. Before he even had a taste, he pushed it toward me for a taste (and a photo) and it tipped over. Plunk! Soup all over the table. He looked so sad and disappointed because he loves tomato soup. I felt terrible. I was so surprised all I could do was stare in disbelief. We were staring at this puddle of soup on the table when our server returned and noticed the mishap. 
They were so nice and understanding about it. Our server got SP a fresh bowl of soup and someone else mopped up the tomato mess on the table. Once his fresh bowl of soup arrived, he was very careful to not tip the bowl! The soup is very tasty tomato soup. My favorite part is the grilled bread, which I kept dunking in his soup for small tastes. I should have taken a photo of the tomato puddle on the table, but I was so shocked it just didn't occur to me.
SP's entree was Prosciutto Wrapped Salmon (eggplant caponata, capers, almonds, cranberry, balsamic vinegar, arugula). He was pretty full so he ate only half but said the prosciutto was crispy and the salmon was cooked exactly as he likes it. 
I chose Meatball & Ricotta Flatbread (tomato sauce, provonello, fresh basil). I was really tempted by the Short Ribs, but I remembered that last time I was tempted by the flatbread, so I figured I should try that this time. Initially I wanted the Prosciutto & Arugula Flatbread, but I've also wanted to try one of their meatballs, so I opted for that flatbread instead. It's a thin crust, but thick enough to support the ingredients, and not cracker crispy. Thick, pureed, deep red sauce like my mom makes. Slices of their meatball atop ricotta and provonello. I wish I could have eaten more than 2 slices because it was so good, but I was full. The rest is lunch later today.
We were too full for dessert at Sienna, but the cannoli sounded good, so we got an order of cannoli to go. We enjoyed them later Sunday evening, during the True Detective finale and with our evening tea. There were 3 small cannoli in the box and at first, we both said, oh, just one, save the third for tomorrow. I figured I'd photograph the third on Monday during the day, with better lighting. But they were so tasty, crispy shell, smooth and creamy filling, that we ended up splitting the third one. I asked SP to take a photo of the last one. The above & below photos are the result of trying to take a photograph in our kitchen at 9 pm at night. Not that great. 
I'm glad we finally got back to Sienna on the Square. I really like the dark, wood and brick interior, but also the openness to the outside. Both times our service was wonderful, attentive and friendly but not overly so. Extra points this time for how wonderful they were about the spilled soup! The food is delicious, too. a great place to relax with drinks and/or dinner before or after a show, especially on a sunny, summer Sunday afternoon.

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