When I first told my roommate the next Where To Eat stop was Siena Tavern, she quickly commented back, “Oh that’s your kind of place, truffle everything!”. And boy was she right, truffle pizza, pasta, soup, cheese, & more–definitely my kind of place. Don’t worry if truffle isn’t your thing (say whaaat!) Siena Tavern’s menu features over 40 items & that’s just for lunch! The restaurant, part of the well-respected DineAmic Restaurant Group in Chicago, features extensive brunch, dinner, dessert, & beverage menus as well as a huge gluten-free menu–something not many places offer. We tackled the pizza & pasta section of their menu & you can bet we’ll be back to try more soon!
First up was the truffle cream, fried sage, & crispy pancetta gnocchi. A must have on the menu, chef Fabio Viviani (yup, that Fabio from Top Chef) is known for his melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi. Served with flakes of sage & bites of pancetta this dish allows for the perfect bite each time.
Next up was the carbonara in a jar. Served with layers of pasta, followed by pancetta, parmesan cream, spinach, black pepper, & topped with an egg yolk, the chef then shakes the jar right in front of your eyes to bind all ingredients & serves this decadently creamy pasta dish on the spot. Siena Tavern takes comfort food to the next level with this dish. side note: this may be one of the most Instagramable foods in Chicago based on the way it’s served–don’t act like you don’t post every meal you just ate 😉
On to the pizzas (don’t worry, more pasta to come!) the first we tried was the Truffled Mushroom pizza served with garlic cream & white truffle oil. Typically I think the more truffle the better but in this case the truffle was quite subtle & I didn’t hate it. The garlic cream, mozzarella, & roasted wild mushrooms all had a flavor of their own so to have too much truffle would have taken away from the dish entirely. The crust was crunchy on the outside & melty, warm on the inside while the pizza itself was soft & thin.
Now back to pasta for a second as I must mention the butternut squash tortellacci. Typically when you think of butternut squash you think fall but this fresh pasta dish is so delicious I wouldn’t pass it up on a ski slope or on a beach. Made with parmesan brown butter & crispy sage this combination of ingredients is flawless.
The next pizza was the burnt pepperoni & boy was it good! If you’re not a fan of spice, this pizza isn’t for you. I however, love spice so this was right up my alley. It’s a delicious twist on an otherwise basic dish. side note: if for some crazy reason you have leftovers this pizza is just as tasty the next day too!
It’s no wonder Siena Tavern was one of the first restaurants I heard of after moving to Chicago, everything I’ve had on the menu so far is fantastic. The atmosphere is appropriate for everything from a first date, wedding anniversary, family outing, girls night out–you name the occasion & I’m willing to bet Siena Tavern would be a great spot for it.
Make sure to visit Siena Tavern at 51 W. Kinzie St. in Chicago.
*Food C/O Siena Tavern