Located just east of Granville street at 1485 West 12th Ave, Vancouver, Siena offers a variety of delectable Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The atmosphere is more timeless than modern, elegant and bustling, but not quite romantic. The room is warm and inviting, although the table we got was not the greatest.
The meal was absolutely fantastic. We ordered the polenta fries ($6) and sautéed kale ($6) to complement a chorizo pasta special (~$15) and the mushroom truffle gnudi ($18) and a bottle of white wine (~$30).
The sautéed kale is essentially self-explanatory, but well-seasoned with fried garlic, chili, lemon, olive oil: a nice complement to the entrées. The polenta fries are very decadent, with seemingly equal parts of butter and polenta. They are served with a squiggle and a dab of pesto mayo, which doesn’t quite go the distance. Despite that, these polenta fries are a superior offering.
The pasta special was a hearty portion of orecchiette and chorizo, with an understated touch of goat cheese. A little more goat cheese would have gone a long way, but this dish was excellent despite that slight flaw.
The mushroom truffle gnudi is a regular offering on the menu and thank god. It is an absolute delight to the senses. Gnudi is like gnocchi, but with ricotta instead of potato. The result is much richer but simultaneously lighter. When combined with parmesan, shallots, charred leeks, and madeira cream, the result is a feast for the senses. With each bite I could not help but close my eyes, an involuntary attempt to heighten my senses of taste and smell. This dish alone is enough to make Siena worth a visit.
I look forward to seeing what else Siena has to offer however, I’m not sure how they can top the gnudi.
Note that the coat hooks are in the hall on the way to the restrooms. Not being informed of this, we attempted to hang our jackets on out chairs. The fell off a few times and people walked on them. Eventually I just balled up my jacket on my lap. Not a terribly comfortable way to eat a meal.
The Good: The Food
The Bad: A coat on my lap
The Ugly: An awkward table with one seat facing south and one west. The view of the street from my seat was unappealing, the sore neck from looking sideways at my date throughout the meal was annoying. And they said, someone euphemistically I suppose, that it was the best seat in the house. I guess at the time it was true, because it was the only unoccupied table.