Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sienna Sulla Piazza

My mom and DB~ went to Mamma Mia on Wednesday.  As I'm typing this post, I have Mamma Mia's soundtrack playing on the laptop next to me, with DB~ vocal stylings in my ear.

I met them in town for dinner at Sienna Sulla Piazza before the show.  This was a place that DB~ and I had on the radar for a while.  When we walked in on a bitter night, we were greeted by a warm hug of coziness.  It was so warm in there, I could have taken a nap.  The lighting is very low and provided by cool wrought iron wall sconces that I wanted to steal.

And naturally at an Italian restaurant, we had a French waiter.  He grew up on Reunion Island, which is off the coast of Madagascar.  He described living on a small island as "living in a jail" because it wasn't very easy to leave and there wasn't a lot around it to visit.  He was an excellent server.

For dinner, my mom went "old school" and got Chicken Cacciatore.  I always thought it was more of a casserole-style dish, but it came out with a tomato based sauce.  I didn't try any of it, but she raved about it.

DB~ chose an excellent dish in the Ricotta Gnocchi.  If you are a loyal reader of this blog (all 6 of you), you may pick up that this is the equivalent of the Gnudi that I make.  I'm not sure why Sienna doesn't just call them this, unless they're worried that people won't understand what they are.  These were excellent, with a hint of lemon in there somewhere, and DB~ said she would get them again.

When she asked our French server what the sauce was, he replied that it was a pan sauce made from the vegetable cooking down in a base of the starchy pasta water.  This was basically the type of sauce on my dish, too.

It seemed as if Sienna stocked the menu with all of my go-to favorites when eating out.  There was Crispy Quail, Braised Short Ribs, a Pork Tenderloin dish, a Bolognese sauce, but ultimately I went with my siren call -- Braised Rabbit.  I'm a total sucker for it.

The springy pasta (maccharetto pasta) had a medley of vegetables like mushrooms, peas, and carrots on top with the pan sauce running through it.  The generous amount of rabbit was layered throughout the dish and then topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.  It actually reminded me more of a deconstructed chicken pot pie.

We loved, loved, loved this restaurant.  The interior design was great, the food awesome.  Market Square has really done a complete 180 in the past 5 years and is now a concentrated little zone of great restaurants of all ethnicities and price ranges.

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