Do you have a culinary crush? I sure do. As a food blogger you probably think that I am the kind of person who “plays the field” when it comes to my meals. And, you would be right. Yet, I reserve a very special place in my heart (and my stomach) for the culinary touch of Siena Tavern. Only, today I feel like I cheated on them with their younger sibling, Bar Siena.
Bar Siena is the latest venture from Chef Fabio Viviani and the
DineAmic restaurant group. It is located in Chicago’s West Loop, just 3 blocks east and 1 block south of the Morgan ‘L stop along the CTA Green and Pink lines.
This split-level, more casual version of its older River North sibling has taken over a piece of the busy corner of Randolph and Green Streets. The menus are very similar with some notable additions. I came for the sausage and peppers sandwich which I had only imagined would meet every expectation I had. I was not disappointed!
Just look at it! How could I resist it? Flavorful fennel sausage (sans casing), cherry peppers, onion-dried tomato, charred red onions and parmesan cheese were holding court on a perfectly toasted garlic baguette. There were yummy fries, too.
This sausage and peppers sandwich is not on the menu at Siena Tavern, so it was easy for me to stray and feel like I was being unfaithful. That feeling went away as soon as I took my first bite. I was smitten. This is the best sausage and peppers sandwich I have eaten anywhere in many years. its left me completely satisfied without feeling blown up.
I washed it all down with a local brew and took a stroll around the new digs. Same cool and comfy vibe as Siena Tavern…but different in its look. I love the 2nd floor space with its funky tree-art adorned by twinkling lights. This additional space is a bit more quiet and intimate than the first floor, at least during the work week.
Another unique feature at Bar Siena is the Bombobar walk-up window. Here sidewalk pedestrians can stop by and order the signature bomboloni (Italian donuts filled with various syrups), hand-pulled gelato and much more. I was too stuffed from my sandwich today but here’s a photo of some bomboloni I enjoyed at Siena Tavern in the last year:
Hey, Chef Fabio! Is it still cheating if I “keep it in the family?” 😉
Bar Siena is located at 832 W. Randolph St. It is open every day for lunch and dinner. Brunch is offered on the weekends. Click here for more information.
In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Green or Pink Lines to Bar Siena. Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking. Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!