Sunday, February 1, 2015

Smooth Moves

A saucy Italian arrives in River North


Gentlemen, guard your ladies. Fabio has landed in Chicago.

Only instead of the blonde, made-for-Zoolander model, it's the brown-haired Top Chef Fabio Viviani.
With two successful restaurants in California, Viviani joined forces with the guys from Bull & Bear and Public House to open the snazzy new Siena Tavern.
The massive, multi-room, rustic-meets-industrial River North restaurant includes leather booths in the dining room, a pizza/crudo/mozzarella bar with high tops, and lounge seating adjacent to the (obligatory) DJ booth.
Start your meal with kobe meatballs or saba-roasted bone marrow with pickled maitake mushrooms and crispy bread. And now about Chef Fabio's signature dish: those gnocchi, topped with truffle cream, fried sage, and crispy pancetta.
The cocktail menu's loaded, too, numbered one through eleven. Try the No. 1 (Absolut, ginger zest, lemon and sage tincture) or jump straight to the No. 10 with Woodford double oaked, Luxardo bitters, maraschino, and apricot.

It's a romance novel in a glass.

Siena Tavern
51 W. Kinzie St. (at N. Dearborn St.), River North
(312) 595-1322

Price: 3 (out of 4)
Noise: 3 (out of 4)
Subway: Red Line to Grand or Brown Line to Merchandise Mart
Scene: Serving lunch, dinner and late night, the versatile space attracts a wide variety of patrons from clubgoers to fine diners.
Best bets: Kobe meatballs; daily risotto; buratta pizza; gnocchi
Nearby: Sable Kitchen + Bar; Bin 36; Public House

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