Austin >Siena Ristorante Toscano
In their native habitats wild boars are big, mean devils, but here in Siena, they make sweet little appetizers. This restaurant has a serious affection for wild boar, using it in their protein mains, their pastas, and their Tuscan bread appetizer (think bruschetta): It involves an out-of-this-world wild boar ragout. Note that the menu is seasonal, so call ahead to see if Tuscan bread is on the menu.
How does this place stay in business?.
Honestly, I don't know how someone could give this place a positive review. I do not write reviews very often, but it was such a bad experience that I had to do something about it.
When you walk into the place, it has the appearance of a great restaurant. However, as soon as we did not order alcohol, the waiter's entire demeanor changed. Even though we ordered well over $100 worth of food, apparently, he felt that we were not worth his time. While my wife was ordering, the waiter interrupted her by yelling at a passing bus boy and interrupted me to yell at another bus boy. The food was average and the dessert was downright awful. How does this place stay in business?
lame food. we went there on a sunday afternoon. it was slow. so was our service. the food came out cold and tasted lousy. definately NOT ITALIAN. even the chef is not italian, how interesting? prices were high food quality was low. dont waste your time. seriously.
PRICEY, but good food & really nice atmosphere.
We went on Mother's Day & service was awful. We were seated upstairs & our poor server was friendly, but he must have had too many tables assigned to him.
Did like the fact that the upstairs was much quieter than the main restaurant.
My husband likes to come at lunch, the lunch prices are much more reasonable.
Best rolls in town. Mother & I ate 2, lost count on my husband!
Food was quite tasty. Mother had the Mele e Speck salad with apples, Gorgonzola, Walnuts and bacon in , apple cider vinaigrette.
I had the fixed price menu with ravioli stuffed with braised veal, ricotta and spinach in fresh sage butter
with lemon and pine nuts (outstanding), $11
Chicken breast stuffed with sun dried tomato pesto (almost undetectable, over grilled asparagus (one spear), goat cheese and roasted potato torta with black truffle cream - DELISH! $26.
Husband had Cacciucco - a stew of shrimp, scallops, fresh fish, calamari and mussels sautéed with red chili, spring onions and roasted tomato sauce with (not over as the menu says) grilled bruschetta $28. His stew was large & outstanding, but the bread was burned.
Dessert of Semi-frozen "Dreamsicle" mousse with honey, orange compote and shortbread was just OK - very mild. $6.
White chocolate mascarpone tart with strawberry coulis was good, but not outstanding. Crust tasted like maybe it had been frozen $7.
Disappointed by bad service. My husband took me to this restaurant for lunch on my birthday. The decor is good and the food is quite tasty, even though the portion sizes of the food are on the small side considering the big price tag. While polite, the waiter did not seem to be very interested in serving us. We only saw him when it was time to order our drink, food and dessert and when it was time to bring the bill. Our water glasses were not refilled even once, we were not offered more than one small piece of bread roll each with our soup and when I gave the waiter my camera to take our photograph, he did not check to see if our eyes were closed or not! As it was lunch time on a week day, the restaurant was pretty empty except for a handful of us. I cannot understand why the service was that bad. We will definitely not go again and we do not recommend this place. The food is good but for the small portion size, big price and bad service, it is not worth the money, time and trip.
Really good food.
Despite the somewhat odd location and interesting staff- we love the food and atmosphere here. Don't get me wrong the loaction is fine just seems out of place in that shopping center. The wait staff is fine just seems inexperienced (clueless front desk and wait staff that is friendly but just a little odd).
The food is very good, we've loved the dishes. The calamari was alittle too much deep fried goodness for me but the pasta with mushrooms - amazing! Looking forward to heading back to try the veal...it just looked too good at the table next to us last time.
Funny note, been two-three times and the same late 50's dude with a biker bandana and sleevless vest/tshirt with motorcycle tour was at the bar. Seemed waaaay too comfortable there. We get it, you have a bike and a mid life crisis...
Also very loud, cement floors. If you want cozy ask for the back room.
Upscale Italian Dining.
My fiance and I went to Siena for our 10 month anniversary dinner and we absolutely loved it. The food was yummy and the atmosphere was cozy and romantic. We picked this place because it got Best of Fireside Dining and when we got there we got a nice half booth for two right next to the fireplace in the cocktail area. It was exactly what we wanted, very romantic and cozy. The decor of the restaurant, inside and outside, was very nice, almost like a modern twist on Italian decor.
We ordered the Ravioli with Artichokes, Spinach and Goat Cheese and the Walnut Crusted Rainbow Trout. The menu is extensive but both these dishes caught our eye. I'm rarely left speechless over food but SIena's food really exceeded my expectations. The Ravioli was covered with a delicious creamy tomato basil sauce and you can taste the goat cheese in the filling mixed in with the spinach and artichoke. The Ravioli pasta had a nice texture too. The Trout was a large portion of flaky and moist fish with a tasty nutty crust and covered in a light lemon butter sauce. Five sauteed shrimp topped the Trout which I thought was a nice touch. We thought both were so good that we totally cleaned our plates! Needless to say, we were very satisfied with our selections and would definitely recommend those two dishes. After our main entrees, we looked at the dessert menu but I don't like flourless chocolate cakes or coffee flavored desserts, so we skipped dessert, which is not our norm. So if anything, Siena could come up with better desserts.
The service was great and just what I expected from a restaurant of this caliber. Our waitress was very nice, professional, and attentive without bothering us too much. The hostesses were very accommodating with our request to be seated near the fireplace, especially since there was only one fire burning that night. We left feeling we had a good upscale dining experience and Siena will definitely go on our favorites list for Austin.
Just say NO to the Pollo Grigliato. Just had my birthday lunch at Siena. While the service was great and my friends seemed to enjoy their lunches, I ordered the Pollo Grigliato and it was AWFUL. The chicken was dry and tasteless and the salad greens were bitter and spotted. I didn't raise a stink because the lunch was a gift. But seriously after that experience I won't be going back for dinner. It is just a chicken breast and this is a nice restaurant....why can't they get it right?
Great food, small portions. My husband and I went here last night with a friend of mine. The food was really delicious and the service was excellent. Our waiter was very friendly, and good at giving us suggestions. My only complaint was that the food was too small. This is not a complaint I would normally make about most restaurants, nor am I some 500 lb person that eats two entrees for dinner. Most places give you enough to feed two people. This place goes to the opposite extreme. I have gone to other "fine dining" restaurants (Emeril's and The Ivy in London, to give an example) and never had a problem with the amount of food. However, last night we ordered an appetizer that the waiter told us was "large" ... it was tiny and scarcely enough for two people, let alone four. Then I ordered the large ravioli dish and a cannoli for dessert. My entree came with seven raviolis, which I had thought would be plenty of food, but I was still starving afterward. The bill was not too outrageous, $60 for two entrees and two desserts (the appetizer was on my friend's tab). That wouldn't have bothered me in the least except that I walked away hungry. The other problem was that the service was pretty slow. I actually would not have minded that, except that we had plans to go to a play at 8pm. We arrived at the restaurant at 6pm and did not leave the table until 7:50pm. Normally, I do not mind a nice, relaxed meal but this isn't a restaurant to go to when you have somewhere to be.
Yummm!!! Best Italian in Austin!. Having had the pleasure to dine in great Italian restaurants in northern Italy in the last few years, I have been spoiled and have a hard time finding comparable restaurants in the states. I was introduced to Siena through a friend and was amazed by both the authenticity and quality of food, and absolutely blown away by the level of service! Our server not only knew the menu down to the smallest ingredient of each dish, but his passion and enthusiasm for the restaurant was contagious! We let him select our entire meals and loved it all. From the Cacciucco, to the Costata di Vitello al Funghi Trifolati, to the decadent chocolate and espresso dessert, everything was spectacular including his wine recommendation. What a great find.
SIena has jumped the shark.
While the menu is inventive and the dishes, once they arrived, are quite good, the service and attitude are indicative of what is wrong with service in Austin restaurants today. There are a few places that understand the nuances the high service that are the hallmark of fine restaurants, Siena falls short. Despite a beautiful environment and an eclectic menu, the service and attitude is quite poor, if not downright condescending.
We came for a special evening and were seating right away (that in an of itself a warning sign, given that we arrived at 8pm on a Saturday night during a holiday weekend). THe server was gracious and drinks and appetizers arrived on time and were tasty. And then we waited. And waited. 45 minutes later, our entrees arrived, one fresh and steaming, and the other congealed and skinned over like only a heat lamp can do.
I spoke with the manager to alert her to the problem and she instantly became confrontational and defensive. She clearly was not capably of managing an establishment of this ambition.
I've had many business lunches here and have never had a problem, but I will likely not venture there again for a dinner meal and I'd advise you to consider some of the better options in Austin that understand the meaning of service.
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