It’s not often you utter the word “refreshing,” after taking the first sip of your bloody mary. “Good,” yes. “Spicy,” often.
But that was our reaction when we visited Siena Tavern a few weeks ago. In fact, this bloody was so effervescent and refreshing, we were instantly dreaming of warmer months and sipping libations on a patio. What’s the secret? Beer. Three Philosophers from Brewery Ommegang, to be exact. And even though this bloody included beer, it was well balanced. Not watered down.
Here’s the thing about Siena Tavern’s bloody mary: It’s made with Zing Zang. Yep, the same mix you can buy at Jewel or Target. As far as mass-produced bloody mary mixes go, Zing Zang is the best out there. There’s none of the high fructose corn syrup you’ll find in, say, Mr. & Mrs. T’s.
While this isn’t a wildly inventive or adventurous bloody mary, it’s proof that bars and restaurants don’t have to pull gimmicks to come up with a solid signature one. Rule of thumb: if you’re going with a pre-made mix over homemade, make sure it’s a really good one. And then put your spin on it, like adding beer, for example. The garnish was rather generous as well, with a large hunk of cheese, salami, pepper and an olive. The price ($13) was a little steep, considering the mix is pre-made. Especially when you could easily throw a few of these back (which we did).
Let’s get this out of the way: the food is amazing. This might not come as a surprise, considering it’s headed up by Fabio Viviani of Top Chef fame. What’s cool about the brunch menu is you can order traditional brunch items or lunch foods such as salads, pizza and pasta.
Do yourself a favor and order the coccoli. Crispy, slightly sweet pastries you fill with savory cheese and prosciutto. It was so amazing, we devoured it in seconds and didn’t even manage a shot of it. Someone even wrote a whole article about how ridiculously awesome it is.
The Lobster Hash and Sienna Chopped are highly recommended, both a savory combination of high quality ingredients. We’re anxious to come back soon for the pizza.
Bloody Mary, Siena Tavern: Our rating (scale of 1–5)
Happy March, our fellow bloody mary lovers. Oh yeah, Elaine got a new camera! Which we’ve named Bonnie. Aren’t these pics pretty?
Siena Tavern is located at 51 W. Kinzie. Reservations are recommended.