well, seny restaurant has as much going for it as it doesn't. the opening salvo is decidedly less successful than at via vite.
there are some hits, and there are some misses. the misses really miss.
there are some dishes that will need reconsideration, and likely, remedy.
in addition there is a lack of truth in advertising on the menu. for instance it reads in part:
"fresh fried calamari spiced with espresso over preserved oyster mushrrom salad"
espresso spiced could work.. ( i use a coffee, and vanilla rub on lamb...) however what i was presented with were beautifully crisped fried calamari that i was to dunk in an espresso.
why dry-- to dunk?? i cannot understand how one calls a cup of espresso a spice.....
I ordered the pork belly which reads "marinated and braised belly of pork with braising liquids, apple, and fava beans" . i received a tasty morsel of belly, but with rice and not an apple in sight, unless it had been pulverized and dusted in the air above the belly while being plated...
prawn fritters with tomato seeds and mint oil, tasted like fried??? with tomato seeds in ??? oil
slow roasted mushrooms stuffed two ways, were two ways too many- for the mushrooms themselves were excellent.
i'm a nervy eater but something about pan roasted breast of chicken with an unexplained peach-green mustard puree scares me.
on the other hand, ---yes there was one!,
the croquettes of chicken , ham and spinach were a marvel.
fragile and delicate, with subtle, savory flavors.
the house cured beef loin with charred scallions, idiazabal cheese, and sherry foam was a perfect marriage of flavors and textures.
the winner was the hake a la basque, poached loin with pea water, grilled potato, and tartare.
in the beverage department, i was confronted with yet another toasty, red wine........
this an alvaro priorat les terrasses.
i'm hoping that this was an anomaly and there is an appropriate wine storage space here, as i love spanish wine..
in general the chef is skilled technically, however his craftiness, and creativity are not consistently at the level of the actual quality of the preparations.
i've had the torture of dining at alinea in chicago, the plate served on a saffron pillow, the heat from the plate releasing the essence ....god i can't even write the rest of the nonsense there...:
and the magnificent creations of the aforementioned soto in nyc. i've enjoyed a stunning meal at the french laundry with thomas keller doing a virtuoso turn in the kitchen preparing variations on each item of tasting menu for me, while my friend received the actual menu items. ( i'm a friend of the then restaurant sommelier bobby stuckey) that was complicated, challenging, and beautiful.
i'd love to go to el bulli, and i understand that his meals are a mix of the non-food food, and food, and in the end both spectacular and enjoyable.
chef travis maier interned with martin berasategui for two months. i'm not sure that's enough time to master the complexity of the combinations of flavors he's attempting.
i'm on his side however, because i'd love for there to be great, ambitious, thought-provoking food in this city, but i fear it's a short leash town for adventure.
new experiences are tough for cincinnatians, ambivalent new ones won't get repeat visits from most.
i however will be back in a week or so, and see if it's all working better.