Yes, of course !
After our terrible experience @ Europa, there was some despair re: the availability of good tapas in the area. Sí comes to the rescue.
This new hotspot is the Spanish sibling of Bank, a restaurant/club that we were somewhat lukewarm about. Sí has none of the grandeur of Bank, instead concentrating its efforts on a setting quite antithetical - what could pass off (and probably was) a house nestled in the Fan. This place apparently housed the Cafe di Pagliacci prior.
Informed of a long wait, we ended up on the functional couches next to the bar in the dimly lit lounge upstairs as opposed to the dimly lit dining room downstairs. The menu is fairly large with around 30 or so choices split again between seafood/meat/"vegetarian". As I settled down with a glass of sangria, I noticed an element of familiarity about the menu with a decent sprinkling of the "usual suspects". There were the stuffed peppers, stuffed shrimp, marinated olives and the like and ....a calamari. One could almost be chastised for selecting this...but we did and it was very good. Crisp and small, a perfect starter.. Another tapas, the patatas bravas has been a perennial and I was curious how this one compared to the José Andrés' version.
A couple of the tapa(s) looked rather interesting. A half dozen for the three of us was just right. It is definitely a plus when each dish is plated differently as opposed to some places (hint) where one size appears to fit all.
More visits are definitely planned and from the sampling of the menu, it would be a fair guess that the food wouldnt disappoint. Contrarian experiences would definitely be up !!
Oh and the potatoes have a little more work to do before they get to JA's level !!
One big "problem" with Sí is the rather limited (one might say cozy) confines. While we lucked out on our Saturday night visit, wait times were rather long with a rush of people towards the later hours. Making reservations prior might be in order...
Bottomline: The clown wouldnt be too sad after this dinner. The menu could use more originality (a LOT of standard fare) but taste and presentation scored well. Service was decent and obviously theres the new chic kid on the bloc factor. B-.
Sí: 214 N Lombardy Street, Richmond VA 23220 Map.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Yes, of course !
Friday, November 2, 2007
After a few posts, I notice that I have tended to think in terms of grade ranges rather than a definitive grade for a restaurant now. While this would probably never get me a job as a food reviewer, I guess I am trying to extrapolate based on a limited amount of data. A "real" review would naturally incorporate the benefit of many visits on different days (and possibly different times) to get a comprehensive picture of the place.
As an aside, this would be an interesting optimization problem. What are the variables for such an experiment (the obvious - day, time (how busy they are), size of party etc.). Would there be a redundant visit too?
As far as this blog goes, I am trying to stick to reviewing a place only after we've visited it at least twice. Of course there are always outliers - when one visit was terrible enough not to want to go back (or when the place is sufficiently expensive to not have had an "opportunity" to revisit).