Yay, I’m Published!

There are days when I still can’t believe all the amazing opportunities that keep coming my way from starting this blog. I could never have dreamt up some of these things, such as having Top Chef Fabio Viviani ask me to write an article for his magazine. What an honor and privilege! Check out the magazine article here.

Or, just read it below!

Vegetarian Dining Options at Siena Tavern

Once upon a time, having a dietary restriction such as being vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free used to make dining out at restaurants somewhat difficult. But nowadays, these diets are so commonplace that most restaurants are able to accommodate any request. And not only that, restaurants are serving up some of the most creative and flavorful dishes to meet these dietary needs.

Take for example, one of my personal favorite restaurants in Chicago, Chef Fabio Viviani’s Siena Tavern. Chef Fabio has created an unbelievable menu based on his traditional Italian roots while incorporating a modern twist and Mediterranean flare to the inspired dishes. He has taken the time to carefully craft a menu designed to tempt any palette but also accommodate any type of dietary restriction. Chef Fabio has even taken it one step further and developed an entire separate gluten-free menu at Siena Tavern, which can be so helpful for anyone seeking out those particular types of dishes.

As a vegetarian, there are so many amazing options on Siena Tavern’s menu that it’s almost impossible to narrow down what to order. Luckily the extremely knowledgeable wait staff can always help guide you in the right direction and offer up great suggestions. And while the menu does change seasonally, there are plenty of must-have vegetarian options that are staples and can’t be missed. Here are some of my favorites:

Burrata Plate (from the Mozzarella Bar) – This delicious appetizer has creamy, cool burrata cheese served with house-made tomato jam, sea salt, basil oil and grilled bread. Surprisingly, the tomato jam (which is almost like a chutney) added a slight element of sweetness and perfectly complemented the savory cheese and basil oil. A wonderful and tasty dish to start off any meal.

Burrata Plate at Siena Tavern - Photo Credit: DineAmic Group

Burrata Plate at Siena Tavern – Photo Credit: DineAmic Group

Hearts of Palm Salad- A very bright and refreshing salad consisting of butter lettuce, avocado, breakfast radish, sweet grapefruit, fresh hearts of palm and toasted marcona almonds all tossed in a citrus vinaigrette. What seems like the perfect summer salad is actually on the menu year-round since it clearly is a favorite of regular Siena Tavern goers (myself included). This salad is an excellent accompaniment to some of the heartier pasta and pizza dishes.

Hearts of Palm Salad at Siena Tavern- Photo Credit: DineAmic Group

Hearts of Palm Salad at Siena Tavern- Photo Credit: DineAmic Group

Truffle Mushroom Pizza- An interesting fact about Siena Tavern is that it was designed around the beautiful brick pizza oven in the center of the restaurant. It’s fun to watch the masters create each pizza and know these are served piping hot straight from the oven to your table. The truffle mushroom pizza has roasted wild mushrooms, garlic cream, mozzarella, parsley and a drizzle of white truffle oil all on top of a perfectly cooked crust. What’s so great about this pizza is that not only is it unique, but the flavors meld together beautifully. To say this pizza is delicious is an understatement.  Trust me, you do not want to leave Siena Tavern without ordering this pizza.

Gnocchi- Hands-down the best gnocchi I have ever had in my entire life. Chef Fabio’s secret family recipe passed down from the generations is no joke. The light, fluffy and flavorful gnocchi served in a truffle and black pepper cream sauce topped with fried sage was beyond heavenly and scrumptious (the regular order is served with pancetta, but to make this dish vegetarian, the pancetta was omitted). This gnocchi dish literally was so addictive, it was hard to stop eating it. Literally.

Bomboloni- One of the best and most fun desserts to eat. Why? Because you get to infuse-your-own donut from cute little squeeze bottles with a variety of different sauces; whiskey caramel, chocolate hazelnut or Chianti raspberry. The donuts are delicious on their own but are elevated to new heights with these delicious sauces. And here’s an insider tip; rather than infusing a donut with only one type of sauce, I personally like to break off a small piece of the donut and add sauce to each bite. Sometimes I even add two sauces to get a couple different flavors such as caramel and chocolate all at once. Yum!

Bomboloni Dessert at Siena Tavern - Photo Credit: DineAmic Group

Bomboloni Dessert at Siena Tavern – Photo Credit: DineAmic Group

If it’s not obvious, I could go on and on about all of the fabulous vegetarian finds at Siena Tavern. If you find yourself in Chicago and looking for a great restaurant, look no further than this hip and happening spot. There is so much fantastic food and so many different options that no matter what your preferred diet, you will not leave hungry. Chef Fabio has got you covered.


6 thoughts on “Yay, I’m Published!

    1. vegetariantourist Post author

      Thanks Erica! And yes, we must get to Siena Tavern STAT!!! Let’s make it happen:)


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