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Trip Advisor: “Impressive Italian in a stunning setting!”

There are still a few seats available for our Tuesday, October 21, Allegrini wine dinner. Please click here for details and Chef Harvey’s extraordinary pairing menu!

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Above: Almond-crusted halibut, roasted heirloom tomatoes, haricot verts, basil-infused extra-virgin olive oil and grilled squash.

It has been a great year here at Siena. Not only did USA TODAY name us one of the top ten Italian restaurants in Austin, but we’ve been receiving wonderful reviews from guests on many different websites.

Here’s what a TripAdvisor user had to say about a recent dinner at Siena:

“Impressive Italian in a stunning setting!”
5 of 5 stars
Reviewed October 10, 2014

Siena — a beautiful room with spectacular food and outstanding service. Great cocktails and a creative approach to wine (fun events, get on their mailing list!) transform Siena from fine dining to “local” fine dining. Lunch is great value — dinner is always special but not too formal — you can have fun here too! The building has its own story — great ambiance and worth the drive from downtown.

Honestly, one of my favorites in Austin. I am loathe to share it!

Thank you, Austin, for making us your favorite authentic Italian destination!

Save the date: OCTOBER 21 WINE DINNER

Left: Pan seared Diver Scallop, Granny Smith Apple Chip, Arugula-Pistachio Pesto, Roasted Corn-Corona Bean Succotash — Chef Harvey’s superb pairing for the Vietti Roero Arneis at our September wine dinner.

SAVE THE DATE: our next wine dinner will be held Tuesday, October 21, featuring the sensational wines of Allegrini and a tasting menu created by Chef Harvey especially for the occasion.

Siena manager Rina is tasting and selecting the wines for the dinner this week and Chef Harvey is crafting the new menu (see the photo, above, left, for a taste of his last menu).

Please save the date: these dinners sell out quickly! We’ll be posting reservation info soon so please stay tuned…

Scenes from our September wine dinner:

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Chef Harvey outdoes himself once again!

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Above: Almond-crusted halibut, roasted heirloom tomatoes, haricot verts, basil-infused extra-virgin olive oil and grilled squash paired with Ruffino Orvieto Classico.

Chef Harvey outdid himself once again with a SPECTACULAR menu at last night’s Ruffino dinner.

We’ll be announcing details for our September wine pairing dinner shortly.

Please stay tuned.

And in case you’re not already a subscriber, please click here to sign-up for our email newsletter to receive updates on special events and offers at Sienta Ristorante Toscana.

New HAPPY HOUR menu items by Chef Harvey!

Come check out Siena’s new expanded Happy Hour menu!

In addition to all of your favorites, Chef Harvey has added three new appetizers:

Grilled Tuscan flatbread with artichokes, roasted garlic, lemon zest, extra-virgin olive oil and smoked provolone.

Chicken liver pâté with Vin Santo roasted onions.

Grilled homemade bruschetta with vine ripe tomato-basil salsa and Grana Padano.

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Palio of Siena this weekend!

palio of siena august 16

The beautiful medieval city of Siena in Tuscany is what inspired the cuisine and design of Siena Ristorante Toscano.

And that’s why we follow the Palio of Siena horse race each year with great anticipation.

They’ll be “running the Palio” this Saturday, August 16, in the Piazza del Campo, Siena’s main square, as they do every year.

The August 16 Palio is known as the “Palio dell’Assunta” or the “Palio of the Assumption” because it comes the day after the “feast day” that marks the commemoration of the Assumption of Mary.

It also comes the day after Ferragosto, the “August Vacation” day, a national holiday in Italy when nearly everyone takes time off (often for two entire weeks).

The July Palio is just as spectacular. But because Siena is already teeming with tourists and visitors in August, the Palio dell’Assunta is especially exciting.

We’ll be following along and will post about the winner next week.

Here’s a link to our recent post on “online resources to follow the Palio.”

Image via Janus Kinase’s Flickr.

Scenes from an Italian wine dinner

We’ll be posting details and reservation info for the next event (August 21) in the ongoing Italian Wine Dinner series at Siena shortly.

Stay tuned for details.

In the meantime, please don’t forget to sign-up for our email newsletter (by clicking here) to keep up-to-date with future events and offers at Siena Ristorante Toscana!

Here are some highlights from our sold-out Antinori dinner in July.

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Looking forward to the Palio of Siena August 16

palio di siena assunta 2013

Some of our guests have noted the colorful banners that Chef Harvey has displayed throughout the restaurant. They are the seventeen flags of the seventeen “wards” of the city of Siena (see below).

Here at Siena Ristorante Toscana, we look forward each year to the running of the Palio in Siena, the famous horse race held each year in the town’s main square, the Piazza del Campo.

For those who have never heard of the Palio, it’s an ancient horse race that originated in the Middle Ages.

Each year, on July 2 and August 16 (in two separate races), ten of Siena’s seventeen contrade (wards or neighborhood) compete. They are selected by lottery.

The intense and deep-seated rivalries are as much part of the spectacle as the colorful feasts and parades.

The race is an “anything goes” affair and the ten competing wards will do nearly anything to put their rivals at a disadvantage.

Even an excluded ward (not chosen in the lottery) will rejoice when an adversary loses. The celebrations over a vanquished rival are as colorful as those held for an outright victory.

To read more about the Palio, its history, and legacy, check out this well-written entry on Wikipedia.

And to get a sense of the excitement on race day, watch the video (below) of last year’s August race, which was won by the Onda or ward of the Wave.

We’ll be following the events that lead up to this year’s August Palio and we’ll be posting on the race as the event draws closer and the excitement mounts.

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