Over the Rhine
February 8, 2011
The Senate Restaurant opened about a year ago, so in the world of restaurants, it is still relatively new, but for those that have been, the Senate is already an old stomping ground. Their motto — pushers of beer, wine, and gourmet street food.
And by street food, that means they specialize in hot dogs. Here is a sneak peek – one night in bangkok: beef hotdog, thai peanut sauce, pickled radish, and scallions; trailer park: bacon wrapped beef hotdog, american cheese, coleslaw, crushed grippos, and brioche bun; and a recently featured dog of the night – Charlie Sheen: Woodgrilled smoked Italian sausage, roasted pepper gardinierre, marcona almonds & shaved Mezza Luna Fontina. (Holy Sh*t it is good)!
However, on the multiple occasions that I have stopped in, other items on the menu seemed to pop out with more affection.
The sweet potato falafel sandwich… a staple of the Middle Eastern diet – brings back wonderful memories of those five shekel falafel sandwiches on the streets of Tel Aviv. They were divine. This one comes close but hard to beat the Kings and Queens of falafel making at their own game.
But what I really want to talk about is the Senate Burger. That burger has been haunting me (yes, “haunting” in a good way) since December when I first tasted each mouth watering bite. Senate burger: wood grilled angus burger, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, brioche bun & housemade pickles = $12. This burger, well oh my goodness — the smell, look, and savory taste is still seared into my memory.
While burgers are produced and consumed at an astonishing rate, it is few and far between when a burger really gets it right. When that patty of meat mixes with a few other key ingredients to leave the burger tasting succulent, moist, engaging, plentiful, and downright delicious. Well, the Senate burger gets it right.
On the night I was there, two ladies to my right at the bar ordered some colorful beverages. The yellow drink is the Lucy Lou, which is the creation of Senate co-owners Dan and Lana Wright and Bar Manager Josh Treadway – the head cocktologist.
The Recipe: Pour 1 ounce limoncello and 1 ounce St. Germain (elderflower liquer) over ice and shake. Pour into a champagne flute, add 1/2 an ounce of lemon juice, and top with 4 ounces cremant (sparkling wine). Garnish with a lemon twist.
The vibrant red drink is called the Kitten Fizz — st. germain, tito’s handmade vodka, simple syrup, raspberries & soda.
Another great drink featured at The Senate is the Tequila Old Fashioned. I sipped on that one evening while enjoying the mussels charmoula. It was the same night, David Falk (the chef/restaurateur behind Boca and Nada) sat in the table next to mine.
David Falk, in the white shirt, enjoying dinner with friends
If you haven’t been to The Senate, it is definitely worth a visit; and if you have been, then I am sure you don’t need my convincing to go back.
Location: 1212 Vine Street, in the heart of OTR’s Gateway Quarter.to top ↑