I have not mused about the local food scene in a while, probably because I've been disappointed in a couple of places that had rave reviews in several magazines as well as word-of-mouth from a couple of friends. First was the Phoenician, both the "Hungry" Hubby and I had the kebob sampler – the chicken was really tasty but the beef shish kabob and the kufteh was a big disappointment. Then there was Comfort. I had such high hopes for this place but the barbeque pulled pork was dry and too sour for my taste. I do give high points for their macaroni and cheese though. I was left dreaming of the sublime food scene in San Francisco or New York. Can't we just have a little of that over here, after all there are tons of restaurants sprouting up everywhere. I cannot even convince HH that real Japanese food is superb and is not just sushi, tempura or hibachi steakhouses.
Sigh…if only there was a Nobu in Richmond (yeh …keep dreaming right?) .
Well, anyway back to Sensi. I really did not want to go out for my birthday. I just wanted HH to grill me a nice Dry-Aged CAB New York strip and I'd be all set. But , he wanted us try Sensi again and I finally thought it might not be such a bad idea after all and I can get to dress up.
Sensi does have the air of contemporary restaurants you might find in New York. As I perused the menu, I found excitement again coursing through my veins… and through my belly. My eye caught several Maine Lobster dishes from bisque to entree. I was all set to pick one of those when our waiter described the specials in agonizing, delicious detail and made me confused about what I wanted to order. I was not planning to review our dinner so I did not take detailed notes. But here is what I remember:
First Course: Pasta
Sensi, after all was an Italian restaurant and we know Paolo makes great pasta so we decided to have them as our starter.
Lump Crab Stuffed Ravioli - Delicious. The baby leek sauce we suspect was either flavored with bone marrow or maybe the crab fat itself. At any rate , we lapped up the rich sauce greedily with some bread.
U10 dry packed Scallops over lemon-basil risotto – The scallops were perfectly seared and was as tasty as this type of scallops ever could be. The risotto could have been cooked just a bit less since I prefer a little bite to it.
HH had the slow roasted veal – stuffed with peas and some artichoke hearts. It was served over a sauce that reminded me of osso bucco.
I had the 16-ounce Australian Wagyu rib eye steak served with herb butter , roasted garlic and shallots. Cooked perfectly in everyway, the fat was evenly charred to release the very flavorful, succulent beefy taste. Wagyu is a very marbled type of meat. If you like lean cuts , this is not for you.
The chef also sent us a surprise course of gnochhi before our main course. It was cooked simply with enoki mushrooms and pancetta but I just love sinking my teeth into this pillowly dumpling.
My dessert was the trio of semifreddo, budino and flourless chocolate torte, HH had the sorbet combination. I think I was too stuffed to truly enjoy my dessert though it was pretty good down to the strawberries that garnished it.
Though the dinner was not perfect in every way, I must say I will be coming back. That is how I gauge if I liked a restaurant or not is my willingness to return.
I must say though that a couple-friend of ours was underwhelmed by Sensi, so it might also be a matter of taste or the service that night at the restaurant.
Places I want to try next, Zed's Cafe and Deluxe (I heard they have buttermilk fried chicken - I am so craving the perfect one)