the Senate opened its doors in february, after months of delay due to some liquor licensing issues. while waiting, we were teased by status updates on their facebook page – sample menu items, photos of the space in progress, and food photos shot by Anthony Tahlier. when the opening was announced, we told ourselves that we had to go check it out. soon.

senate bar 01senate bar 02

on a saturday night in march, we stopped by for a late dinner. when we arrived, the restaurant was abuzz with all the curious customers, filling up the seats against the wall and the bar. there was no host/hostess that greeted us so we were unsure of where to wait. there also wasn’t much space for waiting customers so we stood awkwardly in the middle of a circle of other hungry people-in-waiting. the hostess finally arrived, took our names, and we decided to squeeze ourselves into the bar.

i can’t remember how long we had to wait, but i don’t remember it being too long, especially for a saturday night, until we were ushered to one of the tables against the wall. the space is long and narrow, walking towards our table was a hit and miss (sometimes hitting, luckily other times missing, someone’s back with my purse and camera bag)!

senate dining areasenate coaster

truffle friessenate menu

(lower L: truffle fries)

cheeks and i always get the big eyes/small stomach syndrome whenever we’re trying someplace new. this was no exception. we ordered truffle fries to prep our stomachs for the meal to come!

chicago dogwater bottle

(L: the chicago – beef hotdog, tomato, mustard, onion, neon relish, sport peppers, pickle & celery salt)

croque madame

(the croque madame – beef hotdog, bechamel, black forest ham, brioche bun & fried egg)

lobster mac & cheese

(lobster mac & cheese)

the senate’s concept of gourmet street food intrigued us and we both enjoyed our hot dogs; however, the hot dog itself was a bit chewy. we thought the presentation, the dogs served on accordion-folded cardboard paper over a butcher block, was creative. unfortunately, it did take up a lot of space ( i guess they did not account for 2 people ordering this amount of food! haha!). the lobster mac & cheese was creamy and yum, but i think the best part for both of us has to be dessert!

the warm pretzel beignets arrived in a paper bag. oooh, interactive! we opened the bag and spilled the contents on the butcher block. warm beignets rolled out of the bag, followed by a showering of crushed pretzels and sugar. mmm it was a bit tricky trying to get all the components together. how do you get the crushed pretzels to stick to the beignets and then be able to dip them in creme anglais without making a huge mess? who cares? we ate it the best we could and enjoyed every bite!

warm pretzel beignets & creme anglaissenate dishes

(upper L: warm pretzel beignets & creme anglais)

senate kitchen

their facebook page is updated regularly with their dog-of-the-day with names like Sophia Loren, Santa Monica or Uncle Jimmy. they are definitely trying to lure us back! and we do plan on going back to see what a few months have done to them. there were also a couple more things on their menu that we stopped ourselves from ordering that night. you know, lack of table space ;o)


8 thoughts on “Senate

  1. Hey! We were there on Saturday too! But really late…and we didn’t eat. You have convinced me that we need to do so.

  2. Anne,
    A suggestion on the pretzel beignets, maybe try dipping them in the cream anglais first (just a little!), then into the sugar-pretzel chunks. Just a thought…

    Need me some truffle fries!!!

  3. Also, don’t you love that they use smaller glasses with a small bottle on the table so you can help yourself? Tres European! I find it annoying at restaurants that have glasses as big as pitchers; the servers are obsessed with keeping them filled to the rim at all times.

    1. yes totally agree! we waste so much water that way too! i know i don’t finish those jumbo glasses myself. i love that they thought of those little things with their service.

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