Siena’s braised lamb filled ravioli: it’s a keeper, Tim Pawsey photo

 

UPDATED, NOV 26TH, 2013…

Siena Offers Granville Shoppers 15% Off!

(from the release)

Siena Restaurant is getting in the holiday spirit by rewarding South Granville merchant shoppers with a 15% discount when they show a purchase receipt. Step outside the mall and take a walk down South Granville, home to some of the best holiday shopping in Vancouver. The restaurant offer is available nightly after 7:30pm until December 30th.

Siena is also reminding you that our warm and comfortable space is a great option for office functions or family celebrations. Along with our menu and prix-fixe options, we offer crowd-pleasing group menus to suit special occasions: a three-course dinner for $34 per person, or a deluxe four-course menu for $45 per person.

And don’t forget that we continue to offer all bottles of wine 50% off every Monday. We look forward to seeing you as the festive season gets underway!

Make your reservations online here or by calling 604-558-1485.

 

***

Do you ever wonder how restaurateurs pick their locations? Late last year, Mark Taylor (the man behind small plates Cru) received word that the one time, long ago Star Anise space (latterly turned failed Thai resto) at Granville & 12th was up for grabs.

Siena (and Cru) owner Mark Taylor comes up with some of the winningest wine lists in town, Tim Pawsey photo

As it turns out, Taylor at one time lived just down the street—and Cru (now closed, see below *** ) is only three blocks due south. In its heyday, under both Adam Busby and Julian Bond, Star Anise was one of the hottest tickets in town. Taylor has always felt there was no reason why somebody could not once again make a go of such a well positioned spot in a high traffic area, especially given the proximity of the Arts Club Stanley Theatre and other magnets.

With the help of a cooperative landlord and a competent contractor, the restaurateur was able to quickly transform the room into a sunny canvass for his vision of a blend of Italian and Spanish tastes in a fun, casual setting, and with an approachable wine list to match.

In short, it’s an early hit—you can read our review below.

One of many reasons that I enjoyed Siena is that it really does represent a complete contrast to the more measured, white linen clad—and still excellent as ever—Cru.

And, no, despite some online whimpering, you won’t find any BC wines on this concise, deliberately Mediterranean list—along with a wealth of seriously good eats.

Here’s our first taste…

 “There’s a philosophy in the restaurant world that if you can run one place well, then you might as well do two well. It’s a plan that’s worked for many, especially when the rooms are in the same ‘hood and don’t have to compete for their audience.

Siena – a sunny setting, Tim Pawsey photo

Mark Taylor’s tiny, perfect Cru restaurant on West Broadway near Granville has been wowing for almost a decade, with its artfully constructed small plates and refreshingly different wine list. It’s long enough, figures Taylor, to take the plunge with something completely different.

Though just a few blocks away, Taylor’s newly unveiled Siena (1485 12th Ave. at Granville, 604-558-1485) is the antithesis to Cru. While Cru is sedate, polished and white linen-ed twee, Siena is lusty, rustic, bare tabled and boisterous. It also brings some much needed Italian and Spanish tastes to the area.”

Read more in the Vancouver Courier

 

*** UPDATED: June 30, 2012

Mark Taylor has closed, or at least mothballed Cru. Taylor plans to spend time with his family (and focus on Siena) but is also actively seeking a new Cru location for later.

In the meantime, Siena is now open for brunch

 Here’s the menu, or at least part of it.

The Stanley $14
two poached eggs on crispy parmesan polenta cake, zucchini, peppers, kale,tomato bechamel

Twelfth Ave. Breakfast $14
two poached eggs on crispy parmesan polenta cake, mushroom and sausage,sausage gravy

Siena Fritatta $14
roast potato, caramelized onion and goat cheese, with side greens

Brunch Cassoulet $14
poached egg on braised beans, natural Italian sausage, tomato
and thick-cut double-smoked bacon

Brioche French Toast $14
fresh banana, frangelico syrup, candied pecans

Linguine Carbonara $14
creamy sauce of bacon, egg and parmesan

Siena’s chalkboard has its own kitchen window – l-r, chef Tim Evans, Long Huynh, chef de partie and Dave Thielmanny, sous chef, TP photo