Posted by: Jessie | September 12, 2010

Senate


Eric has wanted to try this new place called Senate for a while, but I have been resisting it.  It has a stuffy name.  It’s across the street from Lavomatic.  It just did not sound interesting.  Finally I agreed. 

When we got there and it was crowded and loud.  (I don’t like crowded and loud.)  It was a skinny little place, just wide enough for one row of tables and a bar the went the length of the room.  The wall behind the bar is naked brick.  There was a mirror over the bar angled so that the people at the bar could see who is at the tables and the people at the tables could see the faces of the people at the bar.  This is a French bistro thing.  French bistros are places where people go to see and be seen.  (“Bleh.”  I thought.)  

We sat at the crowded bar on their square bar stools that don’t swivel and have no backs.  (bummer)  “So where am I going to put my purse?” I wondered.  I didn’t want to set it on the bar.  Turns out they have purse hooks.  (Brownie points!)   

The bartender brought us menus, and it turns out they had Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale.  (More brownie points!)  We looked over the menu, and it did not seem to be anything fancy at first.  They have a whole section of hot dogs.  I asked the bartender if the dan korman was vegetarian and he said “Yes, but it is not vegan.”  (Even more brownie points!  Not only does he know what he is serving, but he is paying attention.)    

So I ordered the dan korman and Eric ordered the lobster blt.  We shared a side of lobster mac & cheese.  After ordering I went to the ladies room.  It was lovely.  (Extra brownie points!)  I love it when restaurants have nice restrooms.  To me, that says that they pay attention to details and want the customer to have an enjoyable experience, even if part of your visit includes something as un-fancy as going to the restroom.   

By the time our food came most of the loud crowd had cleared out and we were able to have a quiet conversation and even talk with our neighbors at the bar. 

This veggie dog is made out of canalini beans and lentils and topped with arugula and goat cheese. It was yummy. It reminded me of falafel.

Eric says the lobster BLT was "Really good. The combination of butter poached lobster and bacon was decadently rich. The thick meaty slices of bacon did overwhelm the lobster a bit."

I forgot to take a picture of the lobster mac & cheese.  It was rich, but not very cheesy.  It had some strong spices, including lemon pepper, but this did not overwhelm the delicate flavors of the pasta and lobster.   

For dessert we had the beignets. They are dense donuts that you dip in marscapone and then into the crushed pretzels. Yummy.

As we were sitting there eating our dinner I noticed some of the bottled beers in the cooler behind the bar.  I noticed a peach lambic.  I love raspberry lambic, but I have never had peach lambic.  We decided to try it with our dessert.  Wow.  The tart of the lambic was well-balanced with the fruit.  It has a complex, but not too sweet flavor.  Lovely.  I always think of peaches as being very sweet, but most of the sugar was fermented out of this lambic, but it is still a low-alcohol beer.  Lambic is about 4% alcohol, as opposed to Budweiser, which is 5%.    

Dessert beer!

There are several seafood items on the menu and several vegetarian items.  Eric is looking forward to trying the poutine, which is a French Canadian dish involving french fries, short ribs, gravy, and cheese curds.  Apparently it is rarely available outside of Canada.  Overall, I really enjoyed our visit to Senate and I am looking forward to going back.

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