One word on this one: bummed. The first time we went back to Si (aka Scholar’s Inn) after its transformation to Si, and its new chef, and new interior makeover, we were quite excited. The food was really good. We were looking forward to going back. It took awhile, because I was waiting for the menu to change. Finally, it looked as if it had changed (while actually, I think they just added additional items to the menu). It was not good. Not good at all I am sorry to say. I am worried they are falling back into the trap that they were in back when they were Scholar’s Inn, and I went there for the first time. The menu was huge, and nothing was done well.
I am all about changing menus, but you have to actually replace things on the menu with new items, not simply keep adding to it. People will adjust, even if their favorite thing gets taken off--it inspires them to try new things. This time, we got the shrimp cocktail with gazpacho, lemongrass creme fraiche and crispy pancetta (so it said). It was shrimp cocktail. Period. It was decent shrimp, but very uninspired. The gazpacho wasn't even as flavorful as cocktail sauce. There was some creme fraiche in there, but if there was crispy pancetta involved--I am not sure where it was. Hubby ordered the cured calamari which we were told last time was their house specialty. The waitress made sure we knew it was not fried (must be a problem), and we assured her we liked calamari prepared in various ways. Some of my favorite I have ever had in fact, was sauteed, not fried. Anyway, it was done in a ginger sesame reduction and served with a tomato-type paste. It was a definite Japanese flavor, but so strong, it could've been shoe leather and you wouldn't have known the difference. I really didn't like it. Normally, I like Japanese flavorings, but this was overkill.
For my main, I got one of the new items, a pasta dish with mushrooms, artisan cheese, wilted arugula and truffle oil. Some of my favorite pastas involve just such ingredients, but this one did not stand out. It had a nice truffle aroma when it came out, but not much flavor. It was a huge portion and it was all in all just too bland. I could do better cooking at home I think.
Hubby had the beef shortrib because it is one of his favorite things and he really liked it when he got it here the last time. First of all, the cooking string was left on which seemed a little unprofessional (and somewhat unappetizing) and next, short rib should really just fall off the bone--it was pretty tough. He was really disappointed.
I am hoping this was just a fluke and that Si can make it back to the former glory of our first visit. I am not sure though, if I will be able to convice hubby to go back.
725 Mass Ave