I was headed to a show at the Murat the other night with a friend and we weren’t sure exactly when we could get downtown and where we would eat. Before it closed, Elements would have been my go to locale, but had to figure out something else. We decided to go back to Si (aka Scholar’s Inn) because the menu had changed a bit and there were a few interesting things on it.
Because we sort of just got down there when we could, and because it was a Wednesday, we decided to just wing it without a reservation. Upon entering, and meeting the hostess, we were given the eye roll/heavy sigh when we told her we didn’t have a reservation. Have I mentioned how snooty host/esses are one of my big pet peeves? They are literally the first human impression in a restaurant. And nothing gets me in a bad mood faster before I have even put a bite of food in my mouth than someone who seems annoyed by my very presence. If you can’t accommodate us, I understand. Tell us. We’ll go somewhere else.
Anyhow, we got seated, and ordered some wine. We decided to share one of the flatbreads for a starter because I have never had one here and was intrigued. We got the Zesty BLT flatbread with Applewood smoked bacon, manchego cheese, heirloom tomatoes, arugula with lime cilantro yogurt. It was pretty good—particularly the parts with really crispy crust (the four middle pieces). The end pieces were thicker and not as crispy. The arugula was nicely dressed with the yogurt. And the bacon was yummy. I hate it when you get dry tasteless bacon, but this was nice and properly crisp and chewy at the same time with good flavor.
Strangely, although there are 3 steaks on the menu (and I was in the mood for steak), they were out of 2 of them (the filet and the N.Y. strip steak) which was sort of a bummer because I liked the sound of the sides with the strip. (Wondering how a restaurant is out of both their high end steaks, but oh well) So I sort of had to settle for the skirt steak which I think I had the last time I was there. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It was a generous portion (4 pieces of meat) served with corn, sweet pepper, black bean and cucumber relish. The meat itself was marinated in a lime, cilantro, and cumin marinade. You could taste all the flavors and I appreciate that. The meat was just a little too tough for me (hence why I would have preferred one of the others). And some starch would be nice.
So my friend got the mushroom ravioli which was described as goat cheese shallot ravioli with a shitake and oyster mushroom sauce. I had a bit of this as well, and it was also just ok. “Meh” was how my friend described it. What I didn’t understand was where the shitakes were. All I saw on top (and there were lots of mushrooms) were brown button mushrooms. And I wasn’t aware of oyster mushrooms either. There was also some flavor in the seasoning that couldn’t be placed exactly, that my friend was not a big fan of.
Si does have a nice bread service, with a nice warm loaf of bread and good better. One of the benefits of having your own bakehouse I guess. As I have said before, I do like the interior of this place physically. It is very modern and stylish. I have had some issues with the staff at this place (one example noted above), which seems to be a problem at many restaurants around here. Our server was fine, a bit distant, but she answered all our questions and was attentive enough that our glasses never ran dry. The menu only changes slightly from time to time as far as I can tell, and I get bored with the same stuff all the time.
Overall, it was just an ok experience, with the flatbread being the best thing we had. Well, that and the concert after.
725 Mass Ave