LFM: Sensi – the cure for the jaded diner

I have not mused about the local food scene in a while, probably because I've been disappointed in a couple of places that had rave reviews in several magazines as well as word-of-mouth from a couple of friends. First was the Phoenician, both the "Hungry" Hubby and I had the kebob sampler – the chicken was really tasty but the beef shish kabob and the kufteh was a big disappointment. Then there was Comfort. I had such high hopes for this place but the barbeque pulled pork was dry and too sour for my taste. I do give high points for their macaroni and cheese though. I was left dreaming of the sublime food scene in San Francisco or New York. Can't we just have a little of that over here, after all there are tons of restaurants sprouting up everywhere. I cannot even convince HH that real Japanese food is superb and is not just sushi, tempura or hibachi steakhouses.

Sigh…if  only there was a Nobu in Richmond (yeh …keep dreaming right?) .

Well, anyway back to Sensi. I really did not want to go out for my birthday. I just wanted HH to grill me a nice Dry-Aged CAB New York strip and I'd be all set. But , he wanted us try Sensi again  and I finally thought it might not be such a bad idea after all and I can get to dress up.

Sensi does have the air of contemporary restaurants you might find in New York. As I perused the menu, I found excitement again coursing through my veins… and through my belly. My eye caught several Maine Lobster dishes from bisque to entree. I was all set to pick one of those when our waiter described the specials in agonizing, delicious detail and made me confused about what I wanted to order. I was not planning to review our dinner so I did not take detailed notes. But here is what I remember:

First Course: Pasta

Sensi, after all was an Italian restaurant and we know Paolo makes great pasta so we decided to have them as our starter.

Lump Crab Stuffed Ravioli - Delicious. The baby leek sauce we suspect was either flavored with bone marrow or maybe the crab fat itself. At any rate , we lapped up the rich sauce greedily with some bread.

 U10 dry packed Scallops over lemon-basil risotto – The scallops were perfectly seared and was as tasty as this type of scallops ever could be. The risotto could have been cooked just a bit less since I prefer a little bite to it.

Entree:

Veal

HH had the slow roasted veal – stuffed with peas and some artichoke hearts. It was served over a sauce that reminded me of osso bucco.

I had the 16-ounce Australian Wagyu rib eye steak served with herb  butter , roasted garlic and shallots. Cooked perfectly in everyway, the fat was evenly charred to release the very flavorful, succulent beefy taste. Wagyu is a very marbled type of meat. If you like lean cuts , this is not for you.

The chef also sent us a surprise course of gnochhi before our main course. It was cooked simply with enoki mushrooms and pancetta but I just love sinking my teeth into this pillowly dumpling.

My dessert was the trio of semifreddo, budino and flourless chocolate torte, HH had the sorbet combination. I think I was too stuffed to truly enjoy my dessert though it was pretty good down to the strawberries that garnished it.

Though the dinner was not perfect in every way, I must say I will be coming back. That is how I  gauge if I liked a restaurant or not is my willingness to return.

I must say though that a couple-friend of ours was underwhelmed by Sensi, so it might also be a matter of taste or the service that night at the restaurant.

 Places I want to try next, Zed's Cafe and Deluxe (I heard they have buttermilk fried chicken - I am so craving the perfect one)

7 thoughts on “LFM: Sensi – the cure for the jaded diner

  1. Zed's is total hit or miss. the food is usually good, but the service can be SO unattentive. We know people who have walked out because it was so slow. Jen and I almost walked out the last time we ate there.

  2. Hi Peabody – Yep, when someone asks me if the restaurant is good, I would think if I would like to go back there.
    Janet – Franco's is closing?! That is really sad, it's been one of our favorites though I have not been there in a while. Maybe Paolo wants to concentrate on Sensi. I think he is one of the more brilliant chefs in Richmond.

  3. I truly believe Sensi is Richmond's unsung hero. It amazes me some of the places people recommend and Sensi remains under the radar. With Franco's closing, we are making a better effort to get to Sensi more often and plugging it whenever possible.

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