Monday, October 7, 2019

T Stands For Siena, a Tuscan experience


Please note:  I am offline for at least a day.  I now have NO phone or internet, so I couldn't call Sharon (Foxy Stamping) so she could let everyone know what was going on.  I had to come to my foodie friend Sally's (she lives four doors south of me) to call AT&T, who provides both my phone and internet.  A repairman came out this afternoon and discovered my line that goes from the phone pole to the house was down.  It will be at least tomorrow before they can replace it.  He (the repairman) told me it looked like a squirrel had chewed through the line.  I had only been back online for about a half hour when I lost everything this time.  It was NOT my modem, or the new router that was the problem, but apparently a pesky squirrel gnawing on the line that had caused the problem.  As Sandra would say, keep the lights on for me so I can find my way back very soon.  Now let's join the regularly scheduled post.


Back in July, my friend Scott and I were downtown for another reason, when I suggested we go to Siena Tuscan Steakhouse.

I had looked them up on the internet and thought it looked like a nice place to eat.  If you live in or around Wichita, KS, it is located in the Ambassador Hotel.

It was far too hot to eat outside, even if it was a shady spot.

We walked into the hotel lobby with its purple velvet seating.

Then we walked into Siena Tuscan Steakhouse

where we saw this incredible painting.  The entire time I was there, I was blown away by the art.

Here's their online lunch menu.  Looks like they've raised their prices since Scott and I were there in July.  I had planned to get the Salmon Spinach Salad, but Scott argued I had salmon in my freezer, I have my own sun dried tomatoes, and I could make a salad any day.  He suggested I live a little wild and get the Tuscan Burger, which he planned to get.

I tried to occupy my time while waiting for Scott

to look up cambozola, one of the ingredients used in the burger, since neither of us had heard of it before.  Turns out, it's a brie-style blue cheese made from pasteurized cow's milk.

Nearly the same photo, but I didn't color correct it like I did the previous photo.  Note the champagne buckets with the lamps on an attached tall pole.

Did I not mention the incredible art?  It was everywhere, but I didn't want to call too much attention to myself by taking so many photos with so many people around.  Usually, when Sally and I go somewhere, the restaurant is nearly empty.  For mid afternoon, this place was still busy with patrons.

Our burgers arrived quickly, with tomato jam on the side and barbecue sauce for dipping our fries: mine sweet potato fries 

and Scott's regular fries (crisps).  You can see the cambozola sitting atop the pancetta and caramelized onions covering the burger.  I ate all my fries, but left most of my burger. I did eat the cambozola and onions, though.

Next, I had to check out the restroom.  Imagine my surprise that instead of paper towels, we had hand towels on which to wipe our hands.  That's me standing in the toilet.  Note the art

which might have been at home in a museum, not a restroom.

When I returned, I peeked in to see the bar area.  To me, it was just as I would envision a bar.

However, one thing intrigued me: this painting.

And of course, the faux fireplace that looked out of place lit in July.

Outside, I had to take a photo of the sign indicating this was part of the Chisholm Trail, the post civil war trail where cattle were driven from Texas to Kansas.  Texas cattle were numerous and sold for next to nothing.  However, if they could somehow be moved north to Kansas, they would sell for ten times that.

Along came Jesse Chisholm, an Indian trader (and half Cherokee Indian) who started a trail in 1864 to sell cattle that he raised in Oklahoma to a site at the confluence of the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers (this is where our huge metal Native American Indian is located today and less than two miles from where I live).  Eventually, the trail extended to Abilene, KS, which if you have been here every Friday for Friday Smiles know is where President Eisenhower was born.  Finally, the trail spread from southern Texas to Kansas City, Kansas.

Although I couldn't get it to lighten, I took a photo of the bronze statue that sits on the corner of Douglas.  The city commissioned a TON of these statues and one day I will walk the area and photograph them.  But of course, it was too hot that day.

As we walked further, I saw this statue.

It was the perfect end to a memorable lunch.

It's now time for you to share your own drink related post.  It can be gifts you received, photos, a place you visited, movies, postcards, mail art, junk mail, books, sketches, mixed media, drawings, paintings, tags, scrapbooking, or other art that is digital, hybrid, or traditional, as long as it in some way relates back to a drink, any drink.  Regardless, please share below and Bleubeard and I, along with the rest of the T gang will be by to visit.   Please link only your T post and not your blog in general.  Old photos are acceptable because they may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday and not just this year.




27 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Wow, that was a wonderful place you went for your meal. I love Cambozola cheese, by the way! Your food looked good. Lots of wonderful art to see at the restaurant, and everything looks so elegant. Glad you had a fun day with Scott. Hope you can train the squirrel to start eating something other than the telephone cable. Happy T Day, Valerie

Let's Art Journal said...

Wow, what an amazing place! I love all the artwork especially that first painting with the purple and beige tones - stunning 😁. It looks like the food was fabulous too - yum! Sorry to hear about the squirrel, I hope everything is sorted soon for you. Wishing you a happy T Day! Hugs, Jo x

laurie said...

Oh my gosh, the art, the scriptures, the food, that restroom! Amazing, and the history of the are is fascinating! I hope they fix your squirrel damage !

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

The artwork in the restaurant was exceptional, Elizabeth. What a treat for the eyes. I saw lots to like on the menu as well. It sounds like it was a lovely lunch.

The information on the Chisholm Trail was very interesting. I'm sure I learned that in school or perhaps by watching Bonanza. But I didn't remember.

We've had many battles with squirrel damage ourselves. Did you know that,

"Until roughly a decade ago, most ... insulation ... was petroleum based. The introduction of soy-based wire insulation was meant to have a twofold benefit: It was less expensive ... and, because it used soy instead of oil, it was better for the environment."

Unfortunately, the squirrels apparently love soy. I hope your problem gets sorted out soon.

Happy T-day! Eileen xx

Divers and Sundry said...

I want the steak, but I'm not up for those prices lol I'm doing low carb right now so would need a closer look at the rest of the menu. Or I could splurge on that burger. Yes! That's what I'd do :)

Pesky squirrels! We spent _months_ fighting the "it's the squirrels" problem with AT&T until we switched to cable. We're back with AT&T now and haven't had a problem so far. Here's hoping they'll get it sorted soon. We'll keep a light on for ya ;)

Mia said...

The painting is fantastic! Happy T day, Elizabeth!

My name is Erika. said...

Wow, what a restaurant. That is a swanky place. Was the food good? I am wondering if you left the burger because you don't normally eat meat. Good for you to go out of your comfort zone. And yes, the art is pretty cool. It looks like it was a great lunch. Happy T day. Hugs-Erika

Linda Kunsman said...

So much to comment on... hopefully I remember it all:)
You have certainly had your share of internet and power troubles- no matter what the cause:( How frustrating!

I would love this restaurant- yes- for the art on display!!! And that first art- I am so with you:) Just gorgeous. Not so common to see such a bathroom with cloth hand towels-nice.

Had to go back and read again- YOU ordered the burger??? Have not heard of that cheese although I do love many cheeses:)

Thanks for sharing your adventurous meal and restaurant. Hope your internet connection gets running very soon, and lasts for a long time! Happy T day!

kathyinozarks said...

Oh Wow what a lovely place to dine-loved everything, especially the art and your food all looked delicious-I was wondering if you would end up eating much of your burger. Enjoyed the history too.
Happy T Kathy

CJ Kennedy said...

The hotel is the perfect setting for a Little Princess lunch. Cool to see the sign for the Chisholm Trail and that sculpture is awesome. Hope your Internet is repaired soon. Happy T Day

Halle said...

What a cool place! Love the artwork!

Rita said...

A beautiful place! Wondering why you didn't eat your burger? Lots of interesting art. :)

Helen said...

Looks a great place and I love the glamourous bathroom (restroom) I'd have preferred Scott's normal proper (lol) chips to yours though. Great statue at the end of your trip out. Hope you get back online soon

froebelsternchen said...

A wonderful place to have a nice meal!
Hope you get the squirrel problem fixed soon.♥️ Happy T-Day!
Susi xxx

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, how annoying to be offline so long - and what a bad reputation for my peanut here, too!

Hmmm... Siena. We´ve been in the real one a couple of years ago on a round trip through Tuscany with a bunch of people from Saxony.
I used to "hate" the accent they speak, but most were such lovely people, I love it now.
Thank you for bringing back sweet memories - we had Pizza there, but I would never say no to a Tuscan Burger!

A very arty place!
And the statue!! So joyful :-)

J said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I’ve finally managed to post, pleased to see you are still enjoying your meals out, what a stunning place, I love the artwork and I always appreciate lovely bathroom, my dad would never go anywhere until he had inspected the bathroom!
I’m not a lover of blue cheese but I do like sweet potatoe fries.
Hope you are back online ASAP, nothing more annoying, have a great week
Jan x

Meggymay said...

Wow that looks like an amazing destination to eat, the food you chose looks delicious. I love cambazola cheese and sometimes stir it though fresh cooked pasta for a quick meal.
That restroom alone was worth a visit and the art must have been so good to see in real life.
I hope the squirrel problem gets solved and they can use a stronger system to connect your phone and internet. The little creatures have bad habits and need persuading to stop or go elsewhere.
Happy T day wishes.
Yvonne xx


Caty said...

This is a wonderful place Elizabeth !! Happy T-day !! Your meals look delicious, I have never taste cambozola. Love the so wonderful paintings, and your tour by the place. The statues are beautiful too.

I wish you a very nice day, and send biiig hugs,
Caty

Sharon Madson said...

I am Late, Late for a very important date! Happy T day, Elizabeth, really on Tuesday! :) I, in particular like that last statue. I can't remember if I have seen it before. What a beautiful place to eat! And the food looks good, too! I am so sorry you are without power again! That bad, bad squirrel!

Nancy said...

What a treat to see this lovely old hotel and restaurant. I think I'd have opted for the salmnon/spinach salad anyway- I can eat salmon often. But your food looks good. The lighting in the place really enhances it as well. Nice to see so much appealing art. And a little history thrown in!

Lisca said...

Wow, that looks like a very posh place to have lunch. The menu looks really good and I would have liked to go there too. The food looks yummy. I like those fries.
Hey, I thought you were a vegetarian! OK, I get it, you ate most things but left the meat....
That art is indeed spectacular. The last one is a Gustav Klimt. I don't recognise the other ones.
I'm glad the new router that Scott brought has done the trick. You're back on line!
Interesting to read about the Chisholme trail.
The sculptures outside are lovely.
Happy T-Day,
Lisca

Anne (cornucopia) said...

I'm sorry to hear a squirrel chewed through your phone / internet cable. Ugh. That restaurant you and Scott went to looked like a nice place to eat. I liked all of the art on the walls. The food looked delicious. I'm late for T-Day and I'll be late leaving posts for everyone. This past week has been very busy for me, so I don't have much time to get onto the blog world to visit everyone like I usually do.

pearshapedcrafting said...

What a mean trick for such a cute looking animal!! Hope it's fixed soon! The restaurant looks great although I probably wouldn't have had beef even for a best friend!!! The sweet potato fries look great though! I have heard the term Chisholm Trail but had no idea it was close to you! Hugs,Chrisx

Jeanie said...

This looks beautiful and very elegant. Oh, my ! The food looked wonderful and of course the decor is just stunning. I rather like the art in the bathroom. Makes it a little special. I didn't know anything about the Chisholm Trail either. Gee, I love all I learn from blogging!

butterfly said...

Looks like a great place - and oh yum to the burgers!
Alison x

Birgit said...

That is pretty cool that you were right by part of that trail. I think John Wayne plus many others were in movies about this trail. This looks like a fancy place to eat although i don't eat burgers(the white bread). The fries look good but can't have that either...bummer. The art is impressive and that art in the bathroom was definitely inspired by Gustave Klimt. I also really love that last statue of these dancers-very unique

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely seeing all of your photographs.
Eddie and I love Cambozola cheese, in fact I bought some this week on a recent shopping trip :)

All the best Jan