Senate – Over the Rhine

I know why people don’t venture downtown. The parking situation sucks. We thought that Senate had valet (everywhere you go has valet <– bonus if you know what that’s from!) but, the valet guys were missing. Hmm. After a few turns around the block, a spot opened up in the parking lot behind Senate.

I, sometimes, like the trendy, downtown atmosphere  The husband doesn’t dig that atmosphere so it took some prodding to get him out of his comfort zone.

We walked into Senate and Mike said, “I can dig trendy but my living room is bigger than this.”

It was a clusterpluck (toning it down). People everywhere. An hour wait. (we put our name on the list) Two drunk guys came in – spilling their beers everywhere, bemoaning the fact that they didn’t have women. Dude, I can tell you right now why you don’t! There are about 10 tables and the bar. The bar is part of the wait, too. Kind of weird but, true.

My violation of personal space meter was WAY high. I don’t do drunken crowds well.

It was kind of like the twilight zone – NO ONE ever left. We waited for about 45 minutes and there were only 4 tables sat, in that time. It was odd.

Of course, we got a “table” at the bar. The food, at that point, needed to be phenomenal! Just ordered an iced tea – which was made with some sort of flower. Lavender, maybe? I couldn’t finish it. It tasted like I was choking on grandma’s perfume.

The menu is pretty simple. I like simple.

I was all set on the Poutine Fries, as an app but we made the last-minute decision to switch to the Mussels Charmoula.

Senate Mussels

They were so frickin’ good! Seriously – Carrabba’s, to me, has the best mussels but these were WAY better than those, even. A light tomato broth with lots of garlic. I wanted to tear through the mussels so I could get to the garlic bread dipping. So delicious. Words can’t even describe.

We wanted to try a little bit of everything so, the husband got the Senate Burger

Senate Burger

He said it was good but not the best burger he’s ever had.

Duck Fat Fries (yeah, you read that right!)

Senate Fries

These fries were perfect. BETTER than perfect. It’s what all fries should aspire to be. I know that I spend a large portion of my life, bitching about fries…when I say I want good fries, THIS is what I want. They were crispy but still “meaty” on the inside. Well seasoned and salted. Absolute fry perfection. They gave us a dipping sauce but, it was just okay. These fries were so amazing that ANY sauce was going to take a side seat to them. (yes, the husband, whole-heartedly agreed)

I got the Lindsey Lohan hotdog

Senate Lindsey Lohan

Ungodly HUGE! It had all of my favorite things – goat cheese, bacon and balsamic vinegar. After I took some of the arugula off (I like it but I wanted to taste everything else), it was awesome.

Our other side - Lobster Mac’n’Cheese

Senate Lobster Mac

My husband knows me so well. He was waiting for me to take a bite and he said, “What are you going to say?” Me, “It needs more cheese.” He gave me the know it all smile and said, “I knew you were going to say that.”

It had a GREAT flavor combination – it was well salted, had a sprinkling of cracked pepper (maybe) on top. But, it did need some more cheese. ;)

While we were eating, I was probably bumped 50 times. The seating is just horrendous and there’s zero room. Almost through eating, a few people decided to order drinks about 2 inches from our faces. I just can’t handle the personal space issues. I don’t like eating in chaos. Maybe I’m too old and out of the bar scene but I enjoy calm eating.

So – this is my dilemma, with Senate (and the staff was great and friendly!)…the food was AMAZING. The first food, in a long time, to get me to say “wow”. But, damn, the chaotic surroundings is just too much for my brain to handle. Is the food good enough to justify the clusterpluckness? I don’t know. Mike seems to think it is. I’m still on the fence about that one.

 

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2 thoughts on “Senate – Over the Rhine

  1. What is it about parking that is so difficult? Gosh, the absolute WORST time I ever had parking was at Kenwood Mall. The slow moving lines curving around, of all unworthy places, Cheesecake factory, drove me out of my mind.

    But downtown? Please – just go to fountain square, park in the garage, and walk. Do it every time, without thinking about it, and you’ll be happier. Depending on the restaurant, the walk will be shorter than it is from your Mall spot to the store, and infinitely more interesting. In over the rhine? Do the exact same thing, but from washington park garage.

    And yes, both of those options are cheaper than valet.

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