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Jan 30, 2013 06:03 PM

Wahine's La Hanau (Birthday)... Sitka & Spruce or Rione XIII?

I narrowed it down to these two. She can't decide.

Which and why?


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  1. Hmmm. Sitka is probably more interesting. Rione is just more of the same old Italian (not that there's anything wrong with that).

    2 Replies
    1. re: babette feasts

      But you said that the lighting fixtures at Rione look like penises. That's got to count for something!

      1. re: Jeri L

        Yes, but woman cannot dine on penis lights alone! (even if they do appear to be wrapped in pancetta)

    2. I'm a big fan of Sitka. Here is a fawning review/propaganda piece I wrote two years ago. I've been back two time I think since then and remain bullish on it.

      Certainly S&S has its detractors. If one thinks that a committment to seasonal/local is too limiting come winter, or if you want large portions, it probably isn't the best choice.

      I have not been to Rione, though I do like Roman cuisine generally, and the menu seems to feature some of the greatest hits. Regardless, for me, since the demise of Union, I just don't consider Stowell restaurants on the same level of creativity as Dillon's. Though I do like them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: equinoise

        Just pausing a minute with equinose to mourn the demise of Union. Several years ago now.

      2. No contest: Sitka. Innovative food great service. For the reason not to choose rione, refer to Hannah Raskin's review.

        1 Reply
        1. re: amybobamy

          Hi, Amy/Bob:

          We ended up going to Sitka and had a good meal. We had their sourdough bread with salt cod schmeer, the honeyed mussels and clams, the beet/verjus salad and grilled sturgeon with squash reduction. The only flaw I considered there to be was showing off with too much verjus.

          All of the food was good, if not quite haute cuisine. And you are right, the service we got was great. I have some small quibbles with the execution of the service (cold plates, tiny top that could not accommodate more than one dish and wine bottle), but not the server's fault. I liked the wine selection, and its prices were comparatively reasonable. $135 with wine, $95 without.

          In the end, what decided it for me was Rionne 13 calling me TWICE the day before, DEMANDING that I again reassure them we would be coming. Given the way we were treated on an earlier attempt to go into Stowell's Ego, that's it for them. Raskin's review didn't make the decision any harder, thanks!