Saturday, August 13, 2011

the art of senart's

I've been to Senart's several more times without writing anything, because it sort of seemed like, why should I? Solid oysters on the half-shell at good prices during happy hour, a great hanger steak with the incredible onion rings; a decent wine list, good craft cocktails...Frankly, in my usual way, I don't want to tell everyone about it, because it's really good and consistent and it's my neighborhood place and I don't want it overrun with everyone on the planet.

Which it would be, if word got out. I mean, $8/$16 for a half/dozen oysters at happy hour, well-shucked and with a great red-wine mignonette or a solid cocktail sauce, which also accompanies the jumbo shrimp cocktail -- holy moly are these shrimp good, by the way; they must be poached in court bouillon or something wonderful for all the flavor they have even without the cocktail sauce or the horseradish sauce, and I often find super-large shrimp tough and tasteless, but these were lovely and sweet -- that hanger steak, which really has no right to be as good as it is, and the onion rings, which are even better ... I don't want more people to know how solid Senart's is because it's crowded enough with us Hill residents already, and I like being able to get a seat when I show up, even (especially) on a Saturday.

I know 8th Street gets some flack from people for being a row of sell-outs; I know there's some local disappointment with the transformation of the strip into nothing *but* bars and restaurants. I get that, and I don't disagree. But then you get something hitting all the right notes, like Senart's, and you are thankful that you can get things like that a mere stumble from home.

(I write this, by the way, with Frodo caught in Shelob's web on my TV, which normally would block all thought of food from my mind as I cringe in arachnophobic horror at what I know is to come. That is a large fuckin' spider. And I'm still writing. Take that for what you will.)