Dining With Denise Neil

Denise Neil has the latest Wichita restaurant news, with comings & goings, recent reviews, the question of the week and more.

A sneak peek at Siena Tuscan Steakhouse

12/10/2012 4:44 PM

08/15/2014 11:31 AM

Every time I’ve driven past the under-construction Ambassador Hotel at Douglas and Broadway over the past few months, I’ve wondered what’s going on behind the paper in the windows.

This afternoon, Marshall Roth, the executive chef at the hotel’s Siena Tuscan Steakhouse, offered to show me.

He gave me a tour first of the 14th floor “Rock Star” suite (amazing), followed by a look at some of the more standard guest rooms plus the hotel’s new banquet and meeting rooms. Chef Marshall Roth tests out a just-installed banquette in the bar of the about-to-open Siena Tuscan Steakhouse inside the Ambassador Hotel. We finished the tour at the almost-complete restaurant, where workers were busy putting together bar tables, rolling in new banquette seating and unpacking dishes in the shiny and sparkly kitchen. The dining room is classy and comfortable, with a black/red/grey color scheme. It seats 60, and the bar has another 35 seats.

The plates, bowls, platters and more were the most exciting part for Roth, who said that opening the boxes was like Christmas for him. He spent weeks choosing exactly the right silverware and German made-dishware he wanted. The ones he chose, he said, will give guests a feeling of quality and luxury as soon as they sit down. Chairs waiting to find their spots inside Siena Tuscan Steakhouse. He also let me peruse the menu he’s working on, which won’t be set until he does final-stage recipe testing and VIP tastings during the next several weeks. At the moment, it contains several interesting dishes, such as a panzanella salad, first-course pasta dishes such as mushroom risotto, several steaks, a pork osso bucco dish, a seafood stew known as cioppino, and “duck fat fries,” which are French fries cooked in duck fat. Chef Roth’s beloved German clay dishes, which just arrived. The restaurant will have a “soft opening” after Christmas, which is for invited guests. Then, it’ll be used as part of the hotel’s grand opening New Year’s Eve event. It should be open for regular service to the public on Jan. 1, Roth said.

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. I’ll update you as construction gets closer to complete.

About Denise Neil

Denise has been an Eagle reporter since 1997. She writes about pop culture on Sundays, reviews restaurants on Fridays and blogs at Dining with Denise. Previously, she worked for the Chattanooga Times and graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas.

Contact Denise at 316-268-6327 or by e-mailing dneil@wichitaeagle.com

Follow Denise on Twitter: @DeniseNeil

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