A few weeks back, my wife and I were able to grab dinner without the kids before heading to Music Hall for her employers Christmas Party. I came up with a couple of restaurants that we had never tried and from the list she picked Senate.

Inside Senate

Inside Senate

We arrived just past 8 PM on a Tuesday and were seated right away. Most of the tables along the wall opposite of the long bar are too close together. I felt like we were having dinner with the other groups on either side of our table. The restaurant space is pretty small though, so perhaps this is the only way to arrange the seating.

Crispy Potstickers

Crispy Potstickers

We started with the pork-ginger potstickers served with sweet chili, miso cream cheese and sesame seeds ($10). I really liked these fried potstickers and enjoyed the crispness when compared to the more common boiled or steamed versions. The sauce was also a really good mix of sweet and spicy flavors.

McBelly Pulled Pork

McBelly Pulled Pork

For dinner I went with the McBelly sandwich, BBQ pork belly with coleslaw and fried onion. This sandwich was extremely messy but had a nice flavor combination. The BBQ sauce was a little too sweet for my tastes but the slaw and onion were a nice touch.

Truffle Fries

Truffle Fries

We split an order of truffle fries ($5). The thick cut slices of potato come served in a shaker pint glass and is plenty for sharing. Served on the side is an aioli sauce that is also pretty good, but the truffle oil fries are tasty enough on their own.

Panko Crusted Chile Relleno

Panko Crusted Chile Relleno

My wife ordered the chile relleno, a crispy poblano pepper, black beans, roasted squash, rice, queso fresco, raisins and pumpkin seed molé ($12). There is certainly a lot going on with this dish, but it worked really well. The molé sauce was outstanding and the pepper itself was cooked well.

Senate is best known for their hot dogs. We did not try any of them after finding that they nearly all use beef hotdogs. It would be nice to have some red meat alternative options there. The food we did have was all really good, though a bit overpriced. I’m still not convinced that casual food deserves these kinds of prices.

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