Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sir, May I Visit Siroccos Again?

The Empress and myself visited Siroccos in Appleton tonight. See Jeff Lindsay's review at: The Appleton Blog after you finish your meal here.

Some background first. The Empress and I lived in the Middle East (UAE). She for over 12 years and six years myself. So when it comes to Mediterranean food I know something about which I write about tonight. However, note this is based on Levantine & Gulf Arabic cuisine (i.e. Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian etc) and Mediterranean food is larger than just Arabic but there were teases of Arabic food in the menu and in the description the waitstaff gave us.

First Impressions

As you can google and find out on your own Siroccos is downtown Appleton in what used to be Peggy's Cafe (formerly owned & ran by a friend of mine). Enter it and you find yourself in an old brick building the interior slightly dark. Its a building that reveals little about what is inside without looking in it could be a lower flat of the local cat lady or an upscale restaurant only the likes of recently elected congressmen can afford (yes, this is a political dig). Walk in and you will find it close enough to the later for most people's liking. In fact the bar screams upscale (well scream is little extreme but the bar and its decor says haute cuisine in the quiet way one would say haute cuisine). It was about 5:00 pm when the Empress and I walked in and we were seated immediately.

Second Impressions

We were given menus and a listing of the soups and our drink orders were taken. I ordered my standard (rail) ginnentonic and The Empress ordered a lemon-lime soda with less ice. However, full ice must have been–full as her glass came filled about half with ice. My (rail) ginnentonic was excellent; the tonic crisp and the gin ginny with enough gin so the gin made its presence well known but not too much gin to require an olive instead of a lime slice.


Looking over the menu I was somewhat disappointed. I was hoping for a stronger Arabic contribution, unfortunately the number of pork dishes was high (not bad but not a typical Arabic menu, but recall this is a Mediterranean restaurant not an Arabic one) and only one or two items looked like they would belong on the menu of an Arabic restaurant. Malesh (nevermind) and I started looking over the rest of the items.

Here was our order. I ordered the stuffed pork tenderloins and The Empress ordered the ham wrapped scallops. In addition I ordered a black bean soup (with lime? with wine?). The soup was brought in a huge bowl with a piece of toasted bread. The soup struck me as a soup from the Middle East. It was good!

Dig In

Then our dinners came. The Empress was struck by how small the serving was. She was hoping to bring some leftovers to work the next day. However, when we dug in and ate we were satisfied with the taste. The food was definitely prepared with three senses in mind and all three senses were happy (sight, smell, and taste). When we were done we were full and satisfied, but disappointed we could not continue the experience tomorrow (and in the case of The Empress tease her colleagues in the break room).

Sticker Shock

Haute cuisine it was, haute pricess too. Our meal which consisted of one 7-Up (or Sprite whatever), two (rail) ginnentonics, one bowl of blackbean soup, one order of stuffed pork tenderloins, and an order of ham wrapped scallops came in at $65 (then add in a tip).


I liked the food and the service, but the pricing & serving size will keep us away. There is no shortage of restaurants in Appleton. I really do not see ourselves returning. If you are in Appleton for a show and want an elegant meal and are willing to pay for it then Siroccos should be on your short list otherwise go somewhere else.

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