Cienna Madrid

What's new?

Chef Tom Black just jumped on board, and his new menu is debuting soon. It'll be his take on classic French bistro food, and I'm really excited. I think we're getting some new game in—rabbit, possibly duck. However, I'm jumping ship to serve at Tilth.

Their food is dreamy.

Here and at Tilth, you're expected to know every dish and every ingredient in every sauce, like what a bagna caùda is [a tasty Italian fondue-ish dish made with garlic and anchovies] and where exactly the anchovies are coming from. I really enjoy the work that I do. It's challenging and exhilarating to know so much about a dish and its components, but that's the role servers should have if you're working in any restaurant that's not Chili's.

Give me your best pipe dream. Opening your very own Chili's franchise?

Cultivating my own P-Patch.

Dig a little deeper down that pipe.

Opening a gastropub/bar/fine food and drinking establishment. Letting my friends go nuts with the menu. Better yet, opening identical restaurants in Seattle and San Francisco because people are always comparing the two, and seeing which works better. Or how they each succeed and fail, what have you.

What's your all-time dream meal?

The rabbit served at Cafe Juanita in Kirkland. It's a wild-mushroom-stuffed rabbit braised in goat's milk. Holly Smith is the chef, and that rabbit is stupid good.