Sometimes, all I need is a glass of wine and a good salad. Even better when I find that simple combination at a neighborhood restaurant. One such staple is Sienna Wine Bar & Small Plates in Congress Park. This unassuming spot serves one of the single best salads I’ve had—and I order it each time I go. I’m convinced that the toss of fresh basil leaves with the mixed greens is what catapults this combination from a decent salad to a memorable one. Of course, there’s also honey chèvre, Marcona almonds, cherry tomatoes, and a sprinkling of blueberries.
Bonus: Make a meal of it and add the ratatouille and baguette appetizer. The eggplant and tomato-rich stew is made at Crepes ‘n Crepes (where it’s my favorite crepe filling) and served warm at Sienna.
3422 E. 12th Ave., 303-355-2202
—Image courtesy of Megan O’Connell