I watched the renovations take place on this new restaurant on Virginia Dr. as it's located on one of my back road cut-throughs. It looked like they made a nice investment as they built a beautiful patio area out front. So I was excited to give it a try.
I took my mom there for an early dinner before a show downtown last week and we were both pleased with our visit and meal.
As you walk in you find the bar/lounge is separated from the dining room which provides for different atmospheres and levels of energy. The lounge was already hopping with a lively crowd and music. The restaurant side, more subdued and geared towards a quiter dining experience.
The hostess led us past a small, front space with a few tables towards the back of the restaurant. We were seated at one of the two-top tables along the wall. Normally I dont like that type of seating arrangement as you're basically sitting with the people on either side of you. However, as it was still early, few tables were seated.
Calming colors covered the walls which allowed the various paintings and pieces of art leap off the walls. Low lighting and candles made for a cozy, comfortable space. It was easy to get settled in and started perusing the menu and wine list, both of which offered many selections. With my mother on oxygen, we had to forego the candle...which had actually helped greatly in reading the menu. Without the candle I struggled to find enough light to read it comfortably. People were quickly seated on either side of us which prevented me from angling for better light. I don't like being one of those people who uses the flashlight on my phone, so I struggled to clearly see the menu.
As the restaurant started to fill the noise level raised accordingly. We decided as much as we enjoyed our visit, it wasn't well suited to a 'quiet' dinner experience. With no soft finishes, sounds abound throughout the room.
Our server was excellent, checking on us often. I believe a different person delivered each of our dishes which was entertaining...each person made small talk with us which delighted my mother.
While a friend stated they weren't thrilled with their choices in their recent visit there, we enjoyed our selections which included the chilled asparagus, mushroom stuffed puff pastry, dates, and pork skewers. We both stated it was a place we would enjoy returning to.
All-in-all, I would recommend Santiago's Bodega. While a little louder and darker than we would have perferred, we decided we would ask to be seated in the front area or on the patio for our next visit. That would make it an ideal setting for us.
Give it a try. It's well worth it!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.