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Sisu, Uptown's Newest Culinary Playground, is Open

Sisu, located in an old house at 2508 Maple Ave. (just north of McKinney Avenue), is Uptown's latest culinary and nightlife addition. The house-turned-restaurant and bar has been completely renovated; dark wood spans the first and second floors, stark white walls are contrasted by magenta accents, and at times the smell of fresh wood can be detected before it's swept away by the aroma of food or a diner's designer fragrance.

See also: - S?r, the New Steakhouse to Replace Nana, is Open

Three bars are scattered throughout, one in the main dining area, another upstairs in the VIP section and the third is on the patio, next to the pool (yes, there is a pool). The bar offers a plentiful selection of beer and wine (there are more than 25 bottles of wine to choose from) and boasts a cocktail menu with drinks like the habanero prickly pear margarita, raspberry mojito and ginger bourbon.

The menu offers starters such as duck confit quesadillas with pickled red onions, local farmhouse cheddar and guacamole ($10); prime angus beef sliders served with vidalia jam, tomato marmalade, crispy spinach and house fries ($12); and Gulf shrimp ceviche with lime, orange, habanero and avocado ($10). The entrees are divided into two categories, "From the Sea," which features items such as grilled Texas redfish ($18), mesquite grilled lobster, and scallops and grits served with cauliflower puree (both served at market price).

And "From the Earth," which features items such as the roasted half of chicken ($18), coriander-crusted rack of lamb ($32) and crispy duck breast ($25). Don't eat creatures from the sea or earth? There are soups and salads on the menu and plenty of sides to choose from (including horseradish and white cheddar mashed potatoes, candied mushrooms and fries).

Reuben sandwich with Sisu fries and the main dining room.

Roasted beet salad with celery hearts, candies pecans, local chèvre, beet just vinaigrette and crispy beet greens.

Upstairs VIP area and private dining room.

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Gulf oysters with house-made chipotle butter and sea bass.

Poolside cabanas.

Roasted red pepper hummus.

Strawberry and arugula salad with pickled red onions, Gorgonzola and Champagne vinaigrette.

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