Driving through SONO today, I noticed that Osetra's tables were set, so when I returned home I checked the website ( http://www.osetrasono.com/index.html) and found that they opened last night, so we headed back down there tonight for dinner.
The menu is 95% small plates and they also have the option of a prix fix dinner, one small plate, one entree and dessert for about $46-50 depending on the entree. They only had 3 choices of entrees, but we were definitely interested in the small plates, of which there were about 20. Mostly seafood, as the restaurant describes itself, but at least 6 meat options.
The place looks similar to when it was Porterhouse. The vibe was laid back, waitstaff were in Osetra t-shirts, jeans and white aprons, all very friendly and competent. The chefs brother who is his partner came to bring us our wine and we chatted briefly with him. He showed a real dedication to the place with a tattoo of the "O" on his arm!! Again, very friendly and gracious.
We decided to share 5 small plates. The waiter said he would bring one dish first, then two, then the other two, and asked if that was okay. So many times when eating at tapas places, the timing is too rushed, or they bring too many dishes out at once. This whole meal was perfectly timed, not too fast, not too slow. In between each round they cleared our dishes and forks and brought clean ones. It was all handled perfectly.
Now to the food. First we had the Fingerling Potato Pierogis ($6), two nice sized dumplings, very tender, filled with soft potato over a bed of cabbage, brown butter and sour cream with walnuts. At first you got a hint of sweet, then savory, tender and delicious.
The next course was Warm Octopus Scampi ($8) and Flash Grilled Salmon ($12). The octopus was served over shaved raw asparagus with bits of torn fresh mozz with a caeser like dressing. It almost tasted like pesto to me, but it was incredible, our favorite of the night. The flash grilled salmon was a nice piece, charred on the outside, rare (very) on the inside. It was served with duck confit, a ginger soy sauce, an avocado puree and some pea tendrils. I typically don't like thick pieces of rare salmon, but this was really good and fresh and buttery. When you took a bite of everything together it just melted in your mouth.
The last round was the Caramel Fried Lobster ($17) and the Veal Scaloppine ($12). My only complaint of the night was that the lobster portion was too small. It was the most expensive of the dishes, but everything else was incredibly reasonable. The dish had 2 chunks of lobster meat, each 1-2 bites. It was coated in crispy caramel with some spring onions and a hint of chilis. Maybe I just wanted a bigger portion because it was so good, but for $17, I think it could have been 4 chunks, not 2. The last dish was Veal Scaloppini with poached pears, speck and a mustard creme. This was by far the largest of the dishes, a nice cutlet with two halves of a pear. It was very good, cooked perfectly as was everything else. We already decided that the next time we go, we'd order the pierogi and the octopus again, and then try other things.
For dessert we shared a carrot cake terrine with pineapple sherbert and carrot foam. The cake was a little dry, but everything all together was tasty. With a $50 bottle of wine, dinner for two without tip was $115.00, which I thought was incredible, especially considering the quality of the food. This is a great addition to the SONO scene, hope some of you like it as much as we did!