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Restaurants & Bars 10

Sona--FANTASTIC

juny1cat | Apr 18, 2003 11:41 AM

I am tempted to say simply that last night I enjoyed the best meal I can remember in years, at Sona, and leave matters at that. But I will try to do it justice.

The room at Sona is sleek, even austere, soothing, not at all cold. The staff, from the door person forward, are smiling, low-key, likeable people. And now the food. Perhaps the most successfully inventive cooking I have ever encountered. My friend and I ate off the menu (not the two set/chef-improvised dinners.) It is arranged for three courses. I began with marinated salmon in an herbal immersion with cucumbers and nasturtium. My second course was rack of Australian lamb--the loin cut out in small rounds and served, surrounded with a wine and olive sauce and egg-plant caviar--this had the consistency and color of smooth mustard--and a polenta cake placed on another rich meat, like short ribs, I don't know. Fabulous. Flavors unusual and well-matched. I have never tasted better lamb (my husband agreed, based on leftovers brought home.) The dessert--chocolate beignets, delicate chewey pastry droplets oozing rich chocolate on subtly banana sauce with little miniature banana slices floated therein. My friend considered her meal equally sublime--celery root raviolis with figs(?); duck breast with shitaki mushrooms; blueberry and almond streusel. Gorgeous presentations, all. The breads were wonderful as well. I especially enjoyed thin, delicious, eighteen-inch cheesy-flakey bread sticks.

It is difficult to imagine how the chefs can keep up this level of performance for long. Anyhow, run, don't walk to Sona. It puts Bastide in the (deep) shade. It is well worth the tab. With four glasses of quite good wine plus tip, ours came to $200. I haven't been to Whist (don't like Aubergine) but I can't really think of anything in town that compares with this terrific place!

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