Our CH birthday girl chose Sona to celebrate with the six-course tasting menu and wine flight. Good choice! The chef was kind enough to give us TWO menus: five of us got one dish, and five of us got another. Double the pleasure, double the fun. Thus this really long post. Don't say you weren't warned.
We started with a rosê champagne, and the staff brought out long, thin, parmesan flavored breadsticks, little rolls, and small squares of a foccacia-like bread. We knew better than to fill up on these.
First course was a shrimp and fennel salad with cranberries and pomegranate seeds, accompanied by a lobster bisque with saffron foam. Wine was a LaFond Lirac (please pardon my errors/wine ignorance; I took notes between bites). Terrific balance of flavors in the salad, and the bisque was full of lobster flavor.
We happily awaited the next taste. These were sashimi: kampachi on an onion and basil base with citrus, or tequila-cured salmon with blood orange. This course was served with a Pouilly Fuisee (Boitières). Both dishes were good, but the salmon was the clear favorite. Slightly smokey, contrasted well with the blood orange.
A reasonable wait, and the next courses were served. Service throughout the evening was accomplished with five waiters, so that everyone was served at exactly the same time. Nice. This next course was either lobster risotto with kaffir lime (divinely creamy; lots of lobster chunks, especially given this was a tasting portion) or bagger scallops in nishiki (?) puree and a nori chip. Some of us tasted a little bacon in the puree under the tender, succulent scallops, but the risotto was the winner this course. Wine was a California Coupe (please someone help me with the wines here!)
Our waiter then poured wines while we waited for the next course, a pinot noir (Pernand Vergellesses). The deluxe wine flight our birthday girl ordered was also a Pinot, a 2003 Roar. Course was a fresh squab-buckwheat quenelle: delicate and full of flavor, or duck breast with forbidden rice (elegant and rich). Both were excellent.
And the hits just came on coming. Next was venison with black trumpet mushrooms or beef with pomme aligot. Wines were a Sirah-Grenache from south of Chateauneuf du Pape. The premium wine was a San Prefet 2000 Chateauneuf du Pape. (Again, someone correct me if I'm wrong. TIA)
When our waiter offered a cheese course, we decided to go for it. Definitely the right choice. He served us a Chinon (described as a French chianti) with an assortment of cheeses: jaune grande (from Ile de France), garocha with membrillo (Spanish),a French goat cheese (pyramide sante, if my notes are correct), mezzoliano di piazza, a roaring 40's bleu cheese, honey-dusted epoisse, and a stripe of saba-nebiola syrup in the plate for dipping. Heavenly. The Pinots left from an earlier course went especially well with the epoisse.
Our tummies were happy, but anxiously awaiting dessert. Our selections were a mango gelato with pineapple chip and a ginger milkshake with blackberries, or a cocoa nib ice cream tart with chocolate-hazelnut crepe. These were served with Moselle Risesling (Monchhof). I think the premium wine was St. Croix de Monde, from near Sauterne. (Again, corrections/help on the wines greatfully accepted).
The evening finally had to come to an end with a Broadbent Madeira or a Nieport Port. The Madeira was rich and fruity, a delightful end to the meal. As a little extra treat, frozen lollipops of chocolate enrobed chocolate-rasberry ice cream were served. Coffee and tea rounded out the meal.
Service was perfect - attentive but not obtrusive, questions answered, courses and wines explained, and no one was rushed. Tasting portions were big enough for us to share tastes of everything. A perfectly lovely place and a wonderful experience.