Monday, February 28, 2011

Revisiting Sonny's

I say 'revisiting' because I went in the first month Sonny's opened and was not too impressed. We had some underwhelming entrees and service snafus, but I didn't tell you about it, since I figured they needed a while to warm up.

Photo by Corey Templeton, via Portland Daily Photo
But now they've been open for over a year, so I decided (based on my love of Local 188) to take M's sister and BIL there for dinner during their visit. Sonny's won out as the not-too-risky choice for dinner. We figured we'd get a solid dinner and hoped for something on the level of Local 188, Chef Jay Villani's other restaurant.

But in the end, we just got solid (well, the cocktails are stellar). And while solid is not bad, it's just not elevated to the quality of dining found at 188.

Like I said, the cocktails are excellent. We started with drinks (I recommend the 99 Problems- Cava, ginger, simple syrup, and lemon) and appetizers.

And aren't our appetizers pretty? We had the Maine shrimp tacos (or shrimpacos as the food runner said), seared scallops, and a fried avocado. The shrimpacos were the best- spicy, creamy, crunchy, with a bite from the pickled red onions.


M. and I shared their poblano pepper and Manchego cheeseburger with a side of yam fries. And we also ordered their Caesar salad.

The burger was good- the yam fries are great- but I really loved the Brioche bun the burger came on. The poblano peppers were a distraction for me, but the burger was cooked right (like, not much at all).


And the salad was awesome. J. said, why did you order a Caesar salad? and for a moment I was stumped. But, I love Caesars- they're a no-brainer for me. Though when they're bad, they're really bad. However, this one had lots of dressing, cheese, good croutons, and a topping of white anchovies. Delicious.


S. and J. took the same approach to their entrees- sharing the house salad and the fish special, mahi mahi with a curry spice rub and a ginger coconut sauce. It was awesome. I heard the house salad was great too, but didn't sample it myself.


I love Sonny's interior- the redesign really shows off the spectacular building with remaining elements of an old bank- and their cocktail list. And I struggle to put my finger on what is missing from their culinary offerings. But after this meal, there was nothing that stuck in my head. No, 'how did they do that,' no 'I can't stop thinking about...' So while Sonny's offers a great libations and is a fancy hang-out spot, I will be saving my appetite for Local 188.

Sonny's on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

  1. 99 problems but their cocktail ain't one! hit me!

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  2. according to blue suede shoes, it was 98 problems. :) Good to see you guys.

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  3. i think that thier cocktails are weak and lack creativity. i waited for almost twenty minutes infront of a bar that was half full (for good reason ..im sure) when i was finally served... i felt uncomortable...like i was be hit on by the bartender. it was unprofessional. i will not go the again for happy hour and i will ensure that my friends do not either.

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  4. An insider tells me one of the problems with Sonny's vs. Local is that the owner is always at Sonny's, which is stressful for the staff...

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