Our Prosecco Fueled Evening at NYC’s Glamorous New SONA Restaurant
As we enter 2022, we find ourselves shaking our heads and wondering, in a Ground Hog Day kind of way – um…haven’t we been here before? But despite the worryingly rising infection rates, sometimes one just needs to mask up for a glamorous night out. And we’re happy to report that the appeal of sipping prosecco at one of NYC’s hottest of new hotspots has been significantly heightened by the deprivations of the last twenty or so months.
Now, to say being invited to a food/cocktail pairing at SONA, the much buzzed about collab between NYC nightlife impresario David Rabin and actress Priyanka Chopra, was all we really wanted for Christmas is an understatement. Seriously, from the second we walked through the doors, we couldn’t help but notice that the place oozed with a uniquely cool sense of sophistication. Interiors were designed by Melissa Bowers, certainly no stranger to sexy hotel and restaurant design, with a portfolio including the likes of ModernHaus SoHo and Faena District in Miami Beach. SONA’s Mumbai Art Deco inspired spaces were characterized by warm, neutral shades, accented with pops of gold, arch shaped mirrors, ornate globe lights, and gorgeous silk fabrics from India. A visual feast, to say the least.
The star of the drinks menu, FIOL (fee-ol) Prosecco D.O.C., is the brainchild of three lifelong friends from Italy’s Treviso countryside (just about 40km from Venice), who wanted to share their heritage by conjuring an elevated, more modern take on the Venetian Glera grape. The dry, mildly acidic, savory yet sweet notes made the bubbly, and its rosé counterpart, sumptuous on its own or the ideal base for surprising and distinctly uncommon cocktails. To wit, the tangy Persimmon, a blend of Analogue Persimmon Spirit, lemon juice, and of course FIOL; the Indian spice inspired Mango Mimosa, which mixes FIOL with mango puree and garam masala; and the molto bello Kiss From a Rose (remember that Seal song?), a sparkling infusion of Campari, Singani 63 Brandy, Combier Rose Liqueur, and FIOL – we don’t exaggerate when we say the latter actually made our taste buds “sing.
Fortunately for the assembled guests, Gian Luca Passi, one of the three founders, was on hand to not only recount the brand’s captivating story, but to also expertly guide us through the pairings.
As to that, SONA Executive Chef Hari Nayak created a four course dining experience that was like the mythical feast for the senses. The intricate sauces and spices distinctly accentuated the flavors of the vegetable briyani and tamarind bbq lamb chops, while the subtle hint of Goan seasonings in the crab cake was one of evening’s genuine surprises. Seafood lovers thrilled to the roasted green garlic butter oysters, rock shrimp fritters slathered in mango aioli, and red chili and coconut bathed prawns with fennel. And whether sopping up the cashew sauce from the ricotta dumplings, or the smoked tikka and tomato cream gravy from the butter chicken, the assortment of warm nann and roti assured that only very clean plates were left behind.
Winding down the evening in decadent fashion with the Valrhona chocolate layer cake (perfectly topped with a scoop of coffee ice cream,) we raised our pink, effervescent glasses, and simply appreciated that 2022 would hopefully be getting us back to more such glorious evenings, as some measure of normality returns to the hospitality biz. And that whatever happens, surely more FIOL Prosecco would be involved.