Having walked past Sonsie on Newbury for four years when I was in college, I never once gave it much thought. I knew it and recognized it as the place with the beautiful open terrace, perfect for people watching on the street. Luckily, the night we chose to try it out was a particularly warm December night and the restaurant had its massive collapsing windows wide open to Newbury. We were sat right in the front, and couldn’t have been happier with Sonsie’s accommodating staff after we asked for that specific table. It had been about two weeks since the attacks in Paris. We were very aware and appreciative to be able to enjoy our food and wine, but also to be able to have it on the terrace so similar to the ones Parisians enjoy too. The atmosphere of Sonsie was bubbly and everyone around us seemed to be good-natured, cheerful, and diverse. There were groups of friends enjoying a drink, families sharing dinner, and young couples like us trying out something new.
The interior lighting was darkened, but comfortable and created an inclusive atmosphere despite the busy night. We sat down just as the dinner menu was being finalized. From meats and pasta, to salads and small appetizers, Sonsie’s menu was impressive and everything looked mouth-watering. I knew exactly what I was in the mood for that night, so I ordered the pan-seared scallops with pumpkin risotto, topped with baby kale. ($24) Although the plate was a moderate size, every bite was savored. I finished my plate wanting more, not because I wasn’t satisfied, but because it was so delicious and flavorful. The scallops were perfectly buttered, the big chunks of pumpkin were warmly caramelized, and the risotto was a flawless addition to finish off the plate. My dining companion ordered the stuffed gnocchi with duck confit, spinach, treviso and goat cheese fonduta. ($23) And from stealing a few bites of the goat cheese stuffed gnocchi, I can say that it was absolutely delectable and a unique but complimentary combination I had never tasted before. We both ordered the same wine, a French Bordeaux, after being convinced to not get a glass of my go-to staple Chianti or a Super Tuscan blend. The wine was smooth with hints of fruit, tasty enough for me to have another glass. And even though I knew about the rule about red wine and seafood, I was told many times in Italy it doesn’t matter and to drink what makes you happy. I am a repeat offender for drinking red with seafood, but I love it.
After we finished up dinner, we relaxed, watched Newbury and didn’t feel rushed out of our table. We loved our experience at Sonsie from the moment we stepped in. The service was personal and attentive with fantastic wait service. I left Sonsie definitely excited to go back to try more of their menu options and maybe even some dessert. If the experience was exceptional in December on a warm night, I’m sure during the summer months Sonsie makes for a great destination for those wanting to grab dinner in the city before a fun-filled night. I also left with hopes that this Newbury Street treasure won’t go unnoticed by its many passerby much longer.