When Sonsie first opened many years ago, it was greeted with howls of derision. “Pretentious!” screamed the naysayers, partly for its open-to-Newbury-St. front (perfect for checking out the competition on this most luxe of Boston’s pedestrian boulevards), and partly because it was, in fact, presenting itself with a carefully studied sense of elevated hipness.
These days, those cries seem a distant memory. Yes, the open front is a little showy, but then again it’s the modus operandi for any European café; why can’t a restaurant do the same thing? And second, two things that have always been fairly constant at Sonsie are solid food and an often very clever wine list. Though a caveat: at Sonsie, the best thing has always been and probably will always be the thin-crust pizza. The more adventurous one asks the kitchen to become, the greater risk of failure, though there are successes as well. Service is solid (and attractive, as one would expect), and if the front-facing tables aren’t an option, the interior remains dark, comforting and even a little bit romantic…post-collegiate romantic, yes, but then that’s the restaurant’s key demographic.
There’s also a private room downstairs…again, no surprise…but since one of my friends had what turned out to be a fairly unpleasant experience down there (he asked, she said “no”…nothing that was the restaurant’s fault), it’s hard for me to judge it objectively.
(Based on multiple visits since the restaurant’s opening, the most recent in June of 2006.)