Sona vs Providence
There's lots of discussion about these two restaurants, but most of it dates back to last year and the year before. I'm looking for a current, 2008 review and comparison.
Have you been to Sona recently? Providence? Both? I'm planning a trip next weekend, and having trouble deciding between the two. I'm sure both will be great, but it wouldn't be a bad thing to hear what the Chowhounds have to say about one vs the other.
Me? I love sushi, like seafood, and love New French/Cali cuisine. I prefer more modern and experimental dishes to the more traditional fare. Perhaps this helps in the realm of advice.
re: The Sauce
I just had the 9 course tasting menu (with wine pairing) at Providence earlier this week and a year or two ago I did the tasting menu (with wine pairing) at Sona.
I'll post more details later about my dinner at Providence, but for me, either is a good choice and I really liked both a lot.
If you love sushi and seafood then you'll be happy at Providence. The chef de cuisine, Yu Min Lin, used to head a well-known Japanese restaurant in Taipei. He's also worked in Japan and previously at Water Grill. He knows how to cook seafood right. I had the chef tasting a couple weeks ago. It was fabulous. You should try to reserve the chef's table if available.
I also like Sona's tasting menu but haven't been there for a couple years so really can't give a comparison.
You may want to also consider the fact that Sona will set you back a lot more than Providence will. Providence has a more interesting tasting menu in my opinion but both are solid. I personally liked Providence more.
This is like arguing between whether to drive the S-Class or the 7 Series. You're not going to go wrong with either and at the end of the day, it might depend on your craving for a contemporary tasting menu vs. a mostly seafood-driven menu. Providence does offer something rather unique in the market in that you're not going to see a ton of veal, squab, offal, or beef on the menu. You'll see it in small doses but obviously the focus is on Cirimusti's amazing ability to cook fish. Also, Vincenzo is arguably one of the finest bartenders/bar chefs in the area. I don't think he's headed over to 213 Inc. just yet so you can probably catch him and have one hell of an aperitif before your dinner.
R. Jason Coulston