From Our Editors
When a restaurant serves Eastern European cuisine, diners might expect to be surrounded with dark wood paneling and rough natural stone—almost hunting-lodge-esque. Not so at Sonata's Restaurant, where Old-World cuisine meets modern sensibilities. Guests alight on studded leather armchairs or lemon-yellow booths at this hip hangout, which also features contemporary murals, tin ceilings, exposed bulbs, and a massive wall of what looks like stacked firewood.
The restaurant is owned by Lithuanian-born Sonata Molocajeviene Tuft and her son, Deividas; their vision has been helped along by their partners, Andrew and Laura Bucas, who have opened two acclaimed Lithuanian eateries in the Chicago area. See how some of their traditional recipes have been translated into modern comfort food with an American flair:
- Small plates: roasted-duck or smoked-salmon potato pancakes with caviar; borscht with meatballs and rye bread; black-pepper-crusted foie gras
- "Harvested" entrees: perogies glazed with sherry, celery-root purée, and melted leeks; salad of wood-roasted kohlrabi and shaved apple
- "Wild, Fished & Farmed" entrees: smoked short-rib stroganoff; chicken kiev; pork shashlik, or pomegranate-marinated kebabs; salmon with mussels and white-bean ragout