Sontes, which not long ago opened for lunch with a much different menu than the evening tapas and small plates format, put out this news release today:
Söntés re-imagines menu and welcomes a new head chef;
new menu features entrees alongside signature Midwestern tapas
March 1, 2013 (Rochester, MN) Sontes Restaurant will unveil a new menu on Friday, March 8. The new menu will remain true to the restaurant’s farm-to-table philosophy, showcasing locally grown foods, but will now feature entrees and a la carte side dishes.
The restaurant’s signature small plates, or Midwestern tapas, will also remain on the menu. Sontes’ take on tapas shows off southern Minnesota’s best local foods in combination with a range global flavors. The small plate menu choices provide a smaller portion of food than a standard entrée, and multiple plates are intended to be shared among all guests at the table. But for those who choose not to share plates, new larger entrée options are now available.
“Many of our guests have told us that while they enjoy the flavors and freshness of our food, they aren’t always comfortable with tapas style dining. Sharing plates isn’t for everyone, so we are now offering our guests the option to dine tapas style or in a more traditional multi-course fashion,” says owner Tessa Leung.
Sontes menu has been redesigned by new Head Chef Trevor Garrett. Garrett has been the restaurant’s sous chef for two years and was recently promoted to the position of head chef, replacing Bryce Lamb.
“Trevor is an amazing young talent, and we are excited to have him step into the role of head chef,” says Leung. “He has gone all out on the new menu, and I think people are really going to like the results.”
Garrett grew up in Bremerton, WA, and came to Rochester two years ago to take the sous chef job at Sontes.
“I really like the area,” says Garrett. “The people are really great, and the variety of locally grown items is amazing. Even in the winter, the growers here are so innovative in their growing methods that we can serve locally grown foods all year long. It’s phenomenal!”
Among the new entrée options are Seared Scallops with herbed farro, carrot and thyme puree and market vegetables, and Duck Breast with baby sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cilantro-tarragon salad. Entrée prices will range from $20 to $35.
For those who love Sontes’ small plates, old favorites such as chorizo stuffed dates, empanadas and authentic Leung family egg rolls will remain on the menu along with the extensive cheese list, award-winning wine selection and large beer menu.
Sontes is located at the corner of Broadway and Historic Third Street SW in downtown Rochester. Reservations are gladly accepted for lunch and dinner. To make reservations, call 507.292.1628 or visit www.sontes.com.
Lamb had been head chef at Sontes since December 2011, replacing Justin Schoville, who was a James Beard Rising Star Chef award semifinalist in 2009. Lamb, who came to Sontes with 20 years of restaurant experience, cooked in some of Washington state's top
restaurants, according to stories at the time, and had worked in restaurants in Vietnam and Austria as well.
In late January, Lamb presided over a 20-course Omaksake meal at the restaurant. "Omaksake" is Japanese for "trust the chef."
My two cents' worth: If Tessa and her team can keep the quality and consistency high with more traditional entrees, while keeping the best of the tapas, the incredible cheese list and the imaginative elegance of the room, they'll do just fine.