120a Elizabeth St
Hobart, TAS 7000
If you’re after the quintessential wine bar experience, Sonny is it. Tiny cosy dimly lit spot? Check. Communal seating, preferably along a bar? Check. Kitschy décor with no fewer than 200 wine bottles scattered about? Check. Impeccable and slightly too loud music (in this case, from a real-deal record player) accompanying staff who genuinely seem to be having a good time? Check and check. The food menu is tiny, with a few snacks and a pasta being assembled in the kitchen attached directly to the end of the bar, by a chef who also happens to be the dish-washer, and maybe a bartender and waiter if they have a bit of spare time. The wine list, however, is enormous. But even if you’re teetotalling, a good time at Sonny is almost guaranteed. Just show up early because a line will creep out of the door. Yes, even in Hobart. Yes, even on a weeknight.
The x-factor: amazing vibes.
Rating: 13/20 – wine bar goodness.
The Jamon Toast ($15, 2pcs) is a tasty little snack. Crispy crouton smeared with herbed ricotta, and a pickled chilli hidden underneath a swath of jamon sliced approximately 40cm away from where I was sitting.
Zucchini ($16) in this case is served lightly-roasted, on a bed of ricotta with hazelnuts and fermented chilli oil. It is sweet and summery, but the cheese and nuts give it a bit more body. Comes with a few pieces of good sourdough.
I’m still a bit squeamish abut raw meat dishes, but after being emboldened by the wallaby tartare at Dier Makr, I opted to give the Beef Crudo ($20) a go, and this was just as successful. The contrast between the tender beef coasted in creamy aioli-based sauce, and the crisp aniseed flavour of celeriac, is absolutely lovely, especially as it melted into a slice of piping-hot toast. It’s super rich and definitely designed for sharing, but the flavour overall is well-considered and balanced.
The pasta of the day was Orecchiette ($28), specifically orecchiette tossed in a cheese-heavy sauce with broccoli and chili, and a hefty handful of extra-crunchy garlic breadcrumbs on top. And it’s grown-up comfort food at its finest, working just as well with a glass of wine on date night as it is scoffed in front of Netflix at 2am.