Many dates usually have 3 parts. Dinner, a movie and drinks. My theory is that it allows you to get to know somebody in 3 different settings. Here’s another idea for food lovers. 3 courses in 3 restaurants. And the walks between each restaurant can serve to let the previous course settle in, while allowing for conversation and change of scenery.

We tried it. For starters we went to Sonny’s Portland. The Corner Room was our choice for mains and Gorgeous Gelato for dessert. Here’s what our adventure was like.

Steffy:

For appetizers, Because nothing else on the menu struck my fancy, I ordered something I had eaten at Sonny’s before. Amateur move.

FRIED CALAMARI … sesame crust, chipotle citrus glaze, scallion lime aioli

Food: 4.9

Ambiance: 6.9

Service: 6.5

“The aioli sauce was great. Almost perfect. Unfortunately the calamari was overcooked and thus rubbery, and I didn’t quite get the sesame flavor in the crust.  The host was prompt and responsive, and our waiter was very present. I liked the feel of the place although the dinner section felt a bit forced in a lounge setup.”

For a main, our eager and enthusiastic waiter recommended the pasta funghi. And I took him up on it. Nothing like your staff knowing what’s best on the menu.

Parpadelle and mushroom (shiitake and portobello..I discovered)

Food: 7.8

Ambiance: 7.2

Service: 9.0

The corner room was a great decision. Because we didn’t have reservations, we were seated at the tables facing the open kitchen. Which in my opinion was a great place. The food was impressive. Flavors well balanced. My only regret was that the mushrooms in the sauce felt like an afterthought and were not the star of the dish. Our waiter was very responsive and helpful. Having the ‘best seats in the house’ I was happy to have been able to watch the fluid food service.

Sean:

Even with an unimpressive menu at Sonny’s, Sean was able to find an appetizer that fit within his taste pallet. What was impressive about it is that it was a Mexican dish. A cuisine he rarely, if at all, eats.

SHORT RIB FUNDIDO… quajillo adobo, tater tots, scallion, tortilla chips

Food: 6.2

Ambiance: 5.6

Service: 7.0

“The appetizer was remarkably good. Given I’ve never had adobo, I was pleasantly surprised. The tater tots were a great addition as well. Setting was pretty busy and I did not like that people were standing around the dinner section with drinks. Our service was great, very attentive waiter and prompt with our food and drinks.”

Here’s a little tip. Whenever Sean has Pizza, it will always be cheese. No toppings. So even when the menu at the Corner room said Margarita, he ordered it as cheese. And cheese he got. Everyone knows the rules.

Margarita pizza (optimized for Sean)

Food: 8.4

Ambiance: 7.5

Service: 8.8

The pizza sauce was excellent. I knew it wasn’t a store-bought one as it  had a special fresh flavor to it. Doughy and chewy crust was perfect. Service was attentive and helpful with the menu which is always appreciated. And as much as the place was small and crowded, it was not overwhelming and the seating near the kitchen made it a personal experience.

Dessert:

As always, Sean had the chocolatiest Chocolate while I had the tartest Lemon Sorbet. One word: Rich and creamy.

Gelato is as good as gelato comes. We were both happy with the desserts. Our combined review:

Food: 7.2

Ambiance: 5.5

Service: 6.5

The chocolate was rich with a hint of whisky. Very creamy. The lemon sorbet felt a bit more creamy than I would have wanted. But still got a very tart lemon flavor. Enough to make me pucker up. The place could have done with some music. And the server was friendly.

” Sonny’s seems like more of a place you go to after work to network and or for happy hour drinks. The menu is somewhat all over the place and therefore not much of a personal intimate dinner restaurant. Recommended if you are celebrating a colleagues promotion/demotion. The Corner Room, while busy, is great for a semi-fancy date well into a relationship. Where you can banter with the staff while getting a great culinary experience. Gelato is always good at 8 o’clock. And while Gorgeous Gelato has great gelato, the atmosphere seems like a place you sober your partner down after too many drinks during dinner. Overall, the mini-culinary tour was a great choice.”

Overall Sonny’s FAS rating: 6.2

Overall Corner room FAS rating: 8.1

Overall Gorgeous Gelato FAS rating: 6.4

Bonus:

Accompanied by: Sean Welker, Newly Mexican loving, pizza and chocolate connoisseur.

Topics discussed: 2016 reflections and 2017 intentions.

Menus:

Sonny’s

The Corner Room:

Gorgeous Gelato