So you know in my last post, when I mentioned there were a few restaurants on rotation for Chris and I? Well Somnio’s is probably on the highest rotation. The wait staff knows us by name. They often wonder where we have been if we don’t come in for a couple of weeks. We love this place. And there are a number of reasons why we keep coming back – mostly local meat and vegetables, healthy fare, super cheap and it’s BYOB. What’s not to love. On the downside (and these are my only negatives) there is not a lot of ambiance at the place and there is a slight food pacing problem. It’s a cute space, but it’s often brightly lit and there are times when I have had my salad, a bowl of soup and my entree show up around the same time. But that to me is not a big deal.
But enough about the con’s. Let’s talk food. The menu at Somnio’s is fairly sparse, but they make up for it by having specials every night. Specials in the past have included a Quail and Kale pasta, a Bison burger and Quinoa loaf. There are also side specials. Side specials have ranged from broccoli sauteed with Balsamic vinegar to a curry vegetable soup. And most of the entrees come with your choice of a side and one of their awesomely-named and very original salads. My standard is the Bud, which comes with garbanzo beans, marinated roasted golden beets and greens served with a chipotle vinaigrette.
The night we last visited Somnio’s Chris and I went with our friends Seanna and Allen. This allowed for me to try an array of dishes – some I have never eaten before.
Let me start with a rare miss. My cute friend Seanna ordered their vegetable risotto. It was just very bland. There is not much more to say about it. She had to add some salt to get any flavor. This was a little disappointing.
Allen ordered the always delicious pork medallions, pork tenderloin breaded with panko breadcrumbs served with a side of buckwheat noodles with raw greens. For Allen’s side he ordered the squash medley. This a regular menu item, not a special. This pork happens to be my stand by if I do not want any of the specials. This dish is delectable and not heavy at all. And the red pepper aioli drizzled on top is perfection. I also recommend the squash medley. Like most of their sides, it is a little sweet. Not sure why. I am wondering if they drizzle a little agave nectar, but it’s delicious.
For Chris’s entree he ordered the Pasta Fresca, which I believe is their new summer pasta dish. The past few times we have been to Somnio’s this dish was not on the menu or on the special board, but if you try and order the other pasta dishes we have found they are out and the Fresca is in. For the Summer, it’s a perfect dish – very light and full of summer vegetables like squash and zucchini and topped with raw Parmesan and basil. The pasta is homemade by Pasta & Co, a local Austin pasta manufacturer. And let me tell you, fresh pasta makes all the difference!
But it was my Chicken Cordon Bleu that was deemed the winner. It was hands down the best thing I had ever eaten at Somnio’s. And it was a special, so it’s not always there. But if you see it on that chalkboard – get it! I am not usually the type to get chicken, but I am glad I did. The breast was huge and from a local poultry farm. It was stuffed with the most excellent bleu cheese sauce and a crispy piece of ham, then it was breaded and topped with sliced green onions. It was perfection!
Lastly, I wanted to mention some of our sides for the evening. Seanna ordered a fantastic cold, green bean dish. It was very Asian-inspired and had some hints of ginger. And Chris ordered, as his side, a curry vegetable soup. This soup is one of their best. It packs a lot of flavor, but is not too salty or too overpowering in terms of the curry. I loved it.
I highly recommend Somnio’s. The food is fresh and the staff is friendly, what more could you ask for?
Somnio’s is open Tuesday – Friday 11-2 p.m. and 5-10 p.m., Saturday 11-10 p.m. and Sunday brunch 10:30-2:30 p.m.