Behind the Menu: Sono Wood Fired about more than pizza: 'We have a lot of cool things'
Sono Wood Fired in Easton Town Center has a lot of moving parts: a scratch kitchen, imaginative fare and a menu built to satisfy virtually all tastes.
Part of the Good Eats Group out of Chicago, chefs John “Mac” McLean and Martin Murch offer more than a few flourishes on the Italian-inspired dishes.
The arancini ($12), those deep-fried orbs of risotto are stuffed with spicy ‘nduja, a type of spreadable pepperoni made in-house, and homemade mozzarella.
The arancini are placed in pools of tomato fonduta, a higher-end vodka sauce composed of carrots, onions and pancetta, with the addition of tomatoes and cream.
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The modest meatball ($12) has been completely reimagined using wild boar and lamb nestled in a roasted garlic tomato sauce, a migas of crispy breadcrumbs and prosciutto and a topping of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
“It’s not just a meatball in tomato sauce with cheese on top,” McLean said.
Tuscan-style pies popular
Sono is well-known for its Tuscan-style pizzas.
McLean said he learned to make the dough in Florence. He uses high-gluten flour for a chewy texture and adds Sono’s homemade beer, Church Street 1837 Red Ale.
It ferments for two days before it’s rolled out for service.
“After two days it’s perfect,” McLean said. “So, it’s a process for us.”
The red sauce, or “rosso,” with salsiccia ($19) uses a spicy fennel sausage from Chicago, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella and basil.
“I will tell you that is one of our more popular pizzas here,” he said.
The wild mushrooms with white sauce ($19), or bianchi, has oysters and cremini, two types of creamy Italian cheese — fontina and taleggio — confit leeks, crispy sage and white truffle oil.
“The umami on that pizza is terrific,” McLean said.
Scallops and pastas noteworthy
Corpulent scallops ($17) are coated in tart sumac and panko breadcrumbs, pan-seared in clarified butter and placed in a pool of pistachio butter.
“It’s creamy,” McLean said. “It’s smooth. It’s got that nice little toasted flavor. It’s got a little sweet — just a lot of flavors.”
All pastas are homemade, including the ricotta gnocchi ($32), topped with sherry-and-butter-poached lobster, garnished with tomato fonduta and a dusting of gremolata.
“These are pillow-light,” McLean said of the gnocchi.
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Mushrooms, all sorts of mushrooms
The wild mushroom ravioli ($24) offers three kinds of mushrooms: oyster, cremini and trumpet royale; and three cheeses: ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and goat cheese, served in sage brown butter and garnished with braised leeks and finished with pan-seared trumpet and migas of panko, smoked paprika and prosciutto.
“Delicious, absolutely delicious,” McLean said.
Pancetta-wrapped sea bass ($32) is cooked in an aromatic brown butter seasoned with sage and garlic, and served with prosciutto migas and crisps of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
For dessert, McLean recommends the tiramisu ($12), anchored with homemade lady fingers and layered with chocolate-mascarpone mousse, marsala cream and chocolate crumbles and drizzled with Kahlua-espresso syrup.
“I want to reinforce, it’s not just pizza here,” McLean said. “We have a lot of cool things.”
Sono Wood Fired
Where: 4055 the Strand W., Easton Town Center
Hours: 11:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 11:30 to 9 p.m. Sundays; closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Contact: 380-400-9360, www.goodeatsgroup.com/sono-wood-fired-columbus