Food is naturally meant to be shared, from the deliberate sections of a blushing tangerine effortlessly ready for divvying up, to some grilled shish kebab, edible totem poles layered with favorite meats and vegetables making for a playful round of “one for me and one for you”.
Likewise, the experience of dining itself can deliciously coax you to share, whether in the spirit of spending some quality sit down time with a friend, gathering family for supper together or even at times when eating solo but at a communal table in breaking bread with others.
If you take this sharing concept and expand it to a restaurant; its vibe, the atmosphere, the set up, and of course the food itself, you have Sojourn; a New American spot serving globally influenced dishes.
Enter the foyer and start on your way; easing yourself into the journey that awaits you via a passage out of the bustling streets of the upper eastside and into a narrow alcove warmed up with textured stucco walls cast in dim lighting;
There’s a secret awaiting you, that you’re about to be let in on.
This brings you into the pub space, itself showcasing a sprawling well stocked copper bar; a perfect spot to take off your jacket, relax and settle down into, hosting guests with new and traditional cocktails alike (think Mojito or Classic Martini) or if up for an adventure, signature concoctions such as their Louisville Slugger; a blend of bourbon whiskey (Maker’s Mark), muddled thyme, lemon, and Vermont maple syrup; a perfect seasonal choice.
Sip for a while, maybe share a little idle chit chat with the bartender and enjoy the simple pleasure. If this is all you’re after, then it’s plenty good here. If in fact you’ve arrived with an appetite, take a few steps to your left and allow yourself to be coaxed further.
Rich wooden slots lend entry into the dining room, where freshly chic ambiance shares space with an almost rustic den atmosphere complete with oak and cinnamon hues. The mood is defined more intensely the more you look and listen, via a flattering candlelit glow, cozy seating nooks, simple and unassuming wood tables, comfortable throw pillows dispersed about, and a shrinelike corner showcase of wines. The eclectic music piping in, from Mozart to Cat Stevens, doesn’t hurt matters.
Though the experience certainly feels comfortable and unrehearsed, it is clearly the product of the labors of love and combined top notch efforts of the dream team here; Entrepreneur/Proprietor Sam Musovic, Executive Chef Peter Petti and head waiter Jose Almonte, who all join forces and synergize talents to make for an inspired culinary journey.
In a town where trendy tapas aka small plates or full sized dishes seem to be a dime a dozen, Sojourn’s delightfully presented “medium sized” plates are much akin to the tale of Goldilocks and the 3 bears; not too small, not too big, but just right, another perfect excuse to share and order an assortment, priced fairly.
The menu and wine list here change frequently in reflecting the freshest and most seasonally inspired ingredients, offering diverse international selections with obvious authenticity. The chef’s table, a communal expanse, offers a view into the partially open kitchen and can be enjoyed courtesy of the chef’s $60 six-course tasting menu ($85 with wine pairings).
Whet your appetite with some crispy, deep fried oysters with a smooth wasabi dip and follow with an entrée such as the squid ink “ black” pasta with a flavorful lobster arrabiatta sauce. This goes nicely with some of their octopus salad with sautéed swiss chard, fingerling potatoes, red onion, black olives, capers, a red wine vinaigrette and a nice helping of octopus grilled to perfection; a lively and earthy mosaic full of textures and tastes. For something a bit more robust, the Long island duck breast was moist, tasty and generously portioned served with a tasty port wine sauce drizzle.
End the night with all house prepared deserts like warm churros, complete with a velvety dark chocolate dipping sauce or equally as dreamy, the ricotta cheesecake with a traditional graham cracker crust and a fresh berry compote topping. Pair this with a glass of their choice Port.
Oh and one more thing: Please don’t fret. You don’t necessarily have to share if you really don’t want to.
244 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075