Actress and global influencer Priyanka Chopra’s new restaurant ‘Sona’ opens for business in New York City. Take a tour of the restaurant, courtesy restaurant’s official Instagram account which posted a video on Friday giving the prospective patrons a glimpse into Chopra’s new project.
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Acting, entrepreneurship, influencing, producing, singing, the former Miss World Priyanka Chopra has done it all and has now added another feather in her cap. The actress, along with her good friend Maneesh Goyal has opened a new restaurant called Sona in the heart of the USA. The reservations have already started flowing in as the restaurant’s website is live. The passion project will cater to food aficionados who want to take a bite of Indian culture with a unique twist given by Goyal an event management entrepreneur.
Speaking to Vogue, Goyal spilled the beans about how the project came into inception. During the shooting of Quantico, Chopra used to crave for authentic Indian food, but nothing would hit the spot for her. Taking the matters in their own hands, Goyal and Chopra started collaborating on their vision regarding Indian food and culture. Later, Chopra and Goyal shook hands and became restaurant partners. Two years later, in 2021, Sona is waiting to enthrall food critics and patrons alike.
As for the unique name that sticks to the tongue as well as the mind, Goyal told Vogue that the idea was actually Chopra’s husband Nick Jonas’. Chopra and Goyal both wanted a name for their project that was easy to spell and Google. To their surprise, was Jonas who suggested the name. When asked how Jonas knew about the word, he told the restaurant partners that he caught the meaning of the word during his wedding with Chopra.
As of today, Sona will be opening its doors to friends and family of Goyal, Chopra and those who’re closely associated to the establishment of the restaurant. The kitchen will be led by Chef Hari Nayak who’s well known in the restaurant business for leading famous eateries like Alchemy, Jhol and Café Spice. The chef has carefully curated a menu of classic Indian dishes that will transport the Samaritans from New York to streets of Mumbai and Delhi.
Goyal told Vogue that the menu will feature classic Indian dishes like Dahi Kachori, Kofta Korma along with some instagrammable dishes like crab puri with caviar. The restaurant’s menu will also feature Golgappa shots, a modern retelling of paani-puri that’s loved by Indians. Chef Hari also spoke in detail about the restaurant’s signature Buckwheat Bhel and Goan Fish Curry. The chef got the inspiration for the latter from his mentor Chef Cardoz who recently passed away due to COVID-19.
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The restaurant will also feature India House Butter Chicken. Chef Hari added the dish in the menu as a tribute to his father who was himself a restaurateur in US and had butter chicken as a specialty dish in his restaurant.
Turning eyes away from the menu, one must talk about the interiors of the restaurant. There have been little nuances added by both Chopra and Goyal that elevates the place from an Indian restaurant to an Indian restaurant in the New York City. On the tables there are table lamp shades that have floral saris used in their making. The font doors feature cobra coloured handles that Goyal got his hands on at a flea market in India.
Staying true to its name (Sona means gold in English), the restaurant is filled with gold accents, however, thanks to Melissa Bowers, who took charge of the designing, the place never looks gaudy. The bar tower with arched mirrors and the black and white poufs are sure to evoke several feelings and captivate the patrons’ eyes as well as their attention. There are several artworks on the walls of the restaurant selected by Bowers that are easy on eyes and yet, able to take the diners back to India.
TODAY IS OPENING DAY #SonaNewYork!
What started as a simple craving for great Indian food has become this labour of love, and I can’t wait to welcome you all in, & for you to experience timeless India in the heart of NYC! https://t.co/Tox5GKXRal pic.twitter.com/xv0mLjqdLH
— PRIYANKA (@priyankachopra) March 26, 2021
Sona will also house a private dining area called Mimi’s (PeeCee’s fans would know that Mimi is her nickname only referred by her favourites). Vogue claims that the dining room can hold COVID-19 bubble-sized meetings and dinners. For patrons who want to enjoy outside dining, they can do so as well.
“People are ready now. I can feel yet another golden age of dining,” Goyal was quoted by Vogue saying. “I want to show people how glamorous how Indian food can be. And I want to be a place where people coming from India can feel: wow somebody’s gotten it right,” he added excitedly.