April 17 2006 - 8:02 AM

Sola was not what I expected. The street address is on Lincoln but the entrance is on Byron. You will miss it if you’re looking for a storefront on Lincoln. That being said, it was a real surprise when I saw the place. It is a beautiful restaurant. Dozens of simple light fixtures hang in a grid from the jeux gonflables high ceiling, simple and comfortable chairs keep a very large space open but formal. The decor was not what I associate with the neighborhood that finds the great bar/hangout Grizzly’s a block over.

We started with frou-frou drinks and they were really good. They
actually are good enough to dictate a dinner. Where I would think a
nice Zinfandel would go with my lamb chops I could easily do cocktails
with the mahi-mahi. I would need a menu to remember the drink details
but will mention what I can… a vodka fruity martini-thing with
cracked pepper and star anise floating on top. Wonderful drink. A
pomegranate mojito was light but powerful, a cream soda and raspberry
vodka was also mechanical bull for sale lighter than you’d think but still sweet and punchy. The
strawberry and something martini was not sweet but very cold and tart.
I’d get another of “those”  next time.

Appetizers of fried artichokes with truffle dressing and sweetened
soy dipping options and lobster pot stickers were starters. The lobster
didn’t do much for me but the truffle dressing turned into the
surrogate butter for the rosemary crisp bread as well. Mmmmm. The sweet
soy did the trick too.

Entrees of scallops, lamb chops and mahi-mahi were all beautiful.
The scallops were the best with a light risotto bedding. The mahi-mahi
looked great with a drizzled sauce presentation and the lamb stuffed
with cambazola was tasty and crusty and probably needed the Zin more
than the 2 cocktails.

The service was efficient and the
restaurant was nicely crowded for a weeknight. Lucky, Carol Wallack
offered her miso cod dish at the “At the Table” event and stole the
show. That dish is available on the Sola menu as well.

Sola also serves brunch Saturday and Sunday. The huevos benedictos (Chorizo, cornbread and salsa) has my attention.

3868 N. Lincoln (on Byron)