4 3rd St SW
Rochester, MN 55902Neighborhood:
Tapas / Small PlatesPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.sontes.com/
- Phone: 507-292-1628
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday-Friday: 11-2 pm
Happy Hour: 2-6 pm
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: open at 4 pm. Friday & Saturday: 4pm - 11:00pm. Closed Sundays.
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Catering: Sontes catering uses only the freshest and highest quality ingredients, by actively supporting local growers and producers that engage in organic or sustainable practices. Every event is will be personally planned and coordinated with our on site event staff to ensure your satisfaction. Please contact either Karen or Tessa for more information.
- Entertainment: Live music every Saturday.
A word from Sontes
Relax and take your time sampling our seasonally spontaneous food and extensive selection of wines and beers. We support local farmers and artisans, ensuring that we serve the freshest produce, meats and cheeses possible. Our stunning bar boasts 40 wines by the glass, served from a temperature-controlled cuvee system, and more than 100 wines by the bottle. We are here to make you feel at home, so sit back and lounge near our fireplace, belly up to the bar, or enjoy a leisurely evening in our dining room. Make a reservation by 4:00 on the day you plan to join us and receive a special treat from the chef!Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Sontes - Best Restaurants in Rochester ›
Sontes reviews from OpenTable diners
30 reviews since May 20, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (23)special occasion (17)notable wine list (17)romantic (11)neighborhood gem (11)good for groups (6)vibrant bar scene (4)late-night find (3)hot spot (3)great for lunch (2)great for brunch (1)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
- limited choiceMnMgo1ngVIPDined on 9/8/2014Since the restaurant advertises itself as a tapas restaurant, I would like to see a more expansive menu of small plate options. food is good.Special Features:
- What a great evening!JRPullenDined on 8/30/2014We were just a few feet away from the band, yet still able to talk. So nice not to have the volume amped up to uncomfortable levels. Wine selection is very good with two pages of wines by glass. Nice variety of tapas and some amazing cheeses.Special Features:
- Best in RochesterBroadTastesVIPDined on 8/28/2014We had another outstanding evening at Sontes. Everything from the citrus marinated olives through the pork cheeks and fois gras (by way of the lamb meatballs and egg rolls) were a delight to the senses. The cocktails -- we had the Aviation and Blackberry Gin Smash -- are as inventive as they are delicious. And the wine list is well thought out, reasonably priced and extensive, representing outstanding and unique selections from most every major wine region. We enjoyed the Gavi di Gavi and the Tomero Malbec. The service was friendly, knowledgeable and efficient -- thank you Ryan. We capped the evening off with a dreamy chocolate pot de creme and the Graham tawny port, topped by a delightful visit with Tessa. A most enjoyable evening.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Take your timeLocalvoreVIPDined on 8/18/2014We were regulars here for years, but a recent visit (twice) has made us pause. While the food continues to be interesting and wonderful, the service was surprisingly poor. What happened? They do make one of the best fois gras, but skip,the calamari (it never improves). And their fries are large, steak fries, not to everyone's taste.Special Features:
- HwoodDined on 8/15/2014Disappointing at best This was our 2nd visit only from word the menu was upgraded, were wrg Love the idea of using only local grown but the entrées were tasteless for our party of 4 Plus service was bad for a half empty house Will not returnSpecial Features:
- Pleasant surpriseCyborgDined on 8/4/2014This being my first time in Rochester I was not familiar with the reastaurants in downtown. Open table suggested Sontes and with their seamless reservation option I made dinner plans without a hitch. The restaurant had a very comfortable and chic ambiance with its various venues bar, small lounge & different dining areas including one outside. The menu was eclectic & creative and certainly tempting to the palate. After much difficulty in selecting, given the temptation of the entire menu, we chose a variety of plates with the help of our waiter. The food arrived at measured pace & we did not feel rushed. The flavors were delightful & had the desired effect of propelling one into feeling as though you were standing in Catalan country side.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Rochester has it all.unhappyVIPDined on 7/31/2014A meal that would have been great in NY or LA - at twice the price. Wonderful small plates. It was so wonderful we asked the chef to come out so we could compliment him directly. Great guy doing great things with local foods. And you can select wine from the attached wine shop to bring to your table (corkage fee only $15).Special Features:
- Superb Food, Wine, Service & AtmospRichardMillerDined on 7/25/2014Truly a gem with stellar food and wine. Helpful sommelier to guide you in the right direction. Friendly wait staff who give you the right service and make each guest feel at home.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/13/2014Knowledgeable and friendly staff. Nice touch with the chef bringing us a special entrée for booking online. The scallops are a must.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- NYC CaliberwfoodieVIPDined on 6/6/2014Delicious and innovative dishes, with extensive wine list! Look forward to returning when back in Rochester!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Superior dining as usualvickspyDined on 5/30/2014We had a wonderful dinner at Sonte's. The cheese flight was artfully presented and the eggplant gnocchi with braised lamb was the chef's crowning achievement. The empanadas were delicious as usual and the morels were a very special treat. It was very nice to get the bread with hummus/Sirachi combination for making the reservation via Open Table.Special Features:
- Small plates but still worth it26pt2runnerVIPDined on 5/23/2014Dined on a Friday night and enjoyed the experience. I particularly enjoyed the cheese flight option and my waiter was very helpful and knowledgable. I followed with a nice house salad and pan-seared duck; both portions were very small. I don't think a big heaping plate is appropriate or even appreciated when quality is what brings you into a place like Sonte's but even I was surprised by the small portions. But it was still worth the price charged and I would defiantly return the next time I visit Med City;-)Special Features:
- Always good food at SontesTapasgoodDined on 5/23/2014A friend and I had dinner there on a Friday night. We had a reservation just in case, but it wasn't too busy early (6:30pm). I got there ahead of my friend and was seated promptly and ordered a drink. My friend arrived shortly thereafter, but our server took about 7 minutes to come back and take his drink order. I've dined here before and the service is usually very prompt. This was a bit surprising. Our server was friendly and efficient and other than the delay with drinks, the service was good. The chef provided us with an Amuse-bouche which was unexpected and delicious! The food is always very good at Sontes and their wine list is second to none in Rochester.Special Features:
- Fun foodcvcvVIPDined on 5/22/2014We had a great time. The food was fun, creative and unique.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 280 reviews are from the Sontes reviews archive.
- First time dinerRochfoodieDined on 5/3/2014Promptly greeted by hostess and seated where we wanted as it was fairly slow. Server was a young man named James, he was probably the highlight of the evening. Right away, the table behind us became very unruley, loud, obnoxious, very foul language. Really spoiled what was supposed to be a special evening out. We ordered and the food came out quite quickly. Some food was great, some poorly executed. Portion sizes smaller than anticipated for the prices we paid. Ordered the chocolate cake for dessert, very difficult to eat, the caramel over the top was so sticky and hard it was barely able to be eaten off the fork. Overall, I'd probably give them another shot, could have been a fluke as there was a concert going on right outside that night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious but spendyFoodLoverDined on 4/19/2014Everything we had was delicious. Would have loved to try more, but the menu is pretty expensive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Special place for special people.GeopolDined on 4/18/2014Sontes has wonderful food, wine, other libations and service. The ambiance is quiet, welcoming and vibrant. Going here with a group or with your certain someone to celebrate accomplishments, anniversaries or just your joy for life is a real treat. Everything was good our last time there. The Lemon Preserve Risotto was our favorite.Special Features:
- Food even our kids enjoyedEnjoyerofFoodDined on 4/17/2014We took my wife's mother out for her birthday with kids in tow, and it was a very pleasant experience. Our kids are not picky eaters, and the food selection gave them a few opportunities to try something new. In fact, my son had his first taste of filet mignon and loved it (apparently, only second to Mom's roast). We enjoyed the food and the ambiance, and the tapas theme worked well for us and the food was excellent. The wine list is very extensive and you can find some great gems.Special Features:
- Surprising find!kcostVIPDined on 4/14/2014This restaurant is so high class and offers such unique food choices. I feel a bit snobbish assuming I would not find this type of dining experience in relatively small Rochester, but it was such a treat! Amazing food from the duck to the lemon preserve risotto. Everyone in my party of four was pleased. Not your typical dinner joint, they started us with shrimp chips (looked a lot like puffy discs of packing peanuts BUT delish) and offered a vast selection of wine. Would definitely recommend. We felt quite special and taken care of by the chef!Special Features:
- LackingpeterDined on 4/9/2014While the atmosphere and service are nice, the food is lacking - definitely not a great value. The menu descriptions are very promising, but the dishes fall short, either in taste or appearance or both. All the dishes we had were far over-salted and anything that was pan sauteed was over-browned on one side but not the other (and overcooked). One appetizer was all brown - pork cheeks and overcooked foie gras. We like firm vegetables but the side vegetables were on the undercooked side. The main fish dish was also overcooked (rubbery). Also all the reasonably priced sparkling wine selections were on the sweet side - why aren't there drier choices?
- Great Gem but slow service for luncFoodieDined on 4/7/2014Sontes again had fabulous food and ambiance, a perfect getaway for lunch and business or friends. But service was slower than we liked for getting back to work, waiting 25 minutes for our food aftrr we ordered. Maybe that's to be expected but don't plan to be in/out in an hour. As patrons we should alert the waitstaff and they also may ask when it's a lunch crowd. Will be back as it's a really lovely spot.Special Features:
- Good StuffyummyDined on 4/4/2014Ive heard that this place was a bit pricey, but we both left satisfied and the food quality was excellent. We look forward to coming back again and trying the rest of your menu!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food was good, but they wereburgerheadDined on 3/31/2014Food was good, but they were out of a number of things that we wished to order. We were there on a Monday, so maybe the weekend was hoppin' and they were down on their rations a bit. Good beer list (Belgian heavy), better wine list. I am usually a "classic supper club-dive bar" diner, so the menu and the foods that we tried were interesting. Some I would eat again (the ribeye/potato entree, the local butters, parmesan cheese, candied walnuts, roasted garlic) others not so much due to personal preference (the goat cheeses - definitely an acquired taste and the salmon spread). Enjoy!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great place to meet friendsScottDined on 3/29/2014A great place to hang out with friends and not feeling rushed. Last time, spent over 3 hours with great food and great wine. Would strongly recommend to anyone liking wine and great food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- No tapas for lunchdmarkiaVIPDined on 3/28/2014Wanted tapas, but no tapas at lunch. Had a couple creative sandwiches. The BELT was messy, but flavorful. The black bean burger only fair, lacking seasoning. The black bean chips were the best part of the meal. Nice space, good service.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best wine of my lifeLaurenDined on 3/22/2014The wine was the best wine I'd had in my life, bar none. Unfortunately, the waiter said they'd decided to discontinue that particular wine. They had a huge wine list--my date looked at it on the iPad they provided. The tapas were also delightful. Complex flavors and amazing mouth feel. The desserts were too foodie for me (deconstructed bread pudding...so there was a poached egg on the side), but they might be good for you. I marked this as a romantic place and it was in a ton of ways. The only way it wasn't was that the tables are very large to accommodate all the tapas plate. So you are quite far from your date.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great for a special dinnertimmyjimDined on 3/15/2014great for a special dinner with my parents. great place for foodies. love the art. would love to see live music there.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Missed ExpectationsRyanDined on 3/11/2014My wife and I expected great things from Sontes - we were statisfied on a few counts but largely disappointed in the dinner course. The fried shrimp cracklins were a fantastic amuse bouche, and the wine list was wonderful. The calamari was fantastic and I believe the rest of the appetizers would have been great, but the appetizers did not deliver. The roasted vegetables with both entrees were underdone and the mains were not exceptional. Overall, a decent option but would not go back for the entrees.Special Features:
- Bad food, great drinks and ambienceWeekenderVIPDined on 3/7/2014We keep trying to give Sontes another chance with respect to food quality, and we remain disappointed. The drink menu is great, the bartenders really know what they are doing. The food is bland and overpriced.
- Awesome food and service!HeatherDined on 2/15/2014Creative well-thought out food. Everything on the menu is high quality and very delicious. Our favorite restaurant in Rochester!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and serviceScottDined on 2/14/2014Food quality was excellent and great variety. Went there for valentine's day and was an awesome night out.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good but not greatmmmfoodDined on 2/14/2014Food was good but not great. The time between courses was a bit long. I just think it could have been better for Valentines day at $70 a plate.
- Great place to be adventurousMK74Dined on 2/14/2014The only thing that keeps me from giving it a five star review is that for valentines day there was a fixed menu, which felt a little restricting from the normal tapas format. Amazing food and wide range of wine and beer options.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Was really hoping for awesome!SaturdayHopefulDined on 2/8/2014I have heard mixed reviews, and wanted to try myself. We went in looking for an experience that we couldn't get anywhere else....Well we achieved that, but unfortunately it was a bummer. The waitress talked only and directly to my partner, and it made me feel awkward. She directed us primarily towards the small plates for a family style (which made me feel like it was to increase the tab), but 3 of the 8 were sold out (just after they opened for a Saturday?), they were the ones we wanted to try. We left without feeling fulfilled at all and after 4 plates and drinks we went down the street for a burger. If you are only going for a glass of wine and chill, this is the best wine list and ambience for that.....Special Features:
- Excellent Tapas RestaurantIce2IceDined on 1/24/2014My wife and I enjoy trying different places to eat while visiting different cities. Sontes came highly recommend and we were not let down. It has some amazing Tapas and excellent service to boot. From salads to main course the food was excellent and very tasty. The pork egg rolls and empanadas were outstanding. Our server even brought me some hot sauce from the personal collection of the owner. It was good and hot and made my evening. My wife had the sweet potatoes an beet salad an she was amazed at the flavors. Excellent place to go get Tapas in Rochester.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great service. InterestingMARYDined on 1/17/2014Great service. Interesting food. $100 for a bottle of wine, 4 small plates and 2 desserts.Special Features:
- Wrong reservation nameOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 1/13/2014You should stop using open table for your reservations. They cross reservation names and it causes confusion when we get there. Not happy about that. Will not be using this reservation system anymore.
- Lunch that went a bit awryBusinessLuncherDined on 12/23/2013We had made a lunch reservation, and part of our group (of 12) was seated in the back room upon arrival. About 10 minutes later, we were told that there was a "mix-up" with reservations, and another group was supposed to have that room. So they made us all move. We began ordering lunch around 12:30, maybe a little later. It was over an hour before we received our food. Two orders were behind the others by about 5-10 minutes, and one order was forgotten completely. They said that the kitchen was backed up. If two groups of 12 make reservations, you'd think they would have time to prepare. Our waiter did his best to keep us happy, and the manager did come over to try to make up for it. The food was okay, but nothing to write home about.
- Wonderful!DaveDined on 12/16/2013Our experience was even better than we expected. Great food, amazing flavors! The service was fantastic as well. Perfect evening!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing and expensiveOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 11/29/2013Picked Sontes because of "farm to table" theme. Ambience good, lighting and music pleasant but too loud. We chose to make a dinner of tapas--a specialty here. Big mistake. We are familiar with quality tapas restaurants and anticipated a wonderful meal. The portions here were tapas-sized and not expensive individually, but they were largely tasteless, so we had to order additional items just to make a meal. Some of the ingredients were not correctly identified by the wait staff (mussels were misidentified as scallops!) and the food generally lacked distinctive flavor, except for overcooked brussels sprouts. Service was attentive but not well-informed. Bill for three persons (incl two glasses of moderately priced wine and tip) came to $90.