Feb

15

2012

Sol Searching

Written By Alex in Reviews

One Clean Plate - Sol Restaurant - Menu By Alex Snyder

Sol Restaurant Menu

Sol Restaurant

33 North Court Street
Athens, OH 45701
740.592.1740

Rating: 4 out of 5 Plates
Hours: Lunch:
Mon – Sat: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dinner:
Mon – Wed: 5:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m.
Thurs – Sat: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sun: Closed
Price Range: Appetizers: $5 – $7.50
Soup & Salad: $4 – $9
Entree: $9 – $20
Dessert: $5 – $7

SolRestaurant.net

Sol Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Athens finally has a new place worth talking about. And no, it’s not the new O’Betty’s, which I’m happy to boycott since it ran out my favorite Chinese restaurant run by a very good friend of mine. Ok, done venting, onto the new place.

It’s called Sol and it sits back in a tiny alleyway that you can miss if you blink. It’s worth searching for, though. The theme is Cuban fusion (though I’m not sure what they’re fusing it with, but that’s beyond the point) which is something Athens has yet to experience.

Although the place just opened it was pretty packed. It only has a few tables so reservations are a must. I just happened to get lucky! The ambiance is pretty great as well with its dark brick walls, red table cloths and nice wood fixtures. Overall the place is pretty cozy.

The menu matches the space – small – but that’s perfectly fine. I’d rather have a few good menu options than a lot of bad ones. Tim’s choice was the Picadillo (Cuban comfort food as it was put) and I had the Lechon Asado (marinated pork). Both served with rice, plantain chips, salad and black beans. Both of us passed on the black beans but I’m sure they taste good to someone!

The customary bread and butter came out and then our salads. I chose the chimichurri dressing which was pretty impressive. It was cream based, which isn’t the typical for a chimichurri, and was heavy in garlic and spice. It bit back and I loved it!

One Clean Plate - Sol Restaurant - Bread and Butter by Alex Snyder

Bread and Butter

One Clean Plate - Sol Restaurant - House Salad with Chimichurri Sauce by Alex Snyder

House Salad with Chimichurri Sauce

The courses were nice as well. For the price though I would have liked to see a bit more on my plate. Athens people really want a bang for their buck, so I know this will be an issue to them as well. My pork dish also wasn’t as warm as I would have liked it. I’m guessing they waited for Tim’s to be done and sent them out at the same time. It wasn’t bad enough for me to complain though, and I could see they were still breaking in the staff.

One Clean Plate - Sol Restaurant - Lechon Asado with Rice and Plantain Chips by Alex Snyder

Lechon Asado with Rice and Plantain Chips

My one regret is not bringing a bottle of wine! Since they don’t have their liquor license yet, they have a bring-your-own policy with a $1.50 corking fee. I would suggest they just keep it this way, since they’re short on space to store wine and don’t need the extra overhead. Many Athens businesses just want to sell alcohol and the food really suffers. Let’s promote good food for a change!

Another nice aspect is the new lunch menu. A good lunchtime in Athens can make or break a local business. Again, Sol seemed to deliver with a shortened menu of easy to serve items including sandwiches, soups and salads (what more do you really need from lunch anyway?) The price hovers in about the $8.50 range as well which is a decent price for a good lunch.

One Clean Plate - Sol Restaurant - Cuban Sandwich with Plantain Soup Served With Kettle Chips by Alex Snyder

Cuban Sandwich with Plantain Soup Served With Kettle Chips

One Clean Plate - Sol Restaurant - House Salad with "Miami" Sandwich served with Kettle Chips by Alex Snyder

House Salad with "Miami" Sandwich served with Kettle Chips

Overall, I want Sol to make it. Too often I see good places with good people go out of business because someone didn’t give them the chance. Yes, they’re a bit hard to find, and they need a little breaking in, but there’s a lot of potential here. From classy to casual this place will have you covered. Just remember to call ahead!

Check out all of the photos from our visit at our Sol Restaurant Photo Gallery on Facebook! While you’re there, why not like One Clean Plate too?

Verdict: Cozy Cuban Fusion

Sol Restaurant is a cozy Cuban Fusion restaurant tucked in an alleyway on North Court Street. The inside can be casual or classy with its dark brick walls, warm red table cloths and wooden fixtures. Despite being small, the menu offers great dishes at somewhat reasonable prices. We would have liked to see more on our plates, but it still tasted really good.

Reservations aren’t required, but we highly recommend doing it if you want to visit since the restaurant is small and gets packed quickly. It is also BYOB (there is a $1.50 uncorking fee) so if you want a drink with your meal be sure to pick a bottle up elsewhere first.

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  • Sue Dillon

    I’ll go when they add a little more food to the plate/bowl. I don’t mind a little pricey, but i do want to feel full when i leave. I’m on a fixed income. {Less than $700 a month). I want a little bang for my buck.

    • Alex

      I couldn’t agree more! (This is Alex) It’s odd actually that I felt more full at lunch then I did for dinner. I did go for lunch again the other day and was very disappointed. I had brought some friends and all of our meals came at different times. The service was awful and some menu items ordered “weren’t available.” That last part really got to me since we weren’t told the items weren’t available until the other dishes came out, which left one of us food-less!

  • Kelly

    My husband and I were so excited about a new ethnic food place. Especially one where we could bring our own wine. The place was cozy as you say but the owner’s were not at all friendly. We stood by the bar waiting too long to be seated for a reserved table and the co-owner never bothered to greet us. Our waitress was fantastic. The food fell short. Still, we thought we would give it some time to work out its kinks and improve. You know, try it again in a month or so. We requested that the co-owner chef, who had been sitting at the bar some yards away for quite some time, could stop by the table. Our waitress delivered the request but the owner never bothered to get up and come over. Cozy with average food is not enough to overcome unfriendly owners. This was enough for both my husband and I to swear off the place. When groups of friends want to go out in Athens, we will not give a kind review of SOL restaurant.